Lucas Maddalena / Varsity

Harvey Brown, Cambridge SU’s welfare officer, has released an apology acknowledging the “harm done” by his decision to like online content supportive of Hamas attacks in Israel.

The elected officer for ‘Welfare and Community’ came under heavy criticism earlier this week after he liked a now-deleted tweet that suggested Saturday’s attacks by Hamas should be “a day of celebration”.

In his apology, Brown agreed to meet with Cambridge University Jewish Society (JSoc) to “reflect” and understand how he can “support Jewish students going forward.”

“Like many online, I reacted instinctively to early images of Palestinians escaping Gaza without fully thinking through the language in these tweets,” Brown said.

“This was rash”, he continued, adding: “I absolutely condemn all violence against civilians. I want to be reflective, honest, and clear in my anti-racism and my opposition to state violence.”


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The apology has come following days of silence from the SU over Brown’s actions.

Speaking before the apology, an anonymous SU insider told Varsity on Friday that moves to table a vote of no confidence could be in the works “unless a very strong apology is forthcoming soon”.

Just one hour after Brown’s apology, the SU released a separate statement on events in Israel and Gaza which said that the SU will “continue to liaise with student groups,” including JSoc and the Palestine Solidarity Society to “ensure we are continually supporting all affected students”.

Einav Grushka, an Israeli student who co-authored an open letter condemning the university’s “silence” on the Hamas attacks earlier this week, told Varsity Brown’s apology seemed “sincere”.

“During times as difficult as these, the students need full support, and sadly, this time they were made to feel hurt, extremely vulnerable, unheard and disrespected”, she continued.

“As the devastation continues, we hope that Brown can begin to properly support and help the fearful, anxious and grieving students among us in the manner expected of him”, Grushka added.