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The son of British perfume tycoon Jo Malone has distanced himself from a Harvard university letter which blamed Israel for the Hamas terror attacks, insisting he condemns violence in all forms.

Josh Willcox, 22, is listed as one of three students who run the Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), according to Harvard’s directory of student groups.

The PSC issued a letter on October 7, co-signed by 33 other Harvard student organizations, stating: ‘We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.’

The letter sparked outrage, but Willcox on Saturday insisted he was not on campus at the time it was written, and was not involved in its drafting.

‘In contrast to the PSC open letter, I believe that anyone who inflicts violence on civilians is solely responsible for their actions,’ he wrote on Instagram.

‘I therefore do not support the letter’s attribution of blame for Saturday’s attacks to Israel.’ 

Josh Willcox (left)  son of perfume mogul Jo Malone (center) is listed as one of three Harvard students who run the Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee. He is also pictured with his father Gary Willcox at a ritzy London party in 2017 

The letter caused a massive backlash after 33 student societies backed the statement written by the PSC ‘holding the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence’

His mother, Jo, a British perfume giant founder who sold her eponymous company to Estee Lauder in 1999, said the war in the Middle East had left her ‘heartbroken’, and branded the attack by Hamas as ‘abhorrent.’

On Wednesday, the Harvard Arab Alumni Association wrote to members appealing for help in supporting the students.

‘They may require legal counsel, healthcare, mental health support, financial aid or mentorship to navigate these turbulent and uncertain times.’ 

Supporters of Palestine gather at Harvard University on October 14. When the terror attacks were launched by Hamas on October 7, the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee issued a co-signed by 33 other Harvard student organizations, stating: ‘We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence’

Harvard students at the October 14 rally on campus

‘They have been subjected to relentless bullying and intimidation,’ the association wrote, in a letter obtained by reporter John Hasson.

‘This situation is rapidly deteriorating as some students find their names on watchlists, creating severe risks for their immigration status and future career prospects.

‘Our ask and plea to you all is to extend your hand to these students and provide the vital assistance they need within your capacity and scope of influence.’

Neither Harvard nor the association have responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.  

A letter from more than 30 Harvard student groups was sent on the day of the attacks, which saw Hamas terrorists stage a dawn raid from Gaza on a music festival near the border and villages nearby. Women and children were murdered in their beds, and an estimated 200 people have been taken hostage.

Since the raid, 1,300 Israelis have been killed. 

‘Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum,’ the statement read. 

‘For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison. Israeli officials promise to ‘open the gates of hell,’ and the massacres in Gaza have already commenced.

‘In the coming days, Palestinians will be forced to bear the full brunt of Israel’s violence. The apartheid regime is the only one to blame,’ it continues.

Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard, said days later the letter does not speak for the educational institution as a whole or its leadership. Her comments came after some criticized the Harvard administration for taking too long to denounce the student letter. 

On Friday, she issued another apology.

Gay said the university rejects terrorism, hate and harassment based on people’s beliefs while embracing free expression, even ‘views that many of us find objectionable, even outrageous.’

She wrote: ‘We do not punish or sanction people for expressing’ objectionable or outrageous views.

‘But that is a far cry from endorsing them. It’s in the exercise of our freedom to speak that we reveal our characters and we reveal the character of our institution.’

Harvard President Claudine Gay (pictured) has finally condemned the ‘terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas in Israel’ – at odds with 34 student groups at the Ivy League institution who have pledged support to the militants

The death toll has topped 1,300 in Israel as the country plots a bloody revenge

An aerial view shows the bodies of victims of the Hamas attack on the Kfar Aza Kibbutz on Tuesday

Troops remove the bodies of victims, killed during an attack by Hamas terrorists in Kfar Aza, on Tuesday

More than 1million people have fled their homes in the Gaza Strip ahead of an expected Israeli invasion that seeks to eliminate Hamas’ leadership. 

Aid groups warn an Israeli ground offensive could hasten a humanitarian crisis.

Israeli forces, supported by U.S. warships, have positioned themselves along Gaza’s border and drilled for what Israel said would be a broad campaign to dismantle the militant group. 

A week of blistering airstrikes have demolished neighborhoods but failed to stop militant rocket fire into Israel.

The war that began October 7 has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides, with more than 4,000 dead. 

The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,750 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 wounded. 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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