Ten of the most shocking cases of anti-Semitism on campuses this year
Many college campuses across the United States have become hotbeds of anti-Semitism, as HonestReporting has extensively documented in our recent series. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported that there were 155 anti-Semitic incidents reported on college campuses in 2021, an increase of 21% from 2020. With the 2021-2022 academic year behind us, let’s take a look some of the most notable and perhaps least documented. anti-Semitic incidents that have affected Jewish students across America.
1. Rutgers Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity House Encouraged on Holocaust Remembrance Day Two Years In a Row
On Yom Hashoah, the AEPI at Rutgers was the target of a series of anti-Semitic incidents for the second year in a row. During the brotherhood’s annual 24-hour reading of the names of those who died in the Holocaust, his home was plagued by two unidentified perpetrators. This same incident had occurred during the Yom Hashoah ceremony the previous year. A few days before the start of this year, several cars full of people waving Palestinian flags drove to the brotherhood’s house, where they launched an anti-Semitic verbal assault, calling members of the brotherhood “terrorists” and ” baby killers.
2. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Tufts Encourages Discriminatory Boycott of Jewish Clubs on Campus
Tufts University has a disturbing history of anti-Semitism, and a series of events over several months this year have sadly reinforced this notion. Tufts’ SJP consistently promoted anti-Semitic rhetoric and blatant lies about Israel throughout the year, including launching “Israeli Apartheid Week”, painting “End Israeli Apartheid on the school’s historical canon and disparaging Hillel in a published statement that said, “Hillel cannot both support a genocidal colonial state and commit to making every student feel accepted and treated with respect.”
Accusing Hillel of supporting a “genocidal” state falls squarely within the IHRA’s widely adopted working definition of anti-Semitism, which states that “[d]comparing contemporary Israeli politics to that of the Nazis” is inherently anti-Semitic. More specifically, the tuft watcher published an article by SJP, calling on students to boycott a variety of Jewish clubs that “normalize or benefit Israel,” including J-Street, an organization that has repeatedly stated its support for a two-state solution.
3. University of Central Florida Jewish student beaten, berated and pepper sprayed by protesters wearing swastikas
In February, a Jewish student at the University of Central Florida walked past a rally organized by the neo-Nazi white supremacist National Socialist movement. One of the members spat on the student’s car, sparking an altercation that led to several members of the group beating and pepper spraying the student, then throwing the student’s phone down a storm drain . According to video footage from the scene, NSM members shouted anti-Semitic slurs throughout the attack. The three main perpetrators were arrested soon after.
4. A student senator in charge of diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Southern California (USC) posts violently anti-Semitic messages on social media
USC student Yasmeen Mashayekh, formerly a senator for diversity, equity and inclusion at the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering, has published a plethora of antisemitic messages on social media throughout the academic year. Some of the messages included statements such as “I want to kill all the fucking Zionists”, “Israel’s death is coming. I’ll do it alone if I have to”, “Yes, I love Hamas” and “curse the Jews” in Arabic. These posts sparked outrage at USC — that is, for everyone but the university itself.
Other than a half-hearted excuses via Twitter from the School of Engineering, the university has issued no sort of statement or condemnation of the blatant anti-Semitism. This prompted 60 faculty members to sign a letter calling on the university administration to end its silence regarding “overt and persistent expressions of anti-Semitism and Zionophobia”.
5. Torah Desecrated at George Washington University’s Tau Kappa Epsilon Fellowship
At George Washington University, the home of the Brotherhood of Tau Kappa Epsilon was raided and its Torah scroll desecrated and covered in laundry detergent. In addition, hot sauce was smeared on the premises and smoke detectors were ripped from the walls. Chapter president Chris Osborne estimates that about a quarter of Tau Kappa Epsilon’s brothers are Jewish. GW University President Thomas J. LeBlanc condemned the hateful act in a statement, and crowds showed solidarity with the fraternity at a rally later in the week.
6. Stones thrown at Jewish and Hillel students during SJP protest at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In April, SJP at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign staged a protest with about 75 people in attendance, just outside the Hillel campus. Protesters used megaphones to project their speeches. In response, Jewish students and faculty gathered on the Hillel patio, played music, and ate snacks. The video then shows one of the protesters, identified as Sayed A. Quaraishi, 23, throwing rocks at Jewish students on the terrace. Quaraishi is now charged with a class 3 felony for a violent hate crime. The charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
7. The University of California, San Diego brings in an anti-Semitic lecturer and vandalizes a showcase on anti-Semitism in a week.
In May, an exhibit at the University of California, San Diego highlighting the danger of anti-Semitism was vandalized with signs, including one accusing Israel of apartheid. A swastika was also found drawn on the bathroom wall of the school library. That same week, the university, in accordance with the SJP, brought Taher Herzallah to speak on campus.
Herzallah is the Director of Muslim American Outreach for Palestine and has praised the terror group Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel, describing them as “…effective even if they don’t kill anyone.” He also once described the image of a bloodied Israeli soldier as “the most beautiful sight in my eyes”.
After speaking to members of the campus community, more vandalism of Jewish symbols on campus was reported, including a Star of David that was defaced at the university’s Graffiti Park.
8. Former University of California Los Angeles lecturer threatens mass shooting, publishes 803-page anti-Semitic manifesto
Matthew Harris, a former philosophy professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, was arrested in May after publishing an 803-page manifesto uttering mass shooting threats against the school. In addition to espousing hatred and containing threats of violence against Asians, women, whites and various other groups, the manifesto also targeted Jews.
A line in the manifesto says: “Violence against the Jews should take place. Retaliation and retaliation for what they stole is legitimate and a good thing. Another line says, “Whites and Jews will die,” while one of the chapters of the manifesto is titled, “The perfect holocaust is a completed holocaust.” The manifesto repeatedly uses anti-Semitic and racist slurs.
9. “Long Live the Intifada” Painted on Boston University Campus Monument
Boston has already made headlines in recent months with its BDS chapter’s anti-Semitic mapping project. However, anti-Semitism in universities in the region has spread in ways that have been ignored by the media. At Boston University in December, SJP members spray-painted “Long Live the Intifada” on BU’s signature rock on campus.
The message refers to two violent Palestinian uprisings, the second of which featured several years of Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. BU’s SJP continued to justify their post on Instagram, writing in a post that “The Intifada is an action that lives the Palestinian people on a daily basis and exists as a permanent source of inspiration against Israeli occupation and apartheid. “.
10. Yale President Says FBI Inflates Jewish Hate Crime Statistics
Ericka Hart, a self-proclaimed diversity and sexuality trainer brought to speak by the Yale Law Journal, spoke with law students in September on topics including racism and privilege. When a law student asked her why she hadn’t mentioned anti-Semitism as a form of discrimination among the many other related topics discussed at the conference, she replied that she had already covered anti-Semitism because some Jews are black.
Additionally, she addressed FBI statistics that show Jews are victims of hate crimes more than any other group by suggesting that those who compiled this data had an “agenda.” Three journal editors described her presentation as “shocking”, “offensive” and “upsetting”, and 82% of those in attendance said she should not be asked back to school under any circumstances, according to a poll.