Anti-Israel Protest

These are some of the more noteworthy and perhaps less documented antisemitic incidents which impacted Jewish students across America.

By Aaron Silverstein, HonestReporting

Many college campuses across the United States have become hotbeds for antisemitism, as HonestReporting has documented extensively in our recent series.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported that there were 155 antisemitic incidents on college campuses in 2021, a 21 percent increase from 2020. With the 2021-2022 academic year behind us, let’s examine some of the more noteworthy and perhaps less documented antisemitic incidents which impacted Jewish students across America.

1. Rutgers: Jewish Fraternity House Egged on Holocaust Remembrance Day Two Years in a Row

On Yom Hashoah, AEPI at Rutgers was the target of a series of antisemitic incidents for the second consecutive year.

During the fraternity’s annual 24-hour reading of the names of those who died in the Holocaust, its house was egged by two unidentified perpetrators.

This same incident had occurred during the previous year’s Yom Hashoah ceremony. Days prior to this year’s egging, multiple cars full of people waving Palestinian flags drove up to the fraternity house, where they launched an antisemitic verbal assault, calling the fraternity members “terrorists” and “baby killers.”

2. Tufts: Students for Justice in Palestine Promotes Discriminatory Boycott of Jewish Clubs on Campus

Tufts University has a troubling history of antisemitism, and a string of events over several months this year unfortunately reinforced this notion.

SJP at Tufts consistently promoted antisemitic rhetoric and blatant lies about Israel throughout the year.

This included the launch of an “Israel Apartheid Week,” painting “End Israeli Apartheid” on the school’s landmark cannon, and denigrating Hillel in a published statement  contending that, “Hillel cannot both support a genocidal, settler-colonial state and be committed to every student feeling accepted and treated with respect.”

Accusing Hillel of supporting a “genocidal” state directly falls under the widely adopted IHRA working definition of antisemitism, which holds that “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is inherently antisemitic.

Most notably, the Tufts Observer published an article by SJP, calling on students to boycott a variety of Jewish clubs which “normalize or benefit Israel,” including J-Street, an organization that has repeatedly stated its support for a two-state solution.

3. U. of Central Florida: Jewish Student Beaten, Berated and Pepper Sprayed by Protestors Wearing Swastikas

In February, a Jewish student at the University of Central Florida was driving past a rally being held by the white supremacist, neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. One of the members spat on the student’s car, sparking an altercation that led to multiple members of the group beating and pepper spraying the student, and subsequently throwing the student’s phone down a storm drain.

According to video footage from the scene, the NSM members shouted antisemitic slurs throughout the attack. The three main perpetrators were arrested shortly thereafter.

4. USC: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Senator Posts Virulently Antisemitic Messages on Social Media

USC student Yasmeen Mashayekh, formerly a diversity, equity and inclusion senator for the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering, posted a plethora of antisemitic posts on social media throughout the academic year. Some of the posts included statements such as, “I want to kill every motherf***ing Zionist,” “The death of Israel is coming. I will do it single-handedly if I must,” “Yes I f***king 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 halfhearted apology via Twitter from the School of Engineering, the university failed to issue any sort of statement or condemnation of the blatant antisemitism. This prompted sixty faculty members to sign a letter calling upon the university administration to end its silence in regards to “ongoing open expressions of antisemitism and Zionophobia.”

5. George Washington U.: Jewish Fraternity’s Torah Desecrated

At George Washington University, Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Fraternity house was raided and its Torah scroll was desecrated and covered in laundry detergent. Additionally, hot sauce was smeared over the premises and smoke detectors were ripped out of the walls.

Chapter President Chris Osborne estimates that roughly a quarter of Tau Kappa Epsilon’s brothers are Jewish. GW University President Thomas J. LeBlanc condemned the act of hate in a statement, and crowds showed solidarity with the fraternity at a rally later that week.

6.Illinois Urbana Champaign: Rock Thrown At Jewish Students and Hillel During SJP Protest

In April, SJP at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign held a protest with roughly 75 people in attendance, directly outside the campus Hillel. The protesters used bullhorns to project their speeches. In response, Jewish students and faculty gathered on the Hillel patio, played music and ate snacks.

Video then shows one of the protesters, identified as 23-year-old Sayed A. Quaraishi, throwing rocks at the Jewish students on the patio. Quaraishi is now being charged with a class 3 felony for a violent hate crime. The charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

7. UC San Diego: Antisemitism Vandalism Spikes After Speaker Praises Hamas

In May, a display at the University of California San Diego highlighting the danger of antisemitism was vandalized with signs, including one which accused Israel of apartheid. A swastika was also found drawn on the school library’s bathroom wall.

That same week, the university, in accordance with SJP, brought Taher Herzallah to speak on campus. Herzallah is the Director of Outreach for American Muslims for Palestine and has stated his praise for the terror group Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israel, describing them as “…effective even though they don’t kill anyone.” He also once described an image of a bloody Israeli soldier as “the most beautiful sight in my eyes.”

Following Herzallah’s speaking engagement, more vandalism of Jewish symbols on campus was reported, including a Star of David that was defaced at the university’s Graffiti Park.

8. UCLA: Former Lecturer Threatens Mass Shooting, Releases 803-Page Antisemitic Manifesto

Matthew Harris, a former philosophy lecturer at the University of California Los Angeles, was arrested in May after releasing an 803-paged manifesto that made mass shooting threats against the school. Along with espousing hatred and containing threats of violence towards Asians, women, white people and various other groups, the manifesto targeted Jews as well.

One line from the manifesto reads, “Violence against Jews should happen. Retaliation and retribution for what they have stolen is legitimate and a good thing.” Another line reads “Whites and Jews shall die,” while one of the chapters of the manifesto is entitled, “The perfect holocaust is a completed one.”

The manifesto repeatedly used antisemitic and racist slurs.

9. Boston U.: “Long Live the Intifada” Painted on Campus Landmark

Boston has already made headlines in recent months with its BDS chapter’s antisemitic mapping project. However, antisemitism at universities in the area has been pervasive in ways that have been ignored by the media. At Boston University in December, members of SJP spray painted “Long Live the Intifada” on the landmark BU rock on campus.

The message refers to two violent Palestinian uprisings, the second of which featured several years of Palestinian suicide bombings of Israeli civilians. SJP at BU proceeded to justify its message on Instagram, writing in a post, “The Intifada is an action that lives within the Palestinian people every day, and exists as a permanent source of inspiration against Israeli occupation and apartheid.”

10. Yale: Speaker Claims FBI Inflates Jewish Hate Crime Statistics

Ericka Hart, a self-described diversity and sexuality trainer brought to speak by the Yale Law Journal, spoke to law students in September on topics such as racism and privilege. When asked by a law student why she had not mentioned antisemitism as a form of discrimination amongst the several other related topics brought up during the talk, she replied that she had already covered antisemitism because some Jews are black.

Furthermore, she addressed FBI statistics that show that 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 percent of those in attendance said she should not be invited back to the school under any circumstance, according to a survey.