Tulane University (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
Tulane University

During a pro-Israel protest near the Tulane campus, a Jewish student draped in an Israeli flag was attacked by two pro-Hamas demonstrators, one of whom punched him repeatedly, while the other hit him with a megaphone, breaking his nose.

By Dion J. Pierre, Algemeiner

The Jewish student whose nose was broken during a vicious assault on Thursday by pro-Hamas demonstrators at Tulane University in New Orleans stated defiantly that the “Jewish people will never be defeated” during an interview with The Algemeiner on Friday.

Amateur video of the assault on Tulane freshman Dylan Mann went viral on the internet following the confrontation, as well as being widely shown on broadcast networks.

Draped in an Israeli flag, Mann was among a large group of Jewish students staging a pro-Israel protest near the Tulane campus when a pickup truck carrying pro-Hamas demonstrators drove past them. When one of the demonstrators took a match to an Israeli flag, a Jewish student attempted to prevent him from setting it alight. As Mann ran towards the fray to aid his fellow student, he was set upon by two pro-Hamas demonstrators, one of whom rained punches on his head and body while the other struck him over the head with a megaphone, breaking his nose.

“My nose was bleeding, it was like a water fountain,” the 19-year-old Mann told The Algemeiner. He was later taken to Ochscner Hospital where he received treatment and is now recovering.

Asked about the speed of the police response to the assault he endured, Mann was scathing.

“One of the very sad things was that I was getting the s__ knocked out of me, and there were no police in sight,” he recalled. “Even afterwards, the Tulane medical services reached me sooner than the police did.”

A graduate of the Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in New York City who spent a gap year in Israel, Mann underlined that the attack would not prevent him from advocating for Israel in the future.

“Every time I scroll social media, I see that video, and it’s very hard to watch it,” he said, choking back tears. “Thankfully, I got over 100 texts from people who wished me well because they saw the video.”

Mann reflected that “one of the first things I thought of is that a lot of people will want to call me a hero, but the great thing about the Jewish community is that if I had gotten there a second later than I did, someone else would have been in my spot. We really look after our own, and that is why the Jewish people will never be defeated.”

In a statement commenting on the incident — the first known outbreak on a US college campus of violence between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters — Tulane president Michael A. Fitts spoke of a “deeply distressing day.”

“To be clear: we condemn and are outraged by today’s violence and the hateful language and rhetoric we heard,” Fitts declared in a message to the university community. “It is counter to everything we stand for at Tulane. What started out as a peaceful demonstration unfortunately devolved in a violent incident and a dark day for our community.”

Fitts explained also that the university had no affiliation with the pro-Palestinian protests, which was held on public property.

“Symbols and acts of hatred, antisemitism, deliberate provocation, and preying upon the fears of others are not part of who we are,” he said. “We cannot prevent protests from happening on public property even at our university’s doorstep. We can only protect and support one another as we face each new day together.”

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