[guest post by Dana]
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates didn’t hold back in his comments concerning the vile anti-Semitism that Jewish students are facing on American campuses:
“Amidst the rise in poisonous, antisemitic rhetoric and hate crimes that President Biden has fought against for years, there is an extremely disturbing pattern of antisemitic messages being conveyed on college campuses.
Just over the past week, we’ve seen protests and statements on college campuses that call for the annihilation of the State of Israel; for genocide against the Jewish people. Jewish students have even had to barricade themselves inside buildings,” he says.
As you may recall, last week when asked about Biden’s thoughts about the dramatic rise in anti-Semitism, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed she didn’t hear the part about anti-Semitism, and instead discussed on Muslim concerns. (It didn’t really make sense because if she wanted to address general hate toward select groups, why would she just *choose* to stick with anti-Muslim hate and ignore anti-Semitism?)
Anyway, I personally feel that President Biden should make a public statement similar to that of Andrews’, given the level of vitriol that Jewish students are currently facing on campuses across the country. It should come from the leader of our nation, not his spokesperson. Perhaps while he’s at it, he should also address those Congressmembers who spew their own brand of hate and continue to blame Israel for, well, everything.
So, what exactly are Jewish students facing on campuses across the country? Let’s take a little peek into their now-even-more fearful existence. Let’s start with Brandeis University, founded in 1948 by the American-Jewish community. Shockingly, their student government voted down a resolution condemning the terrorist group Hamas for their massacre on Oct. 7, as well as a resolution to release their hostages:
For pro-Israel students at Brandeis University, the two weeks since Hamas attacked Israel had been, at least in part, a period of relief: Their campus hadn’t been convulsed by the kind of anti-Israel sentiment that was roiling so many others.
That changed on Sunday, when Brandeis’ student government voted down a resolution condemning Hamas and calling on the terror group to release all of its hostages.
Only six members of the university’s Student Union Senate voted in favor of the resolution, while 10 voted against and five abstained, according to a representative who was present at the vote.
In addition to condemning Hamas, the resolution also said the student government “calls on Hamas to immediately release all hostages back to their families unharmed” and urged campus groups to engage with the conflict and promote “empathy, tolerance, and informed discussion.”
Imagine being unable to agree that, YES, OF COURSE WE CONDEMN a well-known terrorist group that launched a surprise attack on Israeli civilians, which led to any number of rapes, torture, and ultimately, the deaths of 1,400 individuals, as well as the kidnapping of the 210 Israelis who remain captives of Hamas. Babies, children, women, and the elderly — slaughtered without discrimination. And these privileged yoyos are unable to sign onto a resolution of condemnation. From the report, other Jewish students said that they were “outraged” by the decision.
Now let’s look at Cooper Union in New York, where Jewish students locked themselves in the library while angry protestors banged on the doors:
Jewish students at Cooper Union who say they were locked in the campus library during a pro-Palestinian protest were expected to demand the arrests of those who allegedly threatened them as criticism of the university’s response mounted Thursday.
The group told reporters at news outlets it took 40 minutes for police to respond to the protesters. A rally was scheduled for Thursday afternoon outside the East Village college to demand the arrests.
Videos widely shared on social media show student protesters banging on a reportedly locked door, as at least four students — some wearing traditional Jewish yarmulkes — sheltered inside.
While the school claims that the doors were not locked, given the video below, one must ask: if the doors were unlocked, why did protesters continue to bang on the doors and not simply enter the library?
Jewish students at Cooper Union College have been locked inside the library for their own safety as a mob of anti Israeli protesters block the doors.
Where are the police?!!!pic.twitter.com/Uv4CFRqGzm
— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) October 25, 2023
This is from NYC Councilwoman Inna Vernikov:
Last night, I spoke to four Jewish students from @cooperunion. Three of them were barricaded inside the library while the pro-Hamas protestors were violently banging on doors. A few take-aways according to student accounts of the incident:
1. Even though this rally/walk-out was supposed to be outside the school on public property, protestors STORMED the school building. There were no consequences and NOBODY WAS ARRESTED.
2. Faculty members CANCELLED CLASS for the walk out, ENCOURAGED students to participate and even offered EXTRA CREDIT to do so.
3. FACULTY members themselves PARTICIPATED in the walk out/protest.
4. There was NOT nearly ENOUGH CAMPUS SECURITY. According to the students, there are only about 12 campus security guards on site at any given time and the protestors made up over approximately 100 individuals.
5. The NYPD did not show up right away, and when they did show up, they never entered the building, at least to the students’ knowledge. NYPD told the students later on that @cooperunion DID NOT ALLOW THE NYPD @NYPDnews onto school grounds. (Cooper is a private institution)
@cooperunion @NYPDnews 6. The DEAN of the school was ESCORTED out of the building through a SAFE back door exit by campus security. Then later allegedly claimed everything and everyone was safe.
@cooperunion @NYPDnews 7. Some of the protestors were acting violent, held antisemitic posters, as well as what looked like sticks. (See video) Instead of removing the protestors from school grounds, the school barricaded the Jewish students in the school library.
@cooperunion @NYPDnews 8. The Jewish students barricaded in the library were TERRIFIED, some of them SHAKEN. They believed they could’ve been physically assaulted and injured, and feared for their well-being. One of the slogans heard was “Globalize the intifada from New York to Gaza”
@cooperunion @NYPDnews 9. The school until this hour, HAS NOT ISSUED ANY STATEMENT ensuring its students that they would be safe coming to school today, nor have they reached out to their families. These students are AFRAID to come to school today and many of them will STAY HOME.
@cooperunion @NYPDnews 10. Jewish students have dropped classes at @cooperunion because they feel bullied, and the students who were barricaded in the library are traumatized, and said they “will never walk in there feeling alright again.”
@cooperunion @NYPDnews 11. This is a terrible DERELICTION OF DUTY on behalf of @cooperunion to protect its Jewish students from physical harm, a failure to provide them with a safe space, and the university must be held accountable for creating a HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT. HEADS NEED TO ROLL.
And this is from George Washington University, where ugly anti-Semitic slogans were projected on campus buildings:
…a student group projected pro-Palestine messages onto Gelman Library at George Washington University for about two hours on Tuesday.
Campus police eventually forced Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) to take the messages down.
Sabrina Soffer, a junior at the university, said she is among many Jewish students who feel unsafe on campus after the display.
“Definitely, I think security it needs to increase in all areas of campus,” Soffer said. “I think they are already doing that, but it really needs to be emphasized.”
She said the projected messages, including one that read, “Glory to our martyrs,” glorify terrorism.
“’Free Palestine from the river to the sea,’ that’s very anti-Semitic,” Soffer said. “That phrase literally means eradicate Israel and all of its Jewry. Throw them into the sea because it’s all of Palestine.”
Here are a few of the projected images. Images that were projected on the Estelle and Melvin Gelman library:
Lastly (although there are many more examples), this is from UCLA:
“We don’t want no two state. We want all of it”
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) October 25, 2023
“We don’t want no two state. We want all of it,” they cry. Israel should not exist and neither should its people. This is advocating for genocide.
Not mentioned in this post are the campus officials and administrators. That’s because most of them are mealy-mouthed at best and just regurgitate silly pleas and assurances that do nothing to stop the vile hate that is taking place outside their office windows. In some cases, I’ve read (and seen the photos) of the institution’s president at the protests, watching and saying nothing.
Anyway, this all shows me that, when push comes to shove, campus demands for diversity, inclusivity and the safe space movement itself were just the empty rants of children and cowed adults. Diverse thought (pro-Israel) is very unwelcome, being inclusive and welcoming those who think differently and believe differently is no longer a goal – at least not if you’re Jewish. Day after day, we are seeing that the safe spaces for Jewish and pro-Israel students is becoming harder to find. And the need to hide one’s identity is becoming a priority for many. Or even just hiding out, altogether. Sadly, this applies to adults as well:
NYPD: Jews should stay home!!!
“Jews should definitely avoid the Area,” a police source told COL.
“There’s no intel at this time in which direction the protest will head,”
“Locals should definitely stay away from Eastern Parkway in that area.” https://t.co/McApq8HfHT
— David Shor (@DYShor) October 25, 2023
P.S. I’ll be updating the post with video of new incidents taking place on college campuses:
Tulane University is the scene of the latest outbreak of campus antisemitism.
Two men, one of them masked, drove through a protest via a pickup truck. One of the men attempted to set the Israeli flag on fire. A pro-Israel student attempted to prevent the flag burning, only… pic.twitter.com/pDV2BIodvV
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) October 26, 2023