David Horowitz Freedom Center, a think tank emphasizing public policy and institutional reform, distributed around a thousand newspapers about Sara Doga’s new report on the rise of anti-Semitism and links to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The newspaper’s ”An epidemic of Jew hatred on campus: the top ten neo-Nazi incidents” discussed ten universities who have had neo-Nazi incidents occurred.
“As the Hillel Director for Northern Nevada, I was a bit sceptical about such a claim,” said Hillel Director of Hillel Northern Nevada Atty Garfinkel-Berry in an email to the Nevada Sagebrush. “Do we have a problem, absolutely, but top ten? So I went through the report on frontpagemag. I would have liked to see quantitative metrics used to arrive at the report’s conclusion.From what I can tell, this was a subjective list based on the author’s level of outrage. And I am outraged too. The Jewish community on campus is indeed outraged and deeply hurt by the anti-semitic incidents on campus. However, I’m also a professional Jewish communal service worker and one of the things I can tell you about writing an analysis based on anti-semitic activity is that you have to have quantifiable metrics. That’s not what happened in this report. This particular report is subjective rather than objective. I understand the argument made in the report. However, knee-jerk reactions do not make for good research. So no, I don’t agree that UNR should be in the top 10 of anti-Semitic instances on college campuses.”
Garfinkel-Berry believes there has been a rise of anti-Semitism on campus. She said two actionable cases from The Anti-Defamation League came from the university. Garfinkel-Berry wants the Student Code of Conduct to address anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, hateful and divisive kinds of comments and behavior, or generalized hateful bigotry.
“Symbols, words and actions that are hateful and meant to intimidate do not belong at the University of Nevada, Reno,” said Vice President for Student Services Shannon Ellis. “The rise in anti-Semitism across this country must be met with condemnation and disgust. We will continue to investigate all incidents to the furthest extent possible. We stand with members of our Jewish community against these abhorrent threats. As an educational institution engaged in higher learning we must also take on the responsibility to shine a light on these acts of hatred so that the students, faculty and staff of this University are aware. A knowledgeable community will not only engage in efforts to address it but will also work to create open and accepting minds through education both in and out of the classroom.”
Anthony Martinez, the President of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada condemns vandalism on campus, which expresses anti-Semitic hatred
“It is simply unacceptable and saddening,” Martinez said. This is an attack on our community — when one of us or a group of us are affected, we all are. While this particular website choose to shine a light on the incidents that have taken place at the University, I believe the University honors its mission as a Tier 1 institution, serving as a catalyst for the betterment of our society. The Wolf Pack stands to be a leading example of support and acceptance of all people and to foster a community in which all people feel safe. We stand with our Jewish community, and we have taken steps to ensure our campus remains safe and welcoming. we need to come together as a pack and be vigilant in confronting and speaking about anti-Semitism so we can continue our mission of bettering and progressing our campus community and global community at large.”
The universities named in the piece includes Columbia University, Duke University, Penn State University, UC Santa Cruz, University of California, Los Angeles, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, UNR, Tufts University and University of Michigan.
“I wouldn’t say there’s been a rise of anti-semitism necessarily since I started here, but there’s definitely been more of a social media presence that shares theses acts on a broader scale,” said a Jewish student. “Unfortunately, anti-semitism isn’t anything new to me. I’ve been fighting it all my life. I have to remind myself to choose not to live in fear. Whether I’m on campus or not, I can’t let anyone tell me who I can and can’t be. I am a Jew. I am proud to be Jewish. They come into [Peavine] and not only vandalize it, but it became very personal. They need to take action to show that this behavior will not be tolerated. Whether that’s an installation of camera, more security, or even speaking out more regarding the impact that these incidents have on students, somethings needs to be done. At the same time, it’s not only on the university to change the campus climate. It’s on each individual student, staff, and faculty member to have these conversations and call someone out when they’re doing or saying something that is not okay.”
The newspaper cited three incidents, which occured at the university.
The newspaper first cited an incident which occured on Friday, March 8 in Juniper Hall. A message was drawn into the residence hall which read “Kill all Jews” and “Watch Out Communist Bombing on March 6, 2019 and March 7, 2019” along with a swastikas. The newspaper then cited an incident which occured in Peavine Hall. On October 27, an unknown individual carved a swastika on the wall near a Jewish student. Finally, the article cited the Church Fine Arts incident where an unknown student spray painted swastikas over the graffiti staircase on October 13, 2017.
Elizabeth Midlarsky, a Jewish professor and Holocaust scholar at Columbia University, had swastikas drawn in her office along with a anti-Semitic slur on Wednesday, November 28. The newspaper said the university made the David Horowitz Freedom Center annual list of “Top Ten Universities Most Friendly to Terrorist. No one has been arrested for the act at this time.
A red swastika was painted over a mural dedicated to Jewish Victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooting on Sunday, November 18 at Duke University.
A menorah which belonged to a Jewish fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau was vandalized, stolen twice and found in a nearby park Nov. and Dec. 2018 at Penn State University. A fraternity member who tried to stop one of the attempts to steal the menorah was assaulted. In 2017, a menorah was stolen outside the house of a Penn State Rabbi and was left damaged in front of another Jewish fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu.
An event to celebrate Israel Independence Day was disrupted by African/Black Student Alliance at UCSC in May 2017. ABSA blocked access to the Hillel table for about an hour while protesters repeated anti-Semitic insults at the Jewish students.
At UCLA, an event hosted by a campus chapter of Students Supporting Israel was disrupted by Students for Justice in Palestine on May 17, 2018.
A student who has made several social media post condemning Israel and calling upon violence against Jewish individuals was appointed to Resident Advisor at Stanford University summer 2018.
The Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota held an event March 2, 2018 called “BDS, Racial Justice and Pinkwashing in the Trump Era.” The event description accused Israel of “daily human rights abuses”.
At Tufts University, flyers with pigs in military uniforms with the message of “Destroy Israeli apartheid forces and Amerikkkan [sic] pigs which fund it” were plastered at the Granhoff Family Hillel Center. Tufts University has been featured on the David Horowitz Freedom Center annual list of “Top Ten Universities Most Friendly to Terrorist”.
Two instructors at the University of Michigan refused to write letters of recommendation to students who wish to study abroad in Israel based on their personal views of Israel.
The BDS movement which works to end “international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.” According to the State of Israel, BDS has ties with two terrorist organizations, Hamas and the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
“Nazi leader Adolf Hitler demonized Germany’s Jews, isolated them from the larger citizenry and ultimately sent them to their deaths in concentration campus,” a flyer in the newspaper said. “Just as Hitler’s reforms aimed to marginalize Germany’s Jews, the BDS movement seeks to isolate and delegitimize Israel, cut it off from the world community and bankrupt its resources in hopes of ultimately destroying it. BDS: A true and Deserving Successor to Hitler’s Nazi Party.”
Taylor Johnson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.