Campus Watch Nov. 17, 2022

A roundup of incidents, good and bad, happening on college campuses.
November 17, 2022

“From the River to the Sea” Sign at Northwestern University

A sign saying “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free” was found hanging on a fence at Northwestern University.

Stop Antisemitism tweeted out a photo of the sign on November 14, stating that it “was painted in bright red on pages torn out from the Bible.”

Education Dept. to Investigate VA School District Over Allegations of Improperly Handling Antisemitic Incidents

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced in a November 3 letter to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) that they would be investigating the group’s complaint that a Virginia school district has improperly handled antisemitic incidents on campus.

The complaint alleged that Fairfax County Public Schools didn’t properly respond to “alleged incidents of harassment including students making ‘Heil Hitler’ salutes and Holocaust jokes,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported on November 11. OCR will be investigating that part of the ZOA’s complaint, but declined to investigate the aspects of the ZOA complaint involving a Fairfax school board member who issued pro-Palestinian social media posts during the 2021 Israel-Hamas conflict, per JTA.

Case Western University Student Gov’t Passes BDS Resolution

Case Western Reserve University’s student government passed a resolution on November 8 calling on the university to divest from companies that conduct business with Israel.

University President Eric W. Kaler called the resolution “profoundly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic” in a statement the following day. “Passing this resolution last night undermines the safety and comfort on our campus of members of our Jewish community,” he said. “While the resolution calls for disinvestment in a naïve list of companies that they view as oriented to the military or in support of corporate correction prisons, undoubtedly it promotes anti-Semitism.”

NY Man Throws Rocks at Jewish Day School

A New York man threw two rocks at a Jewish day school on the evening of November 9.

The suspect threw one rock at a window at Ramaz Middle School and then another rock at a different window. The extent of the damage has not been made publicly available, but no injuries were reported. The man has yet to be identified, but police say that, according to surveillance, the suspect is 5’9” and was wearing a gray hoodie and black jeans. 

Vanderbilt Football Coach On Leave After Defending Kanye on Facebook

Vanderbilt University’s Defensive Backs Coach Dan Jackson will take a “step back” from his position while the university investigates his social media posts defending rapper Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks, the university announced on November 7.

Jackson had written on Facebook that West is “two steps ahead of everyone” and called for more people to “speak their mind.” Jackson has since apologized for his posts and denounced antisemitism.

Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director Cari Lee said in a November 7 statement that Jackson agreed to “step back from his responsibilities” for the time being. “Vanderbilt rejects antisemitism, racism and discrimination in all its forms,” Lee said. 

Ohio State Student Paper Promotes SJP, Silences Jewish Students

An anonymous student at Ohio State University alleged in a November 8 op-ed for The Algemeiner saying that that the university’s student newspaper The Lantern was running Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) propaganda promoting Palestinian terrorists while rebuffing pieces from Jewish students arguing the opposite.

The anonymous student wrote that The Lantern had ran an article in August about SJP holding a rally in which they referred to Palestinian terrorists as “innocent Palestinian civilians” killed by the Israelis; the article did not feature any opposing viewpoints. The rally featured chants to “mobilize the intifada” and that there should be “no peace on stolen land.” The student alleged that The Lantern rejected pieces highlighting the rally’s “gross incitement against Jews.”

AMCHA Report: Attacks on Jewish Identity Doubled on College Campuses This Year

A report released by the AMCHA Initiative on November 16 found that attacks on Jewish identity on campus doubled during the 2021-2022 school year from the year prior.

The attacks included efforts to divorce Zionism from Judaism and to boycott Birthright and other trips to Israel as well as bullying and intimidation of Jewish students on campus. Campuses with pro-BDS faculty were three-to-seven times more likely to have such attacks occur on campus.

“The assaults themselves constitute a degree of harassment and identity suppression unparalleled on college campuses today,” the authors of the report wrote. “No other campus identity group is routinely subject to the kinds of well-orchestrated campaigns of identity assault that Zionist and pro-Israel students have had to endure for the last several years at schools across the country.”

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