Campus Watch June 12, 2024

A roundup of incidents, good and bad, happening on school campuses.
June 12, 2024

UCLA Chabad Rabbi Assaulted by Pro-Palestinian Protesters

UCLA Chabad Rabbi Dovid Gurevich was assaulted by pro-Palestinian protesters on UCLA’s campus on the evening of June 10.

Gurevich told The Journal in a phone interview that he came to “support our students” after hearing that pro-Palestinian protesters were attempting to establish another encampment on campus and “wrapped tefillin with a couple of guys.” He later started filming “to capture the atmosphere” and that an agitator “approached me from the side and violently slapped the phone out of my hand, and was just very aggressive and vulgar, verbally assaulting and getting in my face.” The situation then “escalated with some death threats [from the protester] at the end,” Gurevich said.

The pro-Palestinian protest on campus started in the afternoon, as more than 100 protesters attempted to reestablish an encampment on campus for a third time, according to The Daily Bruin. The protesters marched on campus while holding faux bloody body parts and “a coffin-shaped object” to honor their “martyrs,” per the Bruin. 

The Times of Israel (TOI) reported that, according to university police, 25 protesters were arrested “for willful disruption of university operations and one for interfering with an officer” and that the arrested individuals have been ordered to stay away from campus for 14 days. “The demonstrators repeatedly tried to set up tents, canopies and barriers as they moved to various locations, disrupting nearby final exams,” reported TOI. “The group also damaged a fountain, spray-painted brick walkways, tampered with fire safety equipment, damaged patio furniture, stripped wire from electrical fixtures and vandalized vehicles, the statement says.”

USC Chabad Vandalized

The USC Chabad Jewish Student Center was vandalized on the evening of June 4.

Chabad Rabbi Dov Wagner told The Journal in a June 6 phone interview that at the time of vandalism, he was with a bride and groom preparing for their wedding. “Suddenly we heard a smash from the front … I didn’t know at first what exactly had happened, ran towards the door, was scared that maybe somebody had shot at the house, you don’t know what’s on the other side,” he said. “Looked out and saw there wasn’t anybody there, and then we looked at the Ring video and saw that it had actually been kicked in.” Wagner added that “this is a place that’s served as a home away from home for thousands of people and judging simply by the number of them I’ve heard from in the last 36 hours now, it’s something that very much feels like a violation and attack to many of them.”

13 Arrested After Pro-Palestinian Protesters Occupy Stanford President’s Office

Thirteen people were arrested after pro-Palestinian protesters occupied the Stanford University president’s office on June 5 and are being charged with felony burglary.

According to The Stanford Daily, the protesters barricaded themselves inside and declared they wouldn’t leave until the university divests from companies that do business with Israel. NBC News reported that university officials said in a statement that there was “extensive graffiti vandalism on the sandstone buildings and columns of the Main Quad” promulgating “vile and hateful sentiments that we condemn in the strongest terms.” Additionally, a police officer was injured while removing the protesters from the office. 

One of the people arrested is a reporter for the Daily; the student newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Kaushikee Nayudu, said in a June 7 statement that the reporter had clearly identified himself as a journalist multiple times and that he was not involved with anything the protesters were doing, per KQED. The university said in a statement on June 10 that they removed the suspension for the reporter because he doesn’t “pose an immediate threat,” but noted that he did not have a legal right to be in the building. The university added that it was “concerning” that one of the Daily’s managing news editors was involved in the protest and that two reporters “knowingly came along for the planned criminal activity.”

Anti-Israel Protesters Target Baruch College Hillel

Anti-Israel students at Baruch College, which is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, held a protest in front of the school’s Hillel on June 5, accusing it of being complicit in “genocide.”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported that “a recent trip to an Israeli army base that Hillel organized for students” is what prompted the protest, based on social media posts promoting the protest. Among the chants the protesters shouted included, “From CUNY to Gaza, globalize the intifada,” and “Hillel, Hillel, what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?” The protesters also held a banner with an inverted red triangle on it that was also adorned on the hands of many of the protesters; the red triangle “has come to signify support for Hamas on social media because the terror group uses the symbol in videos of its attacks,” according to JTA. Additionally, two protesters wore Hamas headbands and one of the protest’s leaders wore a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) headband, per JTA. JTA also reported that there were “scuffles” between protesters and counterprotesters.

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