April 1, 2020

Columbia Professor’s Office Vandalized With Swastikas

Screenshot from Twitter.

A professor at Columbia University found her office vandalized with spray-painted swastikas and the anti-Semitic slur “Yid” on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Columbia Daily Spectator, Elizabeth Midlarsky, who is a Holocaust scholar and psychology professor at the university, discovered the graffiti at 1 p.m. that day on the walls of her office.

“I stopped for a moment, because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Midlarsky told the Spectator.

Midlarsky also told The Washington Post, “I’m usually not a fearful person, but they got me. I’m afraid.”

It’s not the first time Midlarsky’s office has been vandalized; in 2007, a swastika was spray-painted on her door, a couple of weeks after anti-Semitic flyers had been found in her office mailbox.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New York Regional Director Evan Bernstein told The New York Times that such graffiti in “somebody’s intimate space like that was very unique.”

Thomas Bailey, president of Columbia’s Teachers College, denounced the graffiti in a statement.

“We unequivocally condemn any expression of hatred, which has no place in our society,” Bailey said. “We are outraged and horrified by this act of aggression and use of this vile anti-Semitic symbol against a valued member of our community.”

Bailey added, “Please rest assured that we are working with police to discover the perpetrator of this hateful act.”

The ADL praised Bailey’s statement in a tweet:

Columbia’s Students Supporting Israel chapter wrote on their Facebook page that they “didn’t believe, or didn’t want to believe, that it would happen here.”

“The only resolve we can find is the belief that maybe this will finally wake up the administration as to what is going on under their noses,” they wrote. “We fear this will be swept under the rug like countless other complaints. We can only look to ourselves to make sure this climate doesn’t snowball into the complete antithesis of the values Columbia was founded on.”

The investigation is ongoing.