University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a statement on April 12 that he was “heartbroken” over an anti-Semitic song that was performed at a joint UNC-Duke University conference in March about the Gaza Strip.
The event occurred from March 22-24 on UNC’s campus; filmmaker Ami Horowitz attended the conference on March 22 and caught audio of various attendees promulgating the anti-Semitic trope that Jewish money wields enormous power in politics as well as one attendee spreading the falsehood that Israel forcibly sterilized Ethiopian refugees. Horowitz also asked an unidentified professor on camera about the recent uptick in blacks committing hate crimes against Jews in New York City, prompting the professor to respond, “Blacks have a lot of… reason to be angry at Jews now.”
But what has received the most attention from Horowitz’s video was a performance during the conference by the rapper Tamer Nafer, who tells the audience before the song, “I need your help. I cannot be anti-Semitic alone.” Nafer then tells the crowd to think of Mel Gibson during the song, not Beyonce or Rihanna. Gibson infamously ranted during his DUI arrest in 2006 that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” and shouted “f*** Jews!”
Nafer can be seen singing to the audience, “I fell in love with a Jew… her skin is white and my skin is brown, she was going up up and I was going down.”
Horowitz also notes at the end of the video that the conference received a federal grant that totaled almost $250,000.
Guskiewicz said in an April 12 statement, “A performance during a recent conference held on our campus contained disturbing and hateful language. Like many members of our community, I am heartbroken and deeply offended that this performance happened.”
“I stand steadfast against anti-Semitism and hate in all its forms,” Guskiewicz said. “The Carolina spirit is not about hateful language that divides us, but about civil discourse that advances ideas and knowledge. We must continue to aspire together to that ideal.”
Duke University President Vincent E. Price and Provost Sally Kornbluth said in a joint statement on April 11, “Anti-Semitism is one of the great scourges of modern life. Its resurgence, as demonstrated by the worldwide increase in hate crimes and incidents, is deeply troubling and should be of great concern to any civil society.”
“Whether it occurs on our campus, in our community, through graffiti, rallies or concerts, in conference rooms or courtrooms, we must all speak out forcefully against actions and statements that target and threaten members of our Jewish community,” they said.
A three part-series at The Tower detailed how the UNC-Duke conference “whitewashes Hamas” while singling out Israel. Horowitz’s full video can be seen below:
As recently as this week, anti-Semitic flyers were found in the campus library.