Schooled in Hate: Anti-Semitism on Campus

The Issue
Specific Examples
Holocaust Denial
Anti-Semitism and Black Student Groups
Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism
Responding to Campus Extremism
ADL On Campus

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Specific Examples of Serious Campus
Anti-Semitic Incidents

The following is a selection of serious recent campus anti-Semitic incidents; for more detailed discussion of other anti-Semitic incidents, see subsequent sections of this report.

  • On March 24, 1995, two Jewish students at the University of Pennsylvania were walking in an area immediately off campus. Derogatory anti-Jewish epithets were shouted at them by two other students sitting on the porch of a private home. When the Jewish students confronted them, one of the two went into the house and returned brandishing a shotgun which he used to threaten the Jewish students, who quickly fled the scene. Both of the perpetrators were questioned by police and university officials, and several other weapons were confiscated from their possession. One of the perpetrators was "voluntarily separated" from the university, though the victims ultimately declined to press charges through the criminal justice system.

  • In the spring of 1995, an article entitled "The Paradox of European Jewry" was reprinted in a special edition of Uhuru, the Black student journal of Kent State University (OH). The article blamed Jews for the "decimation, defilement, cultural colonization, enslavement and genocide of many of the world's people up until today." This incident is particularly disturbing because the funding for the special issue of Uhuru came from the University Provost's office.

  • In October 1995, a column appeared in the Columbia [University] Daily Spectator written by the president of the Columbia Black Student Organization, who referred to Jews as "devils," "tricksters," and "leeches sucking the blood from the Black community." Jews, he wrote, "disguise their evilness under the skirts and costumes of the rabbi," and hide the "blood of billions of Africans" under their yarmulkes. (See "Anti-Semitism Among Black Student Groups" for a fuller discussion of this incident.)

  • On February 24, 1995, at the University of California at Berkeley, the Muslim Student Association sponsored a rally in support of Hamas, the Middle East extremist group, soon after a series of bus and sidewalk bombings in Israel. Students from several northern California campuses carried a sign depicting an Israeli flag with a swastika in the middle and symbolically volunteered to serve as future suicide bombers. A Jewish observer was spit on by one of the demonstrators. (See "Anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism" for a fuller discussion of this incident.)

  • On November 13, 1995, a Jewish student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale overheard a student make an anti-Semitic comment. When he challenged the other student about the comment, he was punched in the face.

  • Throughout 1995, a virulently anti-Semitic anonymous tract entitled, "Anti-Semitism . . . . Found" has been mailed to professors at colleges around the country. Colleges receiving the mailing include Yale, Harvard, Duke, Dartmouth, Brown, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Princeton, Washington University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Virginia, and the University of Massachusetts. This mailing has also been sent to government and law enforcement officials around the country. The source of the mailing has yet to be determined.

  • In 1996, a Holocaust-denial videtape "proving" that Auschwitz was not a death camp was sent to History professors at several universities, including the Universities of Oregon and Notre Dame.

  • In April 1996, a female student active in Jewish causes at the University of Miami was systematically harassed after helping to plan a rally against a Nation of Islam speaker on campus. In addition to finding a note attached to her car which said "Ready to go boom?" she received several threatening phone calls and was verbally harassed while walking home at night. On December 6, a 15-foot menorah on campus was ripped from its moorings and pushed into a lake.

  • On October 10, 1996, the Daily Illini, the newspaper serving the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, published an Op-Ed essay attacking Israel after the opening of an archeological tunnel in Jerusalem. In addition to references in the essay equating Zionism with racism, the piece was accompanied by a cartoon depicting a skeleton, with a blazing gun in one hand, making a peace sign with the other, and clothed in a robe with a Jewish Star on its chest. The cartoon and essay caused a widespread reaction in terms of letters to the editor over the following weeks.

In these and other instances, ADL is committed to helping college students, faculty and administrators confront the problem of anti-Semitism on campus. By providing information, counseling and educational approaches such as the ADL A CAMPUS OF DIFFERENCE program, effective means for countering anti-Semitism on each campus have been developed.

Next: Holocaust Denial

This report was originally issued in 1997

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2001 Anti-Defamation League