Specific Examples of Serious Campus
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
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