Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

MSU Student Viciously Assaulted, but Was It an Anti-Semitic Attack?

August 30, 2012 5:45 pm 5 comments

Zachary Tennen recovering in hospital. Photo: Bruce Tennen.

The vicious assault on Michigan State University student Zachary Tennen has been plastered across the Internets, Algemeiner and Michigan newspapers. By the victim’s account he was attacked because he was Jewish. He claims they yelled “Heil Hitler” and were skinheads.

The East Lansing Police on the other hand disagree. As they investigate the assault on Zachary the Police are treating the crime like a regular assault because apparently the witnesses didn’t hear anything anti-Semitic. These are the same witnesses it is claimed by the victim stood by as the assault happened.

The first and obvious question is, how reliable are the witnesses?

However, the police say that in fact the witnesses to the assault did help Zachary, conflicting his statements, and that they offered him cold packs to apply, and even called a taxi.

Zachary’s account, as relayed it seems by his father, has none of that happening.

Was the attack a vicious anti-Semitic incident, or just a case of a party gone awry, and a drunk teenager getting the crap beaten out him?

The East Lansing police Capt. Jeff Murphy is quoted in the Associated Press:

“This came out early as being reported as a hate crime. It now appears after we’ve talked to many people who were at this party – and most importantly two witnesses who saw the actual assault — it doesn’t appear that religion was the reason he was assaulted.”

Obviously there are many issues to hammer out.

Did the witnesses respond in the way they claim? Why did Zachary come out so forcefully about the anti-Semitism if it was not true? Why would the witnesses to the attack not go to the police, but wait for the police to come to them? Why did Zachary not call the police from the hospital immediately? Why didn’t the hospital call the police? Did he have staples in his lips and mouth or not? Could one hit have done this damage or were their multiple strikes? If the attackers came from off-campus, who invited them to the party? Wouldn’t it be easy to ascertain if the attackers were skinheads or not via the so-called witnesses?

I have more questions but we will leave it at that.

5 Comments

  • Fred,
    You are right that the initial reports by the victim’s father indicated that they yelled “Heil Hitler.” As I said, the details of this case are everywhere and it was not my intention to rehash the entire story, rather it was to offer a series of questions which need to be considered and addressed. Thank you for your contact.

  • F – FEDERAL
    B – BUREAU OF
    I – INEPTITUDE, INDIFFERENCE

    THEY MARCH TO THE DRUMMER IN CHIEF, JEW-HATER IN CHIEF.

  • The first article stated the attackers asked if Zachary Tennen is Jewish, to which he said yes, then came the Heil Hitler calls. This article claims there is no hate crime here because the attackers did not say Heil Hitler, but fails to address the initial contact which was to confirm the student is Jewish prior to, and therefore the basis for the attack. This is not only poor reporting but the police and university appear to be masking the key element of the story which is Zachary Tennen being asked to identify himself as Jewish for the basis of the attack. A cover-up of a Jew being attacked for being a Jew is a hate crime too. The FBI needs to investigate the story.

  • For the local police, in full denial, even the L.A. Airport massacre at the El Al counter was not an act of antisemitism…
    Is it possible, may be, that when you are a “closet” antisemite – but you say that you are not since…you have a Jewish doctor – only Germans with brown shirts can be antisemites?

  • From what I’ve read so far it seems that both the university and the police are more concerned about the university’s image than the injury to the victim.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Food Jewish Identity Home of Freud and…Pita? Israelis Make Culinary Mark in Vienna

    Home of Freud and…Pita? Israelis Make Culinary Mark in Vienna

    JNS.org – Several Viennese Jews have made a lasting impact on the world. Sigmund Freud’s investigations changed the face of modern psychology. Composer Arnold Schoenberg’s innovations in atonal music changed the face of music. These days, even more Jews — in particular, Israeli Jews — are changing the face of Vienna’s culinary scene with innovations in…the art of the pita. Freudians may find a psychoanalytic motive for the local appeal of the Israeli eateries popping up in the Austrian capital. Walk […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide Before Our Very Eyes

    In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide Before Our Very Eyes

    The two bullet casings are already beginning to rust. Sheikh Nasser Pasha plucks them from the ground. “Look, one is from an AK-47, one from an American M-4.” The casings are strewn on the ground atop a long mound of dirt with a few bits of white sticks on it. It would appear unremarkable if one were walking by it. A closer look, however, reveals the white objects are pieces of human bone: arms, legs, and a single human skull. […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    JNS.org – About two-dozen people file into Dodd 175 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on a Thursday night, scouting out seats and picking at the kosher pizza in the back of the lecture hall. Miyelani Pinini knows the drill. A former student president of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, she’s attended and even organized her share of free-pizza events. But now she and a fellow South African student leader were the stars of this […]

    Read more →
  • Food Spirituality/Tradition The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    JNS.org – It’s widely known that Israel has penetrated the wine market, with some of its sophisticated Israeli blends surpassing historically excellent wines from areas such as the Napa Valley or Bordeaux. But what about beer? For decades, Israel has offered solely the Maccabi and Nesher brands. Not anymore. “There is a huge push of people making beer at home. The country is approaching over 30 craft breweries in the last year or two, making nearly 200 beers,” says Avi Moskowitz, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →