Capital U Student Gov’t Passes Unanimous Resolution in Support of Jewish People, Israel, Following Series of Antisemitic Incidents on Campus
The student government at Ohio’s Capital University on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Jewish people and the state of Israel, The Algemeiner has learned.
Austin Reid, President of Capital University’s chapter of Students Supporting Israel (SSI), told The Algemeiner about “some of the more serious” incidents in the past two years that led to the resolution. For example, he said, a student’s Israeli flag was repeatedly stolen from outside his home; another student with an Israeli flag in the window received shouts of “Heil Hitler” from passersby outside; and posters for the Jewish Association were defaced with missionary slogans, such as “Isaiah 53” and “Jesus is the only way.”
In addition, he recounted, some students have found pennies left outside their door — symbolizing the “penny-pinching” stereotype of Jews — and other statements to the effect that all Jews are rich or that Jews control banking, can be heard on campus.
However, Reid asserted, these episodes were restricted to a very small minority of students. Moreover, he said, “The university administration itself has been exceptionally supportive of Jewish student life … Student Government itself has also shown its support for Jewish students in the past, particularity when it funded the first ever large-scale, public menorah lighting on campus, at over $2,000. While the antisemitic incidents that have occurred are cause for concern, I believe a page has turned and Capital is fast becoming a wonderful campus for Jewish students.”
Reid pointed to the newly passed resolution as further evidence of this belief.
The resolution begins by affirming the U. S. State Department definition of antisemitism, according to which certain forms of anti-Israel rhetoric — for example that which demonizes, delegitimizes or applies double standards to Israel — are deemed antisemitic. After noting that it does not restrict “anyone’s right to free speech, academic freedom or participation in social activism,” it then affirms:
The membership of Capital University’s Student Government will recognize the right of the established Jewish community at Capital University to define, within the guidelines of the national definition, what is and is not antisemitic, just as other communities are granted [the corresponding] right.
The membership … recognizes that the Jewish people, like all peoples, have a collective right to self-determination, and considers attempts to undermine these rights to be a form of bigotry.
The resolution concludes by affirming that the student government will not “facilitate, promote, fund or participate in any activities that directly or indirectly promote antisemitism or undermine the rights of the Jewish people to self-determination.”
Reid, on behalf of SSI Capital University, also released a statement saying, “Capital is the first university in Ohio to pass such a resolution, and what is even more remarkable is that it was done on a campus without any significant Jewish presence. Capital is in fact one of the nation’s largest and oldest Lutheran universities, and this resolution proves that we can fight antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiments anywhere across the country.”
According to Ilan Sinelnikov, national president of SSI, this resolution is the latest in a string of successes for the group, including five pro-Israel resolutions passed by other SSI chapters across the country and three victories against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns, most recently at the University of Minnesota, as reported by The Algemeiner.
SSI was founded in 2012, and describes itself as “a rapidly growing pro-Israel international campus movement that supports the state of Israel …[whose] mission is to be a clear and confident pro-Israel voice on college campuses, and to support students in grassroots pro-Israel advocacy.