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March 27, 2016 7:19 am

London’s Goldsmiths University Hit By Second Incident of Antisemitic Graffiti

avatar by Andrew Pessin

Antisemitic graffiti found at Goldsmiths University in November. Photo: Facebook.

For the second time this academic year, antisemitic graffiti was found on the campus of Goldsmiths, University of London, The Algemeiner has learned.

Goldsmiths student Benjamin Gilbert, president of university’s Jewish Society, posted on his Facebook page Tuesday a photo of the scrawled slogan — “Goldsmiths it’s the symbol of world Jewry!” (with the word “gold” underlined) — on the bathroom wall of a campus building. Calling it “unacceptable,” Gilbert said this “creates a hostile environment toward Jews and other minorities on campus.”

Though he told The Algemeiner he was pleased that the university quickly removed the graffiti, as it had done for the earlier incident — when a swastika and demand to “burn down” a college building were etched on a poster for the campus — Gilbert said, “I am disappointed they haven’t made more effort to find those responsible.”

The Jewish Society at Goldsmiths also condemned the graffiti on Facebook, and demanded a review of the university’s security procedures.

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Gilbert told The Algemeiner that despite the student union’s having officially voted to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, “Overall anti-Israel activity is fairly low, and antisemitic incidents are very unusual, although casual micro-aggression towards minority students, including Jews, is frequent.” 

He nevertheless pointed to what he called “an issue of antisemitism coming from left-wing anti-Zionism,” which he said the student union has acknowledged and even occasionally condemned. “But more action is needed from the Left in general to make Jews, especially non-assimilated ethnically aware Jews, feel comfortable associating with the Left — all the more so following recent antisemitic allegations at Oxford University and in the Labour Party.”

He was referring to an ongoing controversy surrounding the Oxford Labour Club and the country’s political party, about which The Algemeiner has reported.

On Wednesday, the Goldsmiths Student Union issued a statement on what it called “recurring incidents of antisemitic graffiti,” and condemning “all forms of racism.” It said that it had not issued a public statement the last time such an instance was reported, “so as to not give a spotlight to the perpetrators.” However, it asserted, “We cannot allow instances such as these to continue and to become a stain on the student culture of this campus.”

A Goldsmiths spokesperson commented: “Goldsmiths treats any incidents of racism and hate crimes with the utmost seriousness. We have zero tolerance of such behavior and will take the strongest possible action against those who carry out these acts … We are conducting an investigation into this incident and as part of this will meet with the Jewish Society and Goldsmiths Students’ Union to discuss these issues … We will take every possible step to identify those responsible and take appropriate action against them.”

Gilbert concluded by stressing, “On the whole I have felt very comfortable and welcome in Goldsmiths. I am openly Jewish, religious and hope this doesn’t discourage more Jews coming here.”

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