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September 25, 2017 12:50 pm

University of Illinois Chancellor Slams ‘Antisemitic Attacks Hidden Under Anti-Zionist Rhetoric’

avatar by Shiri Moshe

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The iconic Alma Mater bronze statue at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign draped with an Israeli flag. Photo: IlliniPAC

The chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) on Sunday condemned rising antisemitism at American universities, including “anti-Semitic attacks hidden under the guise of anti-Zionist rhetoric.”

In a statement issued in response to “growing national instances of intolerance, especially on college campuses,” Chancellor Robert Jones denounced the pervasiveness of racist and antisemitic symbols and behaviors, from painted swastikas and KKK costumes to illegitimate attacks on the Jewish state and its supporters.

“Members of our Jewish, African American, Latino/a and many other residents of our diverse community find themselves asking whether they are welcome and safe here,” Jones wrote. “The answer to that — whether in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, or any place in this country — must be a clear and resounding: ‘Yes, you are.’”

Earlier this month, while promoting a rally it was co-sponsoring, UIUC’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine equated Zionism — the movement for Jewish national self-determination — with white supremacy and fascism. The group threatened to use “any means necessary” against supporters of each ideology, including “full-scale armed conflict.”

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During the rally, SJP displayed an Israeli flag that was covered in fake blood and the word “genocide.”

Illini Public Affairs Committee (IlliniPAC) — a bipartisan, pro-Israel student group at UIUC — praised Jones’ statement on social media “for affirming to Pro-Israel and Jewish students that our voice matters, and has been heard, on this campus.”

“The University of Illinois is a pro-Israel campus that is a safe and welcoming community for all members,” Hayley Nagelberg, a junior at UIUC and co-president of IlliniPAC, told The Algemeiner on Monday. “We work year round to stay in communication with our administration.”

The group helped organize a letter campaign to the UIUC administration following SJP’s comments, allowing students and alumni to express their frustration over the university’s failure to respond to incidents that target and isolate the Jewish community.

“We feel that [Jones’] letter to the campus community responded to these statements,” Nagelberg said.

“Words must be supported by action,” she added. “IlliniPAC leaders will continue to advocate for the University of Illinois to take concrete steps toward protecting pro-Israel and Jewish students. Individuals and organizations who perpetuate hate must be held accountable. We will continue our efforts until that is achieved.”

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  • rojo26

    Our enemies accuse us of genocide, but our supposed victims’ population continues to increase at a healthy pace. If Israel were guilty of a quarter of what it’s regularly accused of there wouldnt be a Palestinian left alive anywhere in the world. In short, our enemies lie all the time.

  • Joshua Laskin

    The Alt-Right believes that White (European-) Americans have the right to self-determination. This is why, the Student-Left equates Zionism with the KKK. In both instances, people from Europe feel that the survival of their culture/race depends on a homeland which they’ve settled, by force, and wherein they dominate over the natives and other lower-peoples. On its face, there’s some reasonableness to this position. It may not be true that the situation of Euro-Jews in the Middle-East is analogous to the situation of Euro-Gentiles in the Americas; but, that’s an argument that needs to be elaborated and specified. To accuse the Left of antisemitism, without elucidating the distinction, in response to their perspective, is merely to convince the Left that ‘antisemitism’ is a Zionist canard. Nothing goes without saying. Nobody, not even Jews, gets the benefit of the doubt, automatically. Whoever claims to be special, is suspect.

    • Meyer Mussry

      Except for a few things, Joshua. Jews are native to the Holy Land. They did not settle there by force, but by sheer hard work and by purchasing land. The actions of the Israeli government since inception show that no-one is considered a ‘lower person’, but that all people are created equal and have equal rights. Last but not least, the only force used by Jews was defensive, after being attacked by terrorists and the armed forces of 6 nations.

      For the Student Left to hold their views would suggest that they are deluded, choosing to believe in a misrepresentation of history for ideological reasons. If they are tomorrow’s leaders, I fear for the future of America and its democracy. They should not fear the expression of alternative views and should never threaten to shut them down by force. The only reason I can think of for this behaviour is the realisation that their position is indefensible.

    • jerry

      Zionists – the term for those who believe in Jewish liberation — don’t claim to be special. That’s an anti-Jewish Liberation canard.

      And – Jewish Liberation bears zero relation to white majoritarian concerns about preserving a “culture” in the face of alternative cultures. It has instead to do with preserving the very life and liberty of the members of a tiny minority community.

      The more appropriate (but not complete) analogy is to Marcus Garvey’s “back to Africa” movement in the USA.

      And – Israel exists as a refuge for Jews of all races and backgrounds – a refuge that has been proven necessary by near 2,000 years of intermittent oppression against this minority community – not just in Europe- but around the globe.

      The anti – liberationists who oppose such refuge and argue for Jews to be forced to return to that pre-Holocaust reality without refuge have their morals upside down on this issue

      And – when their arguments are based on application of double standards and emotional false characterizations – it often does reveal bigotry.

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