Swastika Found at UC-Santa Cruz Days Before Hanukkah, Marking Eleventh Antisemitic Incident Reported in Three Months
A white swastika was found spray-painted at the University of California, Santa Cruz days before the start of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah — marking the 11th report of an antisemitic incident on campus this quarter.
The vandalism — believed to have taken place either December 9th or 10th — was denounced as “hateful and oppressive” by administrators in a campus-wide email.
For this incident “to come just before the first night of Hanukkah and during finals week, when students are focused on marking the holiday and concluding their academic quarter, only further contributes to high stress levels,” the note read.
University spokesperson Scott Hernandez-Jason told The Algemeiner that police are still investigating the incident.
“We have received 49 hate/bias reports this past quarter, 11 of which were connected to antisemitism,” Hernandez-Jason said, confirming an earlier report in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “They generally were for graffiti or vandalism.”
This total is on par with the amount of hate or bias-related incidents the school handled around this time last year, he noted, adding that administrators sometimes received multiple reports “for what might be considered one incident.”
UC-Santa Cruz has previously come under scrutiny following concerns over antisemitism.
In May, protesters affiliated with the Afrikan Black Student Alliance reportedly shouted antisemitic insults at Jewish students attending an Israeli Independence Day celebration on campus, and pulled down an Israeli flag.
In 2015, a Jewish member of the university’s student government said he was told to abstain from voting on a resolution supportive of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, because he was allegedly elected with a “Jewish agenda.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, reports of antisemitic incidents on college campuses increased by 59 percent this year. “On college campuses, a total of 118 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the first three quarters of 2017,” the advocacy group explained in a recent audit, “compared to 74 in the same period of 2016.”
Late last month, two swastikas were found at Macalester College in Minnesota — the tenth and eleventh such markings reported on campus since the start of the semester.