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March 20, 2018 12:54 pm

Mindless Antisemitism at Syracuse University

avatar by Justine Murray

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A pro-BDS demonstration. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Last month, I was passing through the lobby of my dorm when a jarring poster, prominently placed on the wall, stopped me in my tracks.

Emblazoned for all to see was an all too familiar image: the Star of David being crossed out. I suddenly recalled stories of how my great grandfather had to walk by very similar posters in Poland, as the Nazi movement swept across Europe during World War II.

My initial impulse was to figure out why something so blatantly antisemitic would randomly show up on our dormitory wall. And I thought that a residence staff member could help me.

To my surprise, this “adult” was the person who taped up the poster.

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When I confronted the staff member, they explained that they posted it, along with other signs to honor Black History Month — noting that it had been placed next to a photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I questioned the staff member about this poster, and asked how on earth it could be connected to Black History Month. After all, as I pointed out, Martin Luther King was a strong advocate of Israel — and an outspoken voice against antisemitism.

The staff member then attempted to explain that the poster was meant to advocate for Palestinian rights. Sadly, there is an obvious double standard here. Why? Because it’s OK to cross out the Jewish star, but if the poster was of any Palestinian symbol being crossed out, the campus would be engulfed in protest and screaming students.

A photo of the anti-Israel flyer found at Syracuse University.

Anti-Israel agitators claim that by posting images such as the crossed out Jewish star, they are trying to take people out of their comfort zones through free speech. Meanwhile, they have stickers all over their doors that say “Safe Space” — and they oppose all speech that might question their views.

Today, almost everything is interpreted as hate speech. Some people who support Donald Trump are labeled as “racists” or “Nazis.” Yet true bigotry toward Jews is often accepted.

While the staff member finally agreed to take down the antisemitic sign, such blatant hypocrisy is troubling. People are now so obsessed with pushing their own identity politics, that they will step all over the Zionist and Jewish identities to do so. Unfortunately, my generation has become inflicted with the idea that it’s cool to play the “victim” and point fingers at the rest of society for somehow “oppressing” them. While they love to blame America and Western culture for problems such as terrorism, the very thing that grants them the ability to sit in their lofty college classrooms and feel so entitled is these protections.

After posting an online video about the antisemitic poster, a pro-Israel organization reached out and invited me to join them in Washington DC, at what would become my very first AIPAC policy conference. There, I met Jewish students across the nation who shared similar experiences of antisemitism on their own campus, often expressed by the BDS movement.

We were privileged to hear the advice of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Vice President Mike Pence, and American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on how we can combat the BDS bullies and those who wish to see Israel purged from existence.

However, what truly gave me hope was the attendance of leaders from the Democratic Party, whom I wouldn’t have previously assumed to be Israel supporters. I was glad to have my pre-existing beliefs challenged — and changed.

While I disagree with Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer on almost everything, his address to AIPAC completely took down all political barriers. For that moment, the room wasn’t separated by Democrats and Republicans, but rather united under one goal: to protect the only true democracy in the Middle East.

Perhaps this serves as a message for progressives, such as the staff member in my dorm: you don’t have to degrade your Zionist colleagues to support a leftist ideology.

The author is a student at Syracuse University.

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  • TerrorIsEvil

    These are issues which require a strong stand and you will not find that strength
    from Democrats who are firmly trying to undemocratically and illegally oust
    Trump. They have also demonstrated real hatred towards Israel in the past many
    years. Remember the picture of Farrakhan with Obama? Remember Jeremiah Wright
    and G-d damn America in place of G-d Bless America? Remember how the Democrats
    did everything in their power to empower Iran (and maintain that insanity to
    this day), remove sanctions and pave the way for a nuclear Islamic State of
    Iran – complete with all their Holocaust denial and real goals to wipe Israel
    off the map and make a new Holocaust? Do not be naïve because that will allow
    them to use you and they often say one thing to Jewish audiences and another
    when they have serious policy debates. Where there is plenty of smoke, there is
    plenty of fire!

  • Joseph Biener

    He should have taken the poster (if he could) or take a picture of it and turned it over the housing office and filed a formal harassment complaint again the person who put it up. Then he should have given the story to the local media and Canary Mission. We have to fight we every tool we have in our arsenal.

  • JGray1

    without baseball bats or metal garbage can covers, you don’t win with this anti semitic scum. that’s who they are. with as much efficacy in their arguments as a sack of snot.

  • AJ

    Brava well said and well done, Justine, good for you and us all for speaking up and standing up for yourself!! I also applaud you for calling out in your article the morally corrupt and self-righteous societal affliction of our times – Entitled Victimhood. We need more people like you who care and are brave enough to speak the truth and advocate for it. Thank you thank you thank you!

  • Elise Ronan

    My question is whether there was a complaint filed against this employee of the university. You are entitled to an education without being subject to hate. Syracuse is a private university, and has speech rules that need to be accessed not only against students but against employees as well.

  • Jeffrey

    Justine is right in saying, you do not have to degrade others to support an ideology,
    usually though, people do so because of the weakness of their ideology or not even understanding the ideology they think they support- many repeat the mantra and make noise rather than sense.

  • Joseph Feld

    Nikki Hayley truly speaks for America. G-d bless her. G-d bless the President, Congress and the Court ! We must fight bigotry on every level.

  • Phil R.

    The author is to be commended for challenging the sanctimonious bigotry in her midst. As the BDS movement gains notoriety, more people seem to be seeing it for what it is: a cult of hate that cynically exploits the language of human rights to serve its agenda.