Students at Arizona State Decry Antisemitism Following Swastika Flyers, Protest Against Visiting Israeli Soldiers
Student leaders at Arizona State University in Tempe passed a resolution on Tuesday expressing solidarity with Jewish students on campus, following weeks of debate on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, a protest of Israeli soldiers and antisemitic flyering on campus.
The measure, which denounced antisemitism and other forms of hate, was passed by senators from the Undergraduate Student Government Tempe (USGT) to applause, the student-run State Press reported. It noted that ASU students “have expressed concerns over their own safety on campus to the administration and police force in light of recent events, specifically Nazi [propaganda].”
Members of the Jewish community have recently expressed concern about a spate of incidents seen as hostile to them and to Zionist voices at ASU, including a Nov. 13 protest that sought to shut down an event with wounded Israeli soldiers who were invited to speak by several Jewish and Zionist groups, including Hillel and Chabad.
Dozens of demonstrators — among them members of Students for Justice in Palestine, ASU Young Democratic Socialists of America and Students for Socialism — took over the room where the event was originally set to commence while holding Palestinians flags. They were recorded chanting and displaying various signs, including one that read, “Long live the Intifada” — a reference to Palestinian campaigns against Israel that included suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks.
The incident was condemned by organizers, who relocated the event to another room, with Hillel denouncing the “actions of intimidation” and noting “that the messages of these protests can often include anti-Semitic language, causing Jewish students to feel unsafe and unwelcome on campus.”
The group, alongside Chabad, also criticized an op-ed published by The State Press earlier in November that accused Israel of carrying out a “systematic genocide” and called on student clubs to endorse the BDS campaign, including by boycotting Zionist students clubs at ASU. The piece, which was published shortly after antisemitic flyers with swastikas were spotted on campus, was among several debating the BDS campaign and antisemitism on campus.
Amid the discussion, a resolution calling on ASU to divest from companies over their ties to Israeli activity in the West Bank was discussed during a USGT meeting on November 19. The measure was ultimately delayed, as were three other resolutions introduced at that meeting, with the senate president citing grammatical and potential legal issues, The State Press reported.