Michigan State University Department of Jewish Studies laments wave of anti-Semitic incidents on campus


The disfigured 9/11 memorial on “The Rock” at Michigan State University. Photo credit: Twitter

Michigan State University’s Faculty of Jewish Studies has condemned a series of three anti-Semitic incidents that occurred over the course of a single weekend, calling for a swift investigation and educational efforts.

In an incident, which took place over the weekend marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a 9/11 mural of an American flag titled “Never Forget 2,977 Lives” was disfigured to read “Israel forgot 2,977 lives” – evoking the conspiracy theory. falsely blaming the attacks on the Jewish state.

“This is a modern iteration of the age-old trope that Jews control world events,” the School for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel’s Michael and Elaine Serling Institute said in a statement dated May 15. September.

Over the same weekend, someone with a profile photo of a swastika joined a biology class discussion group promising to prove “Jews are garbage.” Later, someone using the same pseudonym said “shut up, Jewish boy” and “that’s why you don’t trust Jews” in a panel discussion for an off-campus housing complex.

Associated coverage

September 23, 2021 3:27 P.M.

“These incidents clearly show that anti-Semitism is a real problem that we must address to realize our vision of MSU as an inclusive community for all its members,” said the Institute.

“We were already concerned about anti-Semitism on campus,” Yael Aronoff, director of the Serling Institute. Recount State news. “About five years ago, we heard about the rise of anti-Semitism on campuses and students started telling us more about their experiences, and that’s why, over the past five years, we hosted a forum for students to share their experiences of anti-Semitism on campus. “

“Each year on average, we have around 25 students sharing their experiences. Often the OIE Office [Office of Institutional Equity] said each of these things should have been reported to the OIE, most students, of course, do not report it.

The Serling Institute said the university determines whether the author is a student or a resident of East Lansing.

“These campus events are not isolated. Over the past few years, MSU students have shared more than 75 incidents of anti-Semitism ranging from “jokes” to verbal attacks to destruction of property.

The Serling Institute continued, “We urge the MSU community to join us in condemning anti-Semitism, investigating reported incidents in a timely and transparent manner, and supporting continuing education on anti-Semitism on campus.”

The department also invited the campus to join a virtual symposium on anti-Semitism on October 8, and said it was “encouraged by the way the students involved in the incidents have stood up to the perpetrators and reported the incidents at the university ”.