Over two hundred Jewish students at Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Boca Raton campus received fake “eviction notices” from the anti-Israel group, ‘Students for Justice in Palestine,’ last Friday, the Sun Sentinel reported.
“Some students who didn’t read the document believed they were really being evicted,” said Rayna Exelbierd, a 20-year-old Jewish sophomore, who returned to her dorm room to find the “eviction” letter attached to her door.
The ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ (SJP) sought to use this ploy to draw attention to their claim that Israel’s “occupation of Palestine” results in the demolition of “Palestinian” homes.
“We’re taking it very seriously,” said Exelbierd. “We’re considering it a hate crime. The flier promotes hate; it doesn’t promote peace. People were scared by it. People felt threatened by it.”
A group of Jewish students met at the offices of Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach on the Boca Raton campus, on Wednesday, to discuss the incident, noted the Sun Sentinel.
Scott Brockman, Hillel executive director, said in a statement, “While protecting and ensuring free speech on campus, the tactic used by Students for Justice in Palestine is unacceptable” and “[d]oes not promote civil discourse on campus but provokes, incites and intimidates.”
Andrew Rosenkranz, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Florida region, said, “The University is taking the matter very seriously and will open an investigation. Nobody wants to come back to the dorm and see a fake eviction notice nailed to their door. The university needs to create and maintain an atmosphere where people feel they are in a safe learning environment.”
The ADL continuously monitors acts of anti-Semitism and hate against Jews worldwide, including those against Jewish students on university campuses, and noted that while there have been a number of anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic, incidents at FAU, most notably during the infamous ‘Israel Apartheid Week,’ they were poorly attended.
The Zionist Organization of America has also demanded that the university condemn the recent acts, and noted that the flyers were university-approved, despite the fact that FAU was previously notified of SJP's public calls for violence against Israel.
Noor Fawzy, identified as the leader of SJP, as well as Charles G. Brown, FAU senior vice president for student affairs, could not be reached for comments, noted the Sentinel.
The university issued a statement, late Wednesday afternoon, asserting that, “The University, as an institution of higher education, prides itself on being a venue for free expression, regardless of viewpoint. However, the distribution of printed material on University property is subject to FAU policy and regulation… The recent mock eviction postings did not comply with the policies of University Housing and Residential Life or the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership concerning the distribution of printed material, and therefore the postings were removed.”
Ironically, this occurred as Jews were evicted from the Machpela House they had purchased in Hevron, ostensibly for fear of "disturbing the peace".