Anti-Semitic incident at Massachusetts college investigated

Campus police at Hampshire College investigating an incident of harassment against a Jewish student.

Arutz Sheva Staff and JTA,

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Campus police at a Massachusetts college are investigating an incident of harassment against a Jewish student, JTA reported on Thursday.

The incident took place last week at Hampshire College, a small liberal arts school in Amherst, about 90 miles west of Boston.

The college’s president, Jonathan Lash, condemned the incident, but no further details have been released to the public.

In a memo to the Hampshire community, Lash wrote that the campus police responded to a report of “an act of blatant and deplorable anti-Semitism” that took place in the middle of the night in an area with student housing.”

“The incident is being treated as a criminal matter and is under active investigation,” he added, according to JTA. Lash urged anyone with information to immediately contact the campus police.

“These are acts of cowardice intended to intimidate and hurt all of us. But I want to assure you that they will not deter us from our commitment to stand together against hate and bigotry,” he wrote, adding, “They do not represent our shared values.”

He noted that there have been other acts of anti-Semitism reported in prior years on the campus, as well as some that have gone unreported, which inhibits the school’s efforts to respond, he wrote.

On Tuesday, the college held a previously scheduled program on hate speech and anti-Semitism prompted by anti-Semitic incidents in recent years, noted JTA.

“The College’s priorities in responding … are to protect the safety of our community, uphold our values, and respect the privacy of the individual reporting the incident,” Lash wrote in a statement emailed to the news agency.

The incidents in the past two years at Hampshire are “a problem many campuses nationwide are experiencing. We’ll meet these acts of bigotry head on,” he wrote.

In 2017, anti-Semitic graffiti including a swastika or anti-Semitic language was found in the library and in a couple of dormitories, a college spokesman told JTA. The year before, three incidents of graffiti were reported.

The incident is one example among many of campus anti-Semitism in the U.S. Last October, anti-Semitic fliers with swastika-like symbols were discovered on the campus of Cornell University in upstate New York.

In September, the FBI was called in to investigate threats against minority students at California State University, Long Beach, including Latino and Jewish students.

Last year, fliers with anti-Semitic, racist and anti-immigrant messages were posted on the campus of Princeton University.

The fliers charged, among other, things, “Jews are 10% of Princeton’s students, an overrepresentation of 500%,” and that “80 percent of the first Soviet government was Jewish.”

Despite these incidents, a report published in September by the Israel on Campus Coalition, a campus pro-Israel organization, found that anti-Israel activism on college campuses across the U.S. has declined.

According to the report, there were more than 3,100 pro-Israel events in 2016-17 and about 1,100 anti-Israel events. And 149 campuses experienced anti-Israel activity last year compared to 185 two years ago.




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