'Jews did 9-11' painted at University of Tennessee

Anti-Semitic hate message painted on University of Tennessee landmark used to pay tribute to a young fan who was bullied.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

Anti-Semitic vandalism at University of Tennessee
Anti-Semitic vandalism at University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee

A University of Tennessee landmark used to pay tribute to a young fan who was bullied was vandalized with an anti-Semitic message on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Newsweek reports.

The Rock, a 97.5-ton chunk of Knox dolomite stone located on the Knoxville, Tennessee, campus, is an iconic symbol that's frequently painted by individuals and groups. After fans of the school learned a young boy was bullied for a shirt he made to support the University of Tennessee, they painted his design onto the rock.

On Wednesday night, an unidentified person or persons painted over the message of love for the young boy with an anti-Semitic hate message.

A photo of the Rock posted on social media showed the message reading "Jews did 9-11" and "Google: Dancing Israelis."

University of Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman condemned the anti-Semitic message.

“Last night, someone covered that message of love with an anti-Semitic hate message. We condemn that hate aimed toward members of our Jewish community, and we understand that words are not enough,” said Plowman.

The anti-Semitic message was quickly painted over with a new design imploring readers to “love thy brother”, local media reported.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Southeast Regional Director Allison Padilla-Goodman said in a statement, “Instead of honoring the lives of those that were lost on that fateful day, someone chose to highlight hate. The Rock, which is meant to represent school pride and unification, has unfortunately, again, been used as a billboard for hate.”

She added that the ADL “unequivocally” condemns the graffiti, stating, “College campuses are no place for hate.”

Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) condemned the graffiti in a statement.

“The words ‘JEWS DID 9-11’ have a real and threatening effect on Jewish and Zionist students who attend the university. This is the third time this year that the Rock has been vandalized with antisemitic symbols and messages. We look forward to working with Chancellor Donde Plowman—who stated ‘we understand that words are not enough’ —to take concrete steps to prevent this from occurring again. ACF will remain actively engaged and continue to support the campus community,” it said, according to the Jewish Journal.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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