BDS graffiti sign
BDS graffiti signMiriam Alster/Flash 90

Stanford University's Hillel released an official response to an anti-Semitic debate overnight Wednesday/Thursday, declining to condemn a discussion whereby several students claimed that "Jews control the banks and the media" was a "valid" claim.  

"Some of the comments made during the course of the ASSU (the Associated Students of Stanford University - ed.) debate reinforce the importance of campus education about anti-Semitism and its manifestations," the Hillel responded in a statement. "The vast majority of students at Stanford do not share these views. In fact, students are organizing a response to the comments."

The Hillel further assured that "daily life for most Jewish students at Stanford is very positive."

"[email protected] works with the administration and students to promote a supportive culture and address concerns throughout the broader campus community, for example, through our Israel Fellow's outreach efforts," it added. 

During a hearing on renewing a resolution banning anti-Semitism Tuesday, Stanford senior Gabriel Knight insisted that a clause defining negative Jewish stereotypes is "irresponsibly foraying into another politically contentious conversation."

"Questioning these potential power dynamics, I think, is not anti-semitism," he said. "I think it’s a very valid discussion." He also maintained that the bill should include “some language to acknowledge Palestinians’ rights to self-determination." 

Knight's statement was then followed by a group of pro-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) students from the Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) moving to redefine "anti-Semitism" as excluding delegitimization of Israel and Zionism, as well as a lengthy debate over whether "Jewish power" intersected with "white power."

Later, some students also claimed that - as written in the original resolution - the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is not a suitable organization to educate the board about anti-Semitism; Arutz Sheva has confirmed with the ADL's Central Pacific Regional Director that the organization is aware of the incident.