The front doors of the Paris Institute of Political Studies, one of France’s most celebrated universities known as the “grande ecole,” was vandalized with anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist graffiti on Monday. Condemnation from the Jewish community and the school’s administration was swift.
The entrance to the school known as Sciences Po, which was founded in 1872 and has educated many of France’s elite – was vandalized with three pieces of anti-Semitic graffiti, including large capital letters in black paint that said “Mort a Israel” (“Death to Israel”).
Two other phrases included the word “kuffar,” the Arabic term for “infidel.”
Noemie Madar, the leader of Union des etudiants juifs de France (UEJF), France’s Jewish student union, said in an interview with Le Figaro that the graffiti was incitement to racial hatred.
“We expect a rapid reaction from the Sciences Po administration in the face of these violent and antisemitic attacks. The perpetrators must be found so that impunity does not allow such acts to flourish,” she said.
Sciences Po was quick to release a statement condemning the graffiti. They stated that an investigation is in progress and that the vandalism is being cleaned up.
“This morning, hateful inscriptions, some of an anti-Semitic nature, were discovered on the walls of 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, which is the main entrance to the Sciences Po campus in Paris. Management strongly condemns this heinous and cowardly act,” said Sciences Po administrator Benedicte Durand. “Faced with these attacks, Sciences Po will continue to fight more than ever against all forms of discrimination and attacks on human dignity.”
Durand added, “Sciences Po also reiterates its values of openness, debate and plurality of points of view which will always be at the heart of its university education project, its research and its student life.”
In a tweet, the American Jewish Committee said, "We are horrified to learn that @SciencesPo, one of France’s most prestigious colleges, was defaced with antisemitic graffiti. We stand in solidarity with the people of France and our partners (in the French Jewish community)."