Graffiti
Graffiti iStock

Graffiti which said “From the River to the Sea” and “Free Palestine” was discovered in a frequently travelled campus tunnel at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on April 19.

The graffiti was publicized by watchdog organization Stop Antisemitism.org which tweeted a photo.

“Used as a battle cry for the elimination of the Jewish state, students at (UMass Amherst) had to walk by ‘From the River to the Sea’ graffiti yesterday,” the group tweeted.

They asked UMass President Marty Meehan to “please have this removed as dozens of your Jewish students have contacted us out of safety concerns!”

The Jewish Journal reported that UMass said the graffiti had been removed and the incident is under investigation.

UMass Amherst Hillel in a statement said that numerous students had reached out to them upset about the graffiti. They mentioned that simultaneously, there was also an advertisement for “Palestinian Liberation Week” spray painted in the name of a student group on the “expression wall” near Orchard Hillel.

“Many students have been upset and made to feel unsafe in particular by the language of ‘From the River to the Sea,” which is understood by the ADL and others to be a call for an end of the State of Israel,” they wrote.

They noted that last spring, the front of the UMass Hillel office was similarly defaced with spray paint. They said that while they support free speech, they condemn “inflammatory language” and public vandalism.

“We continue to call for a constructive approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through promotion of dialogue, working for peace, and affirmation of the humanity of both Israelis and Palestinians,” they said. “We were glad to learn from UMass that they plan to remove the graffiti in a timely fashion.”