Campus Monitor - University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Student Voices

  • February 8, 2017 – University of Minnesota Jewish Student (Avi) “So I come into my dorm and I find this on my bedroom door. Yes, it’s a Nazi swastika and a depiction of a concentration camp. 3 Questions for you (perpetrator): 1) How did you get into my room? (I know my roommates would not leave the room unguarded like this)  2)How would you know this affects me personally? Yes I’m very vocal about my Judaism but obviously you know I was and also where I lived.   3) Most importantly why? Why would you do this? Do you feel empowered doing this? What benefit do you gain by making a person feel afraid? Not cool.” Read more
  • November 22, 2016 – University of Minnesota Twin Cities Jewish Student (Sami) “As a student on a progressive college campus, I am intimately and painfully familiar with the challenges Israel faces from the far-left. Under the banner of intersectionality, I watched with deep sadness this spring as the University of Minnesota’s minority groups lined up to demonize and delegitimize Israel behind the anti-Israel student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and their UMN Divest campaign. In the process, the Jewish community’s status as a minority group was thoroughly stripped. Many Jewish students felt isolated, targeted, and attacked. The rights of Jews to define hatred against ourselves was mockingly questioned as UMN Divest took it upon themselves to define what was and was not anti-Semitic.” Read more
  • April 13, 2016 – University of Minnesota Jewish Student (Sami) – “The companies [in the divestment resolution] were chosen specifically to target Israel and thereby the Jewish community on campus.” Read more
  • March 29, 2016 – University of Minnesota Jewish Student (Leora) – “They then said that “we are all human; please act like one.” Once I had said publicly that I was afraid of their protests, I was suddenly no longer a human….I had experienced a crushing fear. I was scared to go to a lecture…” Read more
  • February 16, 2016 – University of Minnesota Jewish Student (Sami) – ““I hope that students will really dig deeper to see what this [divestment] campaign is really about in its effort to not only delegitimize the state of Israel, but it creates a hostile climate towards Jewish students and other students who are supportive of Israel.” Read more
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    Antisemitism Tracker

    Total Antisemitic Activity:

    To see more information on how AMCHA determines antisemitic activity, click HERE.
    To report a concern, click HERE.


    ClassificationDate-Description
    TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF:GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HISTORICAL
    2/19/17 – An antisemitic flier was found taped to at least three locations on campus. The flier, marked with two swastikas, read: “White man are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneration … join us in the struggle for global white supremacy at the Daily Stormer.” This is one of at least seven cases of antisemitic graffiti or propaganda reported to the university’s Bias Response and Referral Network since the beginning of December.
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HISTORICAL
    2/16/2017 – A swastika was drawn on a desk in a public part of the 17th Avenue Residence Hall. It was reported by police to have been drawn by a university student.
    DESTRUCTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY;
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HARASSMENT;
    HISTORICAL
    2/8/17 – A Jewish student at the University of Minnesota found an antisemitic message on a whiteboard inside his dorm room. The message read “Nazi’s Rule,” and was accompanied by a swastika and a drawing of a concentration camp.
    SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/MOVEMENT/ASSEMBLY;
    HARASSMENT;
    DENIGRATION;
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS)
    11/3/15 – UMN SJP and Anti-War Committee planned and successfully carried out a disruption of a talk by Israeli Professor Moshe Halbertal. In addition, outside of the lecture hall protesters held signs accusing Halbertal of being a war criminal and calling Israel an “apartheid state,” as well as featured a display of a woman holding a bloodied doll with a sign that read “Nothing to see here. Just another Dead Palestinian baby.” A protest organizer said that one of the purposes of the protest was to urge the university to honor the academic boycott of Israel.
    DISCRIMINATION;
    HARASSMENT;
    DELEGITIMIZATION
    3/2/15 – UMN SJP tabled for their “Birthright campaign” in the student union building. SJP members gave out information demonizing a Jewish student trip intended to strengthen Jewish identity and encouraging students not to participate in it.
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DELEGITIMIZATION4/13/17 – As part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” SJP held the event “Workshop: Justice Under Apartheid,” which was advertised as an event to learn about “what it means for Palestinians to enter the justice system under Israel’s Apartheid Rule.” SJP also erected a mock “apartheid wall.”
    DELEGITIMIZATION4/11/17 – SJP UMN held the event, “Panel: Justice Under Apartheid” as part of “Israeli Apartheid Week.”
    COMPARING JEWS TO NAZIS;
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT)
    11/19/16 – Anti-War Committee, SJP and SDS held an event with Iyad Burnat to discuss, “the popular resistance in Palestine.” A picture of the event showed a large banner by the speaker that called for BDS, stating, “End USAid to Israel.” During the event, Burnat referred to 1948, Israel’s establishment, as “the Palestinian holocaust,” quotes others who accuse Israel of “apartheid” or being “worse than apartheid in South Africa.” He further accused Israel of carrying out a “massacre in Gaza.”
    HISTORICAL;
    DENY JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    DEMONIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT)
    4/7/16 – At a SJP UMN event titled, “The Separation of Judaism and Zionism Panel,” panelists consistently demonized Israelis and Zionists. One speaker noted that, “Israel’s oppressive policies are part of imperialism and the doctrine of white supremacy.” A speaker vilified the Jewish National Fund accusing the organization of being an ethnically cleansing organization and claimed that, “BDS is a non violent means to stop the JNF.” Speakers additionally supported the right of return of Palestinian refugees which would effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish country. One speaker accused Jews of relying on “victim mentality” in choosing which “elements serve” Jews. Additionally, during the Q & A period, one panelist remarked, “We need to give up the idea of a Jewish Palestine since we cant take away Arab Palestine.” One panelist referred to a “Zionist agenda” and made numerous statements alluding to Zionist control. Panelists additionally falsely accused Israel of “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing,” “institutional racism” and “apartheid,” and the JNF of “greenwashing.”
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS)
    10/14/15 – UMN SJP held activities as part of the International Campus Day of Action for Palestine. According to the group’s informational material, one of the purposes of the event was to “support the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.” As part of the event, SJP held a “Die-in on the West Bank” that included a narrator reading text that demonized Israel by accusing it of being brutal and inhumane and committing atrocities, called Israel and apartheid state and encouraged listeners to join the BDS movement.
    DELEGITIMIZATION4/4/15 – As part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” SJP constructed the “Mock Apartheid Wall” in front of the student union building. SJP organizers stated that the wall’s purpose was to raise awareness about “Israeli Apartheid.”
    BDS ACTIVITY:BDS EVENT11/9/16 – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) led a public demonstration and teach-in on campus along with SJP and other groups. One of the demands called for was “the divestment of university funds from corporations profiting off of Palestinian occupation.”
    BDS EVENT4/12/16 – UMN Divest held the event, “UMN Divest 2.0” to bring a “a newer version of our [divestment] resolution to student government.”
    BDS VOTE4/12/16 – The student association discussed a divestment bill. After amending to make it a socially responsible bill, where the vote to amend was approved 37-30-7, the final resolution was modified to not target Israel and then passed 45-16-7.
    CALL FOR BDS4/5/16 – SJP erected a mock “apartheid wall” on campus. One panel said, “How you can help…Support BDS”
    BDS VOTE4/5/16 – SJP announced that they will be re-introducing a BDS resolution to the student government on April 12th.
    CALL FOR BDS4/5/16 – SJP unfurled a large banner in front of the mock apartheid wall on campus that said, “#UMNDIVEST”
    CALLS FOR BDS3/8/16 – SJP responded to President Kaler‘s rejection of the proposed BDS resolution by reiterating calls for BDS in a press release.
    CALLS FOR BDS3/5/16 – A JVP member called for BDS in the student newspaper.
    BDS VOTE3/1/16 – SJP members presented a divestment resolution to the Minnesota Student Association (MSA).
    BDS EVENT2/21/16 – SJP held the event “Why Divest” with Ahmad Hussam, a member of SJP at the University of South Florida in Tampa. A Facebook posting about it stated that he came to speak about “the impact of divestment, and why it is important that our student governments support divestment campaigns.”
    BDS EVENT2/18/16 – UMN Divest held the first event of the divestment campaign, “Caterpillar Info Session” to learn why Caterpillar is included in companies to divest from in relation to Israel.
    CALLS FOR BDS2/18/16 – The editorial board of the student paper, Minnesota Daily, wrote a piece entitled “U should listen to divestment calls,” which endorses SJP’s divestment resolution.
    CALLS FOR BDS2/15/16 – SJP at UMN announces the launch of their divestment campaign in a Facebook post and press release, and launches a petition.

     

    In the News ?

    June 7, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – University of Minnesota Reports Religious Discrimination Behind Most On-Campus Bias Incidents in Past Year, With 9 Antisemitic Episodes in February Alone

    June 5, 2017:
    Minnesota Daily – Report documents a year of UMN bias complaints

    February 27, 2017:
    Minnesota Daily – Anti-Semitic cases on UMN campus show hate has many faces

    February 21, 2017:
    Inside Higher Ed – Anti-Semitic Incidents at U of Minnesota

    February 21, 2017:
    Minnesota Daily – Action must be taken to address uptick in anti-Semitic cases on UMN campus

    February 20, 2017:
    City Pages – With an arrest and more signs, University of Minnesota’s Nazi problem grows

    February 20, 2017:
    Minnesota Daily – In last week, two anti-Semitic incidents reported at UMN

    February 20, 2017:
    Fox 9 – U of M president responds to anti-Semitic incidents on campus

    February 17, 2017:
    CBS Minnesota – ‘U’ Student Arrested For Anti-Semitic Vandalism

    February 17, 2017:
    Star Tribune – University of Minnesota police investigate flier with two swastikas posted on campus

    February 10, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – Image of Jews Being Marched Into Nazi Gas Chambers Scrawled in Minnesota Student’s Room Example of ‘Skyrocketing’ Campus Antisemitism, School’s Chabad Rabbi Says

    February 9, 2017:
    Star Tribune – Nazi graffiti in University of Minnesota dorm draws outrage

    February 9, 2017:
    KSTP – University of Minnesota Condemns, Investigates Latest Anti-Semitic Incident

    February 9, 2017:
    Minnesota Daily – Jewish UMN student finds anti-Semitic message in Pioneer Hall dorm room

    May 12, 2016:
    Fight Back! News – Anti-War Committee joins in worldwide protests to remember Al-Nakba

    April 26, 2016:
    Minnesota Daily – MSA’s divestment is the right decision

    April 13, 2016:
    Minnesota Daily – Divestment resolution gets passed by MSA
    (Description note, “Sami Rahamim, president of Students Supporting Israel, proposed on Tuesday to strike any language referring to individual businesses.  “The companies were chosen specifically to target Israel and thereby the Jewish community on campus,” Rahamim said. The amendment to remove the names of the four companies from the resolution passed in a secret ballot.”)

    April 13, 2016:
    The Algemeiner – Second BDS Defeat in Five Weeks at U of Minnesota

    March 14, 2016:
    Inside Higher ED – Minnesota Faculty Panel Affirms On-Campus Free Speech

    March 8, 2016:
    The Minnesota Republic – MSA Avoids Divestment and Anti-Semitism Arguments

    March 8, 2016:
    Office of the President – Statement on today’s MSA resolutions
    (Description note, “The University does not endorse measures advocated in the SJP resolution, which has been offered in support of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS Movement, while not directly mentioned in the resolution, has called for a comprehensive academic, cultural, economic and consumer boycott of Israel. In general, our university should be wary about such boycotts, given our core values of academic freedom and our commitment to the free exchange of ideas, uncertainty about the impact of such efforts, and concerns that we may be unfairly singling out one government and the citizens of the country in question. In this case, my concerns are heightened by the fact that the Global BDS movement does not seem to distinguish between opposition to the policies of the government of Israel and opposition to the existence of Israel.”)

    March 9, 2016:
    JTA – U of Minnesota student government strikes resolutions on divestment, anti-Semitism

    February 28, 2016:
    Minnesota Daily – Divest push gets faculty response (who say No! to divestment)

    February 23, 2016:
    The Times of Israel – An Open Letter to the Minnesota SJP

    February 23, 2016:
    Minnesota Daily – Response to “U should listen to divestment calls”

    February 17, 2016:
    Minnesota Daily –  U should listen to divestment calls
    (Description note – The editorial board of the student paper, Minnesota Daily, writes the piece, “U should listen to divestment calls” which endorses SJP’s divestment resolution.)

    February 16, 2016:
    Minnesota Daily – Students call for U to divest
     
    January 14, 2016:
    JTA – Op-Ed: Worried about intersectionality? Oppose the Israeli occupation

    November 19, 2015:
    The Jewish Chronicle – Simply put, this was an assault on the opportunity to learn

    November 10, 2015:
    The Jerusalem Post – “Social Justice-Pursuing” and “Human-Rights Loving” BDS Show Its True Colors of Hate and Incitement at the University of Minnesota

    November 9, 2015:
    The College Fix – Israeli academic silenced by antiwar, pro-Palestine campus activists for promoting ‘war crimes’

    November 9, 2015 – November 13, 2015:
    EVENT – Palestine Awareness Week is held including a mock refugee event, Life in Palestine speaker series, a Panel “From Ferguson to Palestine”, and a “Caging the Oppressed” event.

    November 6, 2015:
    Forward – Why Disrupting Israeli Law Professor’s Speech Was So Wrong

    November 5, 2015:
    The Times of Israel – Israeli professor shouted down at University of Minnesota

    November 5, 2015:
    Inside Higher ED – Another ‘Heckler’s Veto’

    November 4, 2015:
    Star Tribune – Protesters disrupt Israeli professor’s lecture at University of Minnesota
    (Description note, “University President Eric Kaler and Provost Karen Hanson issued a joint statement Wednesday, saying: “A commitment to freedom of speech and thought is absolutely fundamental to the University of Minnesota. Our University is and must be a place where people can explore ideas, engage in vigorous debate, and learn from one another’s perspectives.”)

    November 4, 2015:
    Arutz Sheva – ‘Heckler’s veto’ hits Israeli professor at US campus

    November 4, 2015:
    Minnesota Daily – Law speaker spurs protest
     (Description note, “First-year University law student Nicole Faas said it took more often a half-hour for the room to quiet down enough for Halbertal to begin his talk.  Protesters were escorted out to the hallway by the police, where they began chanting “Free, free Palestine,” Faas said. Sophomore Sami Rahamim said he commended Halbertal and the University of Minnesota Police Department for handling the situation well.  “I, like many others, am embarrassed,” he said, “that such a disgraceful protest occurred against the freedom of speech and academic freedom at the University.”)

    November 4, 2015:
    The Washington Post – Israeli academic shouted down in lecture at University of Minnesota
     (Description note, “There are two core principles at stake for a university in what happened Tuesday. One is that there is no right to shout down a speaker at an academic lecture on the grounds of a public university. The University of Minnesota prohibits such disruptions, as do other universities. Such policies raise no First Amendment problems on their terms. University police acted appropriately to remove the demonstrators. Now the university has an obligation to investigate and punish any violations of these policies. The second principle is that a university community–including its faculty, staff, administrators, and students–must cultivate a norm of respect for free speech that goes beyond ensuring mere First Amendment compliance. Members of a university community have an obligation to consider opposing viewpoints and, if not always a duty to listen to them, then at least a duty to allow others to listen to them… So beyond punishing the disruption of a public lecture, a university cannot accept any moral legitimacy in such an act or equivocate in denouncing it. It is fundamentally illiberal and destructive to the core values of an educational institution. And ironically, those who espouse unpopular and minority causes would be most vulnerable in a world where mobs feel authorized on principle to decide who may speak.”)

    November 4, 2015:
    Legal Insurrection – Protesters shout down Israeli Professor at U. Minnesota law school

    October 30, 2015:
    SJP EVENT – Justice for Palestinians: Silent Protest Recap 10/30/15
    (Description note, SJP held a protest whose message was “Before peace, there must be justice.” A description read, “We pay respects to the Palestinian martyrs executed by Israeli forces, and and we continue to work to shed light on the ongoing illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.”)

    April 9, 2015:
    Daily Nexus – Israeli Apartheid Week: Students for Justice in Palestine shouldn’t be accused of anti-semitism for the week’s events. (Description note, “Students for Justice in Palestine launched Israeli Apartheid Week on campus last Saturday with its Dueling Charities 5K. With the Mock Apartheid Wall put up in front of Coffman Union on Monday, we would like to make clear what the aim of this week is: to raise awareness about the apartheid system in the occupied Palestinian territories. To call this an anti-Semitic event is making an incorrect analysis of the event and is a harmful accusation to everyone involved…Accusing SJP of anti-Semitism overlooks this major part of its mission and reduces an international organization to an unproductive stereotype that stalls any hope of cooperation. Also, the idea that talking about Israeli Apartheid is anti-Semitic is based in the assumption that Zionism and Judaism are the same thing. They are not. Judaism is a religion. Zionism is a political ideology. To be Jewish is to follow the oldest of the three Abrahamic religions. To be a Zionist is to support the establishment of a Jewish-only state in historic Palestine, which inadvertently supports displacement of the Palestinian people. They are two separate things: Not all Zionists are Jews, and not all Jews are Zionists. IAW and SJP are here to raise awareness about how Zionism has created a system of institutional segregation that harms Palestinians in Israel. SJP is not the only international organization to do so.”)

    March 4, 2015:
    Huffpost College – A Futile Letter from a University of Minnesota Student to Academia

    December 9, 2014:
    TCJewfolk – Anti-Semitism at the University of Minnesota?

    November 27, 2014:
    The Algemeiner – Israeli Dismissed From U. Minn Post by BDSers Vows to Overturn Ruling (VIDEO)

    November 27, 2014:
    The Jewish Press – Minnesota Univ. Student Official Compares Group Backing Israel with KKK

    November 26, 2014:
    Campus Reform – Student gov’t rep compares pro-Israel group to KKK

    September 29, 2014:
    EVENT – “Teach-In: Gaza, Neocolonialism, and the Case for Boycott”

    September 24, 2014:
    Truth Revolt – University of Minnesota Professors Organize Anti-Semitic Event (Description note – A teach in by five professors. For this event, many large departments including Anthropology and Political Science, have promoted the event on social media. The event is entitled, “Gaza, neocolonialism and the case for Boycott”)

    December 27, 2013: Statement on ASA Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

     

    Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

    UMNSJP

    Source Credit: Twitter (October 3, 2016)


    Source Credit: Students at the University of Minnesota waving a Palestinian flag during a protest at the school’s Minneapolis campus. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt) (January 14, 2016)

    Source Credit: Students at the University of Minnesota waving a Palestinian flag during a protest at the school’s Minneapolis campus. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt) (January 14, 2016)


    Source Credit: Sarah Awad stands with students and Minneapolis residents outside of Walter F Mondale Hall. The protest was organized by the Anti-War Committee regarding the U of M hosting Moshe Halbertal in his talk

    Source Credit: Sarah Awad stands with students and Minneapolis residents outside of Walter F Mondale Hall. The protest was organized by the Anti-War Committee regarding the U of M hosting Moshe Halbertal in his talk “Protecting Civilians: Moral Challenges of Asymmetric Warfare. (November 4, 2015)


    Source Credit: SJP orchestrated to and successfully disrupted a talk by Israeli Professor Moshe Halbertal (November 3, 2015)

    Source Credit: SJP orchestrated to and successfully disrupted a talk by Israeli Professor Moshe Halbertal (November 3, 2015)


    Source Credit: UMN SJP Facebook Page (October 14, 2015)

    Source Credit: UMN SJP Facebook Page (October 14, 2015)


    Source Credit: UMN SJP Facebook Page (October 14, 2015)

    Source Credit: UMN SJP Facebook Page (October 14, 2015)



     

    Source Credit: photo credit StandWithUs (October 5, 2015)

    Source Credit: UC UC San Diego International Day of Action (October 5, 2015)


    To report antisemitic activity at this or any other campus, you may:

    BDS Tracker

    April 12, 2016 – Student Government – Amended/Defeated – After amending to make it a socially responsible bill, where the vote to amend was approved 37-30-7, the final resolution was modified to not target Israel and then passed 45-16-7.

  • March 8, 2016 – University of Minnesota – Defeated – Student Government strikes down a BDS resolution with a vote of 34-31-11

  • BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 26

    1. Al Madinah Cultural Center
    2. American Indian Student Cultural Center
    3. Amnesty International at UMN
    4. Asian Pacific Islanders For Equity and Diversity
    5. Asian-American Students Union
    6. Black Student Union
    7. Chinese American Student Association
    8. Commuter Connection
    9. Disabled Student Cultural Center
    10. Eritrean Student Association
    11. Jewish Voice For Peace
    12. Jewish Voice for Peace Twin Cities
    13. La Raza Cultural Center
    14. Middle Eastern Student Association
    15. Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee
    16. MN Break the Bonds
    17. Muslim Law Students Association
    18. Muslim Student Association
    19. National Lawyers Guild – UMN Law School Chapter
    20. Somali Student Association
    21. Students for Justice in Palestine
    22. Students for a Democratic Society
    23. Sudanese Student Association
    24. Tibetan American Student Association
    25. Whose Diversity?
    26. Women’s Student Activist Collective

     

    FACULTY BDS

    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 23

    1. Aren Aizura
    2. Lisa Albrecht
    3. Bruce Braun
    4. Timothy Brennan
    5. David Chang
    6. Keya Ganguly
    7. Serra Hakyemez
    8. Karen Ho
    9. Nabil Matar
    10. MJ Maynes
    11. Stuart McLean
    12. William Messing
    13. Kevin Murphy
    14. Sonali Pahwa
    15. Thomas Pepper
    16. Gloria Raheja
    17. Julia Robinson
    18. Marty Roth
    19. Simona Sawhney
    20. Sima Shakhsari
    21. Ajay Skaria
    22. Erin Trapp
    23. David Valentine

    Signatures