Campus Monitor - University of Maryland College Park

Student Voices

  • April 10, 2017 – University of Maryland Jewish Student & JSU President (Samuel) – “They [SJP] 100 percent have the right to protest. But they should do it in a place that isn’t in the middle of our event; it shouldn’t be a disruptive demonstration in the middle of our event. There’s a difference between free speech and completely interrupting someone else’s event.” Read more
  • September 29, 2016 – University of Maryland College Park Student (Sara) – “Being a Jew on a secular campus is hard. It means missing lectures, getting notes and having to work out new due dates for assignments with professors who, frankly, are not necessarily understanding. It means that you cannot grab just anything to eat when your schedule does not give you time to go to the kosher dining hall that is on the other side of a massive campus. It means dealing with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments held by many faculty and students alike.” Read more
  • April 26, 2016 – University of Maryland College Park Jewish Student (Leslie) – “SJP continuously uses the phrase ‘anti-Zionist,’ which tends to translate as ‘anti-Jewish.’” Read more
  • April 19, 2016 – University of Maryland College Park Jewish Student (Sara) “Israel Fest is not a political event at all…This is a cultural event, and they have every right to protest but not to disrupt an event that we’ve put on.” Read more

    Antisemitism Tracker

    Total Antisemitic Activity:

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

    10/7/17 – A swastika and an unspecified “offensive phrase” was found in the men’s bathroom of the North Campus Dining Hall.
    9/27/17 – A swastika was found spray-painted on a trash cart at a campus dormitory.
    9/13/17 – An offensive phrase and a swastika were found on a balcony ledge of the fifth floor of the plant sciences building.
    5/2/17 – SJP, the Muslim Political Alliance and other student organizations carried out a boycott protest of the Jewish Student Union-sponsored event “IsraelFest,” at which they asked people “to turn away from the festival [IsraelFest] and not participate in any of the festivities.” A large make-shift gray wall was present, which was painted with phrases including “Israeli Apartheid” and “Free Gaza.” “End Israeli Apartheid” was also painted on the statue of the school mascot.
    4/27/17 – SJP and the Muslim Political Alliance called on the entire campus community to boycott “Israel Fest,” an annual celebration of Israeli culture sponsored by a student group on campus, claiming that “there was a great deal of frustration among students and faculty alike that this event continues to take place on our campus.” The call to the campus community goes on to say that by having the festival at all, “we are encouraging the celebration of an apartheid state….we normalize and entrench support for Israel.”
    SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/MOVEMENT/ASSEMBLY2/12/17 – According to an article in the school’s independent Jewish newspaper, SJP “issued a letter to President Loh at the beginning of the semester, urging the discontinuation of particular Israel Fest activities.” Date of incident is approximated from article.
    4/19/16 – About two dozen protesters arrived at a Hillel and Jewish Student Union event called, “Israel Fest” and loudly disrupted the event for about an hour. A speaker with a megaphone stated, “The celebration of Israel is the celebration of apartheid and racism. Since it’s conception, Israel has been hellbent on ethnically cleansing the indigenous people.” Protesters chanted, “Fight the power; turn the tide; end Israeli apartheid” and held signs saying “Zionism kills.” The protesters blocked a pathway and were instructed to move by police. One Jewish student exclaimed, “This is a cultural event, and they have every right to protest but not to disrupt an event that we’ve put on.”
    3/25/16 – An antisemitic flier was distributed to networked printers throughout campus. The flier had swastikas and said, “White Man are you Sick and Tired of the Jews Destroying Your Country through Mass Immigration and Degeneracy? Join Us in the Struggle for Global White Supremacy at the Daily Stormer.”
    11/22/15 – A swastika and antisemitic language were drawn on the dry erase board of three female residents at LaPlata Hall. One of the three residents later wrote on the board: ““To whoever drew the swastika on our door — would you draw that if you knew one of our grandfathers was tied to a wall and shot at by Nazis in World War II just for being Jewish? 2/3 of us who live in here are Jewish. Think about it.”
    10/31/15 – A swastika drawn in black marker was found on a dry erase board in Cumberland Hall, and residents reported additional swastikas on two fliers and a poster near the elevator.
    11/2/17 – SJP published an article in the school paper titled, “BDS is the right way to combat Israel’s human rights violations.” The article advocated for BDS as well as demonized and delegitimized Israel, claiming colonialism and apartheid are “just samples of the flagrant, widespread human rights abuses the Israeli government has committed.”
    5/3/17 – A student wrote an op-ed in the student newspaper that delegitimized Israel with a false accusation of apartheid as well as called for BDS, stating, “As conscientious students and citizens, we should show solidarity with Palestinians by advocating for the Palestinian-led academic, economic and cultural boycott movement against Israeli apartheid initiated in 2005.”
    DEMONIZATION2/20/17 – An article in the school paper demonized Israel, stating that it was “a country established by the forceful grab of land and a brutal manner of conquer.”
    DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION10/25/15 – Two UMD students wrote an op-ed on behalf of SJP calling for “the right of return for the 5 million Palestinian refugees denied access to their homes,” which would effectively eliminate the Jewish state.
    BDS ACTIVITY:BDS VOTE11/15/17 – The student government discussed and voted on a divestment resolution. The resolution failed with a 1-21 vote with three abstentions. Legislators debated on whether to overturn the decision, and the body failed to overturn the report in a 23-13 vote with one abstention. Twenty-nine campus groups, including the Behavioral and Social Sciences College, ProtectUMD and the University Senate had signed a petition of SJP’s to support divestment alongside 200 individual signatures. More than 1,000 undergraduate students signed a petition against BDS, organized by Terps for Israel, J-Street UMD and Mishelanu.
    BDS VOTE11/8/17 – The student government discussed a divestment resolution to be voted on at the Nov 15 meeting. The resolution urges the university to divest from companies “profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”
    BDS EVENT4/18/17 – SJP and the Muslim Political Alliance held the event, “The BDS Movement: A Conversation with Yousef Munayyer” which, due to complications, was held with Taher Herzallah from American Muslims for Palestine.
    CALLS FOR BDS2/13/17 – According to an article in the school newspaper, SJP began circulating a petition and tabling on Fridays to promote the petition for students to sign in order to bring a BDS resolution to campus.
    CALLS FOR BDS12/14/16 – A group called “ProtectUMD” at the University of Maryland released a list of 64 demands in order to make the campus more amenable to “Marginalized, American Indian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, Pro-Palestine, and Undocumented” students. Demand #53 calls for “the active encouragement of faculty and students to engage in discourse and learning about the Palestinians’ struggles and the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement without fear of consequences by the university administration.”
    BDS EVENTS10/20/15 – University of Maryland’s SJP hosted an event entitled “Emergency Forum on Israel’s Escalation of Repression in Palestine,” at which BDS was promoted.
    BDS EVENTS9/23/15 – University of Maryland’s SJP held a meeting intended to promote BDS.


    In the News ?

    October 25, 2017:
    The Diamondback – UMD RHA considers legislation to address hate-bias incidents on campus

    October 12, 2017:
    The Diamondback – UMPD investigates swastika and other hate bias incidents in dining hall bathroom

    October 8, 2017:
    WBOC 16 – Man Arrested After Swastika Found at University of Maryland

    September 18, 2017:
    The Diamondback UMD Police respond to reports of hate bias incident, suspicious activity, theft

    September 18, 2017:
    WBAL TV Swastika found at UMd. College Park campus

    May 3, 2017:
    Mitzpeh – Pro-Palestine groups lead boycott of Israel Fest

    May 3, 2017:
    Mitzpeh – New SGA should combat hateful messages directed toward Jewish community

    May 3, 2017:
    The Diamondback – UMD students celebrated Israel Fest, while boycott was held nearby

    March 7, 2017:
    The Diamondback –  UMD Jewish community remains unified in wake of anti-Semitic threats across the nation

    March 7, 2017:
    The Diamondback –  The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement is not the way to achieve peace in Israel

    April 10, 2017:
    Mitzpeh – SJP, JSU at odds over Israel Fest 2017

    February 17, 2017:
    The Diamondback – Birthright Israel is inherently political
    (Description note, “There is another layer to Birthright, one which appears obvious to some but less so to others. Initially, the problem lies within the name itself: Birthright. It suggests that every Jew traveling to Israel through this program can claim, by way of being birthed into a particular religion or culture, a right to a land that is denied to millions of Palestinians, many of whom have been born within Israel and the occupied territories… However, in order to speak critically and truthfully about the state of Israel, one must be able to separate the Jewish religion and culture from the country’s politics. The way Birthright is arranged and promoted, it links the two so closely together that criticism against the country’s policies is conflated as criticism against all Jews. The inability to sever the two in our discussions suggests that Birthright and other forms of political propaganda have been highly successful in their efforts….But the purpose of Birthright Israel remains clear: combine the Jewish faith with the state of Israel until each is viewed as a vital and inseparable component of the other. In the process, the two become one, and the defense and support for Israel is reinforced. But a country established by the forceful grab of land and a brutal manner of conquer forever rests on a weak foundation.”)

    February 13, 2017:
    The Diamondback – Pro-Palestine student group wants UMD to boycott companies that promote “Israeli occupation”

    February 2, 2017:
    Mitzpeh – Students march on campus to express solidarity with refugees, immigrants
    (Description note, “The SJP also sought to address Loh’s response to the 64 demands of ProtectUMD, a supergroup comprised of 25 student organizations. The demands included the declaration of this university as a ‘sanctuary campus,” and the implementation of prayer rooms in every major campus building.”)

    December 28, 2016:
    The Washington Post – Minority students at U-Md. issue 64 demands, including prayer rooms in every major building and shuttles to Muslim center
    (Description note – ProtectUMD, a coalition of 25 student organizations at the University of Maryland, sent a letter to administrators outlining their 64 demands for New Programs and Initiatives to serve marginalized student populations. The Diamondback spoke with members of these communities, who discuss the ways each demand could impact life on campus. Demand #53 calls for the university to actively encourage students to learn about the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS).)

    November 4, 2016:
    The Diamondback – University artists portray injustice and hope in the Middle East
    (Description note, “The reason why art is so dangerous, especially in Palestine, is it’s not easy to call [the artist] a terrorist when they respond in art rather than protest…Sibay discussed how protests and riots are the natural outcome of living under oppression — and how art as a form of response also brings a unique vitality to rebellion. “They are born innocent, born happy,” she said. “What happens along the way that makes them respond in violent manners?” Amanda Stussman, a junior sociology major and treasurer for Students for Justice in Palestine, attended the event. She has Israeli family — her father spent most of his life in Israel and so did her grandfather.”I was raised actually more Zionist,” Stussman said. Though she identified loosely with Zionism, she gradually became more knowledgeable on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once she came to college. The more she educated herself through reading and discussion, the more Stussman said she became aware of the oppression of Palestinian people. “I understand as an American Jew this sort of alliance for Israel, but it’s wrong,” she said, noting she feels a responsibility toward Palestinians.”)

    October 13, 2016:
    The Diamondback – On Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, UMD students torn between classes and religion
    October 13, 2016:
    The Diamondback – On Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, UMD students torn between classes and religion

    October 5, 2016:
    The Diamondback – Most Americans view Israel favorably. Here’s why they shouldn’t.
    (Description note, “Israel has come under fire recently, and for good reason. In the past few years, the self-declared sole democracy in the Middle East has killed more than 2,000 Palestinian civilians in the 2014 Gaza war, a conflict in which fewer than 10 Israeli civilians perished; maintained a blockade of Gaza that has left its residents stranded in abject destitution and could eventually make the region uninhabitable; faced allegations of human rights abuses from American senators and Amnesty International; and expanded its settlements further into the West Bank, spitting in the face of the U.N. Despite all of this, a solid majority of Americans have a favorable view of Israel, which recently received a 10-year military aid package of $38 million from the U.S. How is this possible? How does Israel get away with it?”)

    April 26, 2016:
    The Diamondback – Students for Justice in Palestine’s seemingly disturbing message

    April 23, 2016:
    USA Today College – Pro-Palestine students protest Univ. of Maryland IsraelFEST

    April 19, 2016:
    The Diamondback – Students supporting Palestine protest UMD’s Israel Fest
    (Description note, “Carrying signs and megaphones, students supporting Palestine protested Israel Fest for about an hour Tuesday afternoon on McKeldin Mall, eventually leading University Police officers to intervene. The group of more than two dozen University of Maryland students gathered at about noon in front of McKeldin Library and marched down the mall to the site of Israel Fest, an annual event featuring free food and entertainment celebrating Israeli culture…Chanting, “Viva, viva, Palestina,” the group followed Tayel, who yelled, “Fight the power; turn the tide; end Israeli apartheid” into a megaphone.The protesters carried Palestinian flags and signs reading “Zionism kills” across the mall to the bottom of the fountain, where about 22 protesters lay down on the concrete.”)

    November 26, 2015:
    The Algemeiner – Swastika, Antisemitic Epithets Scrawled on Board in Maryland U Dorm

    November 23, 2015:
    The Diamondback – Swastika drawn on LaPlata Hall students’ door
    (Description note, “After a swastika and anti-Semitic language was drawn on three female residents’ dry erase board, a resident assistant called and met with a University Police officer on Sunday at about 5:26 p.m. in LaPlata Hall, said University Police spokesman Maj. Marc Limansky…On Oct. 31, a swastika drawn in black marker was found on a dry erase board in Cumberland Hall, and residents reported additional swastikas on two fliers and a poster near the elevator.”)

    October 18, 2015: The Diamondback – Pro-Israel, pro-Palestine student groups to discuss recent terror abroad
    (Description note, “Students for Justice in Palestine will also host an educational forum in Jiménez Hall on Tuesday at 6 p.m. to discuss the crisis…. Manar Dajani, a senior business student and co-president of Students for Justice in Palestine, said Palestinian resistance to oppression accounts for the latest bloodshed.”)

    February 12, 2015: The Diamondback – Lauding solidarity against hate speech

    September 22, 2014: The Diamondback – Media scrutiny of Israel leaves some at Univ. of Maryland feeling slighted

    May 18, 2014: ISRAEL EVENT DISRUPTED BY SJP – Description note: SJP planned and disrupted an off-campus Jewish event. Quote from article, “Students for Justice in Palestine and Students Against Israeli Apartheid from Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, (DMV-SJP & SAIA; George Washington SJP, American University SJP, George Mason SAIA and Georgetown SJP, University of Maryland SJP) decided to crash a pro-Israel street festival.”

    March 10, 2014: Response to the academic boycott

    December 23, 2013: UMD Leadership Opposes Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions


    Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

    April 19, 2016: About two dozen protesters arrived at a Hillel and Jewish Student Union event called, “Israel Fest” and loudly disrupted the event for about an hour. The protesters chanted, “Fight the power; turn the tide; end Israeli apartheid” and held signs saying “Zionism kills.” Source credit: Youtube


    Source Credit: Residents write a response on a dry erase board after a swastika was drawn on it. (November 23, 2015)

    Source Credit: Residents write a response on a dry erase board after a swastika was drawn on it. (November 23, 2015)

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

    BDS Tracker

    No divestment vote has taken place.

    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 1


    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 5

    1. Charles Butterworth
    2. Julie Green
    3. Alexis Lothian
    4. Jan Padios
    5. Sangeeta Ray