An American university with a troubling history of anti-Semitic activism on its campus recently came under fire for its handling of students who levied direct threats against Jews.
According to recent reports, a protest by individuals supporting Palestine devolved into a name-calling session as the activists referred to Jewish students as “kikes” and “dirty Jews.”
Furthermore, at least some of the school’s pro-Israel activists were threatened with bodily harm or death by the radical protesters, who were representing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement seeking to economically attack Israel.
Despite consistent attempts to elicit a direct response from University of Michigan officials, there is no indication the school is taking this troubling development seriously. As attorney and civil rights leader Kenneth Marcus explained, administrators have yet to return any of his numerous calls.
“This is a very disturbing incident; and if the students’ allegations are true, this is an environment that is hostile to Jewish students and the university has a legal responsibility to take prompt and effective action,” he said.
The university’s inaction regarding this situation could open it up to federal litigation, he warned, explaining that his “biggest concern is these Jewish students might be vulnerable to a violent criminal attack, and we’re very concerned about whether the university is taking that seriously enough.”
Just a few months ago, the school was cited for its lax reaction to anti-Israel protesters who tacked 1,500 threatening notices on the doors of Jewish students and supporters of Israel. There is an indication that the student government will deal with the issue soon after its president faced mounting pressure for initially tabling the topic.
A university spokesperson, however, repeatedly skirted questions regarding the incident, admitting only that it was “activism of students” who “do not believe their voices were heard.”
Those voices were heard loud and clear by those victimized by death threats. School officials seem to be the only ones ignoring them.
“At this point,” Rick Fitzgerald said, “we have been working to bring our students together to respect each other’s point of view and resolve their differences.”
One wonders how Israel’s supporters on campus can find common ground with those who wish to murder them. As is often the case, one-sided attacks against pro-Israel groups are explained away as part of an ongoing dispute.
Fitzgerald concluded as much, blaming “heated emotions on both sides.”
–B. Christopher Agee
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom