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Vassar student: “F*ck Jews” really only means F*ck Israel-supporting Jews

Vassar student: “F*ck Jews” really only means F*ck Israel-supporting Jews

New details on the climate of hate at Vassar

We previously reported on the anti-Semitic messages sent at Vassar College after the launch of a Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) student campaign by Vassar Students for Justice in Palestine and Vassar Jewish Voice for Peace.

The messages also followed fast on the heels of a faculty-sponsored anti-Israel speech by Rutgers Professor Jabir Puar in which, among other things, she accused Israel of conducting an experiment in “stunting” growth of Palestinian bodies, Vassar faculty-sponsored anti-Israel event erupts in controversy.

Not much was known about the anti-Semitic messages except that they were sent via the anonymous campus app Yik Yak. Here is an example which was posted on Facebook by the Vassar Jewish Student Union:

https://www.facebook.com/vassarjewishunion/posts/938726446210071

More details on what transpired were published yesterday in the Miscellany News, the Vassar student newspaper, as part of an op-ed criticizing both the anti-Semitic conduct and the SJP response. The Op-Ed was written by Vassar student Jesse Horowitz, Antisemitism present in antizionist rhetoric.

What is amazing is that the student(s) who made the anti-Semitic messages on Yik Yak apparently is defending them by saying he (or she?) only meant to say “F*ck Jews” to Jewish students who support Israel. From the Op-Ed (emphasis added):

Last Friday, Feb. 5, an email was sent out to the student body regarding antisemitic comments posted on Yik Yak. Most notably, one user commented “f*ck Jews” on a post defend­ing Israel, which prompted swift condemnation from the Administration as well as student groups such as the Vassar Jewish Union (VJU) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

But that wasn’t all. Later on in the same con­versation, that individual clarified that they didn’t mean f*ck all Jews, just the ones who support Is­rael, and fully embraced that this somehow made their comment acceptable.

That same day, another commenter on Yik Yak used similar antisemitic language, engaging in statements such as “your just a retard and so are Zionists” and “Zionism is a plague of mankind. These Jews stand around throwing this is antise­mitic and that’s antisemitic” and “I’ve never met a Jew who didn’t think Israel is their home land. Jews through terrorism have kept Palestinians locked like animals in their home.”

That same commenter insinuated that the Jews, and me personally for being a Jew, should evaluate what we “do wrong in Palestine and oth­er places.” I have photographic evidence of this entire conversation.

The author of the Op-Ed had other astute observations about the campus climate at Vassar and the role the BDS movement plays (emphasis added):

It is impossible to discuss these statements while ignoring the growing anti-Zionist senti­ment on campus….

The activities and language of pro-Palestinian groups on campus goes above and beyond cri­tiquing Israel into demonizing opposition.

For example, take SJP’s condemnation of the antisemitic statements made on Yik Yak. In it, they denied that Judaism is inextricably linked with Zionism. This is telling. While there are certainly Jews on campus who do not identify as Zionists, SJP seems to believe that they can make unfairly broad statements condemning Zionism, even liberal Zionism, as inherently racist, while ignoring that, for most people, Zionism and Juda­ism are linked. When organizations such as SJP make broad statements condemning all Zionists as racists, not only are they attempting to mar­ginalize and demonize their opposition, but they are sending a message to the community that it is okay to think less of a Jew who defends Israel’s right to exist.

The op-ed author also recounted how pro-Israel students are demonized on campus:

Unfortunately, pro-Palestinian student groups on campus have gone out of their way to obstruct the activities of dissenters.

Perhaps the best example of this comes from the end of last semester, when SJP and Jewish Voice for Peace both tried to prevent J Street from attending a conference in New York be­cause some of the speakers at the event identified as liberal Zionists. While the VSA unanimously agreed to let J Street attend the conference, this incident highlights a frustration that many indi­viduals have with dialogue regarding Israel on this campus. The most baffling part of all of this is that J Street is not even a radical Zionist organi­zation. They’re a moderate group that urges for a two-state solution and whose foremost concern is peace in the region.

Legal Insurrection has obtained copies of campus-wide emails sent by the Vassar administration.

On Friday, February 5, 2016, Edward L. Pittman, Associate Dean of the College for Campus Life and Diversity, sent a campus-wide email:

From: Edward Pittman <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 2:06 PM
Subject: [Students] Bias Incident Alert Report
To: Students List <[email protected]>, All List <[email protected]>

February 5, 2016

On Thursday, February 4, the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) received reports of anti-Semitic comments and slurs that were posted on YikYak, a social media platform used by many members of the Vassar community. While it cannot known whether the offensive comments were made by someone from Vassar, the impact on students and others in our community is of serious concern and violates Vassar’s anti-discrimination policies and commitments to inclusion.

More detailed information can be found on the BIRT website, accessible with a Vassar username and password: http://pages.vassar.edu/bias/

Students from the Vassar Jewish Union have posted their own response on Facebook.

Students and others seeking support can contact offices within the Dean of the College division, including but limited to the following: the Director of Jewish Life, Rabbi Kerry Chaplin, the Religious and Spiritual Life Office, Campus Life and Diversity, Counseling Services, and our Residential Life Office.

You can also refer to the BIRT website for information on how Vassar responds to reports of bias incidents.

Edward Pittman
Associate Dean of the College
Coordinator, BIRT

A Listing of BIRT Members

Director for Jewish Life and Assistant Director for Religious and Spiritual Life, Kerry Chaplin
Dean of Students, D.B. Brown.
Director for the Campus Life ALANA Center, Bethel Nathan.
Director of Psychological Services, Wendy Freedman.
Student Association Vice President for Student Life, Christopher Brown ’16.
Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, Luis Inoa.
Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Jeffrey Kosmacher.
Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Sam Speers
Associate Director of Safety and Security, Kim Squillace.
Director for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, Rachel Pereira
Faculty/House Fellow, TBD

A second email was sent by the President of the Vasser Students Association and the Vassar President on February 8, 2016:

From: President’s Office <[email protected]> Date: Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 1:33 PM
Subject: [Students] Message from VSA and College Presidents
To: All List <[email protected]>, Students List <[email protected]>, [email protected]

Dear Members of the Vassar Community,

Recently, several anti-Semitic statements were posted to Yik Yak, as reported to the campus Friday by Vassar’s Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT). The anonymous nature of Yik Yak makes it difficult to impossible to hold any individual or individuals accountable for these abhorrent posts. However, as a community, we denounce such egregious behavior, as BIRT has done and as we are writing to do today.

We have worked very hard as a community, in particular over the last several years, to live up to our commitment to treat all members of our community with respect and to counter all forms of discriminatory behavior on campus. We call on all of you now, again, to condemn all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, gender discrimination, and other behaviors that do not live up to our values.

We cannot and will not tolerate hateful speech or other forms of discriminatory expression or behavior. Please join us in standing up for respect and dignity for every member of our community.

Ramy Abbady, President of the VSA

Catharine Hill, President of Vassar College

The Vassar student council is expected to vote on the BDS resolution in early March. Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, which obviously were well organized long before they brought the resolution, have events organized on campus to advocate for passing the resolution.

SJP/JVP also arranged for other groups to endorse the resolution. Based on information received, the groups include The Vassar Drone Initiative, the Multiracial-Biracial Student Organization, the Vassar Prison Initiative, Grassroots Alliance for Alternative Politics, the Middle Eastern Student’s Collective, the Feminist Alliance, Queer Coalition Vassar College, Vassar Transparency Coalition, and Young Greens Rising.

Vassar J Street U, which describes itself as the “the sole pro-Israel orga­nization on campus” issued a statement against the resolution, though it adopted many of SJP and JVP’s criticisms of Israel, just not the BDS remedy.

We will continue to follow the situation.

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Comments

Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism or Anti-Israel. The result is always the same DEAD JEWS

Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)?
Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)?????

Oh for the love of Pete. Just shoot me now and get it over with. This world is going to crap and here we have a Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)?

No wonder it is going to crap.

“…Israel supporting Jews.”

Well, that makes it all better, doesn’t it?

and let me guess the universities position will be that it was an anonymous comment so they can’t do anything. But if the same had been said about the pot bellied savages that are infecting the west bank and “palestine” the person would already be expelled.

    Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 12, 2016 at 3:51 am

    That is not true, and you know it damn well. How would the person be expelled? How could anyone know who made it? Why do you feel the need to tell lies, and thus discredit the valid case that the university isn’t taking this seriously enough?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | February 12, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Milhouse, I realize that you are used to most people just putting up with your over the top pedantic bull, however, I am not one of those.

      First of all I didn’t lie about a thing, I offered an opinion, and it may be just as true as not.

      Secondly, don’t you ever accuse me of being a liar, you low life waste of flesh.

      Thirdly, if you want to ask me a question do so in a respectful manner and I will respond in kind. However, if all you can do is hurl baseless accusations and over the top rhetoric then just keep it to yourself. Responding in the way you did doesn’t make you look right or righteous it makes you and A$$hole.

      Lastly, frankly I don’t care if you live, die, or grow mushrooms in the crack of you a$$, much less care what you think.

        Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 12, 2016 at 1:40 pm

        1. You made a claim that you know to be false. That is the definition of a lie.

        2. When you lie I will call exactly you what you are, a damned liar.

        3. That’s rich, considering that “hurling baseless accusations and over the top rhetoric” is exactly what you did, and what I called you on. Why do you think you deserve better treatment than you gave Vassar?

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | February 12, 2016 at 3:33 pm

          Actually I made no claim, as evidence by the phrase “let me guess” a guess is not a matter of fact term.

          Once again don’t ever call me a liar especially where there is obvious evidence that the only one making things up is you.

          My opinion is based on the belief that is Vassar as most of higher education today, is noting more than a progressive liberal indoctrination institution that would take the exact steps I describe if the opportunity presented itself. I made no claim that they were doing that nor did I state it as fact.

          Once again if you want to disagree in a respectful way then I will be happy to discuss and debate. However, as evidenced by your usual posts you seem more interested in hurling baseless accusations to defend your progressive libtard masters.

          Do me the favor of not responding, since once again given the option I would prefer that you just went “poof” and were gone.

I’d like to hear the Democrat candidates asked at a debate whether they support this crap.

You know what else jumped out at me when reading the emails?
Look at the distribution list. and count how many touchy-feely highly paid positions there are at Vassar.
Then everyone wonders why higher education is so expensive.

The milquetoast response of the administration is pathetic. They are afraid of SJP and can’t summon the courage to do what’s right. That is, kicking them and their faculty advisors out of the college.

I applaud VC student Jesse Horowitz’s eloquent description of the anti-Zionist atmosphere currently pervading the campus. We need to do all we can to support her, Vassar J Street U, and all like-minded individuals and organizations at VC in their fight against the upcoming racist BDS resolution to be voted on next month at the Vassar student council.

As part of that effort, the following link is a brilliantly written article by Professor Denis MacEoin to the Edinburgh Students Association when they voted to boycott Israel in 2011 http://mid-eastplus.blogspot.com/2011/04/letter-to-edinburgh-university-student.html.

I also include an article by Justice Richard Goldstone on the Apartheid Libel http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/opinion/israel-and-the-apartheid-slander.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0.

Next, particularly in regard to Prof. Puar’s recent inane and thoroughly boring anti-Zionist screed, er, lecture at VC, who, inter alia, espouses the ludicrous “pinkwashing” libel, is an article by a gay Lebanese Christian living in Israel on the true nature of Israeli society when it comes to LGBT rights http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/02/12/israeli-arab-christian-and-gay-jonathan-elkhourys-story-hits-us-campuses/

Finally, some moral clarity on the unequaled religious freedoms, insofar as the rest of the Middle East is concerned, of Israeli Society, an article by the spiritual leader of the Aramean Greek Orthodox community in Israel, Father Gabriel Naddaf http://www.jpost.com/Blogs/For-Zions-Sake/For-Zions-sake-I-will-not-keep-silent-444518

The Pro-Israel voices on campus are up against a phalanx of braying left-wing anti-Zionist groups, including, predictably, Students for Justice in Palestine (sic) and Jewish Voices for Peace (sic), who sponsored the odious resolution, supported by the usual motley crew of left wing/Queer/Green organizations.

I can only wonder what would be going on at VC if someone posted “F*ck all African American supporters of “Black Lives Matter”. Something makes me think Main would have been burned to the ground by now…

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