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March 18, 2015

Anti-Semitism On College Campuses in 2015

Anti-Semitic flyer posted at UC Santa Barbara in Sep. 2014

Update — 5/26/15: An updated list of 2015 anti-Semitic incidents on campus is available here.

After the alarming anti-Semitic incident at UCLA earlier this month, the problem of anti-Semitism on college campuses has become a national discussion.

While such incidents are certainly disturbing, it must be noted that these incidents are relatively rare, and the vast majority of Jewish students feels safe on their campuses. When such incidents do occur, they are generally condemned by administrators and the wider campus communities at their respective colleges.

That being said, the incident at UCLA was not the only anti-Semitic incident to take place so far in 2015. Other anti-Semitic incidents include:

  • A dorm at Purchase College, SUNY was vandalized on March 18 with swastikas and other hateful graffiti.
  • Swastikas were spray-painted inside the house of a Jewish fraternity (Alpha Epsilon Pi) at Vanderbilt University on March 15.
  • At University of California, Berkeley, the phrase “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was found in a campus restroom in March and a swastika was found on a university owned building in February.
  • On February 22, University of Chicago students and staff reported anti-Semitic posts on a Facebook page called UChicago Secrets, such as “People are hypocrites. This is a fact. One example? The Jews at UChicago…” and “As a Person of Palestinian descent, I don’t think it is unreasonable or horrific for me to hate Jews…”
  • Also at the end of February, threatening anti-Semitic comments were posted on Yik Yak (an anonymous social media app that allows people to send and receive posts in a localized area) for the University of Chicago area. Some posts named specific students, while other expressed more general anti-Semitic sentiments such as, “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.”
  • At the end of February, three swastikas were drawn inside a George Washington University dorm.
  • On January 31, two large swastikas were spray-painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house at the University of California, Davis.

If you have experienced an anti-Semitic incident on campus or elsewhere, please report it to ADL through our website.

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February 25, 2015

ISIS Related Arrests In Brooklyn Raise 2015 Total To 10

Saidakhmetov promoted pro-ISIS sentiment on his apparent Google Plus profile

Saidakhmetov, one of the men arrested, promoted pro-ISIS sentiment on his apparent Google Plus profile

Update – 4/7/2015: A fourth Brooklyn resident, Dilkhayot Kasimov, was also charged in this case on April 6, 2015.

Yesterday’s arrest of three New York City men underscores the persistent influence of ISIS propaganda on individuals residing in the U.S. and the related threat to domestic security.

Abdurasul Juraboev, a 24-year-old permanent U.S. resident with Uzbek citizenship, and Akhror Saidakhmetov, a 19-year-old U.S. permanent resident with Kazakh citizenship, both currently residing in Brooklyn, allegedly attempted to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and discussed the possibility of domestic attacks if they were unable to do so. Abror Habibov, a 30-year-old Brooklyn resident with Uzbek citizenship, allegedly provided the two with funds and encouragement.

All three were arrested last night; one at JFK Airport while attempting to board a flight to Turkey.

According to the FBI, the men spent time online either expressing support for ISIS or watching the terrorist group’s propaganda.

A Google Plus page that appears to have been created by Saidakhmetov includes a video called “Honored Sheikh inside Syria invite[s] Muslims to work for Khilafah and implement HT’s constitution.” Khilafah is Arabic for Caliphate, a reference to ISIS. HT stands for Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist organization that promotes theocratic governance. Hizb ut-Tahrir is not allied with ISIS, but the sentiment conveyed in the video was supportive of ISIS’s goals.

According to court documents, Juraboev was also allegedly recruited online by an ISIS supporter residing in Iraq, to whom he said “I need to sneak out of here with extreme caution without being noticed.”

In August, according to the complaint, Juraboev wrote a post on an Uzbek-language pro-ISIS website asking “is it possible to commit ourselves [to ISIS] as dedicated martyrs anyway while here [in the U.S.]? What I’m saying is, to shoot Obama and then get shot ourselves, will it do? That will strike fear in the hearts of infidels.”

Saidakhmetov expressed his intent to attack law enforcement.  According to the criminal complaint, he stated “it is legal in America to carry a gun. We will go and purchase one handgun…then go and shoot one police officer…. Then we will go to the FBI headquarters, kill the FBI people…” The men also allegedly discussed planting a bomb on Coney Island.

The arrests in Brooklyn follow the arrest, also yesterday, of Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud a 23-year-old U.S. citizen from Ohio. Mohamud is subject to an ongoing investigation and was not linked to any particular terrorist group; court documents allege he sent funds and travelled to a “Middle Eastern terrorist group.”

To date, 10 U.S. residents have been arrested on Islamic extremist-related terror charges in 2015. The others include Christopher Lee Cornell, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen from Ohio, and six individuals of Bosnian descent –U.S. citizens and refugees residing in Missouri, Illinois and New York – accused of aiding ISIS.

Last year, 19 U.S. citizens and permanent residents were identified as having joined or attempting to join or aid ISIS.

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September 22, 2014

Ferguson = Gaza: The Continued Invocation Of A False Comparison

gaza-ferguson-college-of-staten-island

Vigil for Gaza at the College of Staten Island

While Gaza and Ferguson no longer dominate the headlines, these unrelated events continue to be connected by a num­ber of groups and indi­vid­u­als in an attempt to bring atten­tion to their activism.

In addition to previously reported examples, more recent anti-Israel events continue to link the conflict in Gaza to the Ferguson, Missouri shooting and its aftermath, couching hostility towards Israel in social justice terms in an attempt to appeal to a broader base of support.

Recent examples of anti-Israel events that draw parallels between Ferguson and Gaza include:

  • Existence is Resistance and the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home are advertising an event scheduled for October 11 at the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Center in northern Manhattan to address “the global systems that oppress us, from Ferguson to Gaza.” The event will feature speakers such as Remi Kanazi, an organizing committee member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI).
  • A panel discussion titled “From Ferguson to Palestine: Connecting Struggles” is scheduled to take place at the University of Texas-Austin on September 24 according to the event’s Facebook page. The event, sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Committee, will feature at least two UT-Austin professors.
  • The City University of New York (CUNY) Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter is hosting a panel discussion at the CUNY Graduate Center titled “CUNY Stands for Justice: From Ferguson to Palestine” on September 22 featuring “an evening of poetry, speakers, and discussion around repression and resistance from Ferguson, Missouri to Gaza, Palestine,” according to event flyers.

    gaza-ferguson-brooklyn-college

    SJP “die-in” at Brooklyn College

  • The College of Staten Island SJP chapter hosted a vigil for Gaza on September 17 at which the group advertised on Facebook that it would “read the names of the lives lost, give speeches, and stand in solidarity from Ferguson to Palestine…” The group also stated that it shares the anger of those in Ferguson because “Palestinians know what it means to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity.”
  • According to a post on an anti-Israel Facebook page, members of the Direct Action Front for Palestine attended protests in Ferguson and spoke to people there about Gaza. On September 8, it held a meeting in Brooklyn, New York to share what they “learned in Ferguson…to become more effective in our resistance…”
  • Members of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) protested outside ADL’s San Francisco office on September 3 with a banner that read “From Oakland to Ferguson to Palestine, The US and Israel, A Deadly combination” and “Stop police brutality…Stop the ADL.” IJAN is a coalition formed in 2008 that seeks to facilitate global anti-Israel activity on the part of anti-Zionist Jews.
  • On Facebook, Brooklyn College SJP advertised a September 2 “die-in” on the Brooklyn College campus to “raise awareness about israel’s [sic] latest massacre” and to remember “all the victims of white supremacy and institutionalized racism in the U.S., the latest being #MikeBrown and #EricGarner.”

Events linking Ferguson and Gaza have also been organized by some university departments. At UCLA, the Law School’s Critical Race Studies Department sponsored a September 18 event called “From Gaza to Ferguson,” which according to publicity materials, explored “the relationship between race, the rise of militarized policing and the response to dissent in the United States and consider its implications in a global context.” The panel included Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who has compared the Israeli treatment of Palestinians to the Nazi treatment of Jews.

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