Northwestern University faced two antisemitic graffiti attacks in the last two months. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Northwestern University must be steadfast in taking action against antisemitism on campus after more racist graffiti was found on the university grounds this week, said the school’s Chabad rabbi on Friday.
“We need the university to be aware of it, conscientious that it is painful and vigilant in terms of trying to educate the student population about the important of diversity and what these types of hurtful symbols mean” Chabad Rabbi Dov Klein told the Algemeiner. “Whether it’s a symbol against the Jewish community, against the African American community [or] against the Arab community, these things are not tolerated.”
Construction workers on Monday morning discovered antisemitic graffiti at the construction site of the new Kellogg School of Management building, The Chicago Tribune reported. The graffiti included the scrawling of a swastika and was painted over by construction personnel later that day.
The incident was the second antisemitic vandalism to take place at Northwestern in the past two months. In April, university police found a swastika drawn on the wall of a study lounge in the library.
The Chabad menorah on campus was also vandalized three times in the last year and a half.
Despite the string of antisemtic attacks that have taken place at Northwestern University, where the student government in February passed a resolution to divest from Israel, Rabbi Klein said he believes each is an isolated incident.
To prevent similar attacks from happening in the future, the university’s administration must continue to educate students about hate symbols and diversity, he said. Additionally, the school should highlight antisemitic graffiti and behavior during orientation for incoming freshmen.
“Bring up the issues of antisemitism and what these types of symbols — whether they’re targeted to the Jewish community or other communities — what those symbols represent, what they mean [and] how hurtful they can be,” he said. “Many times the antisemitic, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish part of that is not necessarily highlighted. I think for this upcoming year they should highlight that a bit more.”
Rabbi Klein is unsure if officials will ever find out the reason behind the most recent graffiti attack, saying, “we don’t know if this was somebody having a goofy time or this is really an expression of hate against the Jewish community at Northwestern.” He added that the likelihood of finding the perpetrator is “close to zero.”
Northwestern University boosts a very strong and Jewish community, according to Rabbi Klein. Though he does not think Jewish students feel targeted on campus, he said the antisemitic attacks “get disturbing after a while” and are also hurtful.
“On the campus environment many times people do stupid things,” he said. “There are people out there that hate and people who don’t understand how painful it is for Jewish students or a Jewish person to see a swastika, which represents the environment of antisemitic and hatefulness toward the Jewish community.”
Source:: The Algemeiner