Letter to the Editor: Anti-Jewish Hate running rampant at FIU

Photo of March 8 Shabbat featuring speakers from the IDF | Photo from Yishmael Columna

Yishmael Columna | Vice-President of Students Supporting Israel (SSI)

I never expected to say this about FIU. This university has been very supportive of our Jewish students. However, anti-Jewish hate and antisemitism keep running rampant throughout campus.

What occurred during Hillel’s Shabbat was unbelievable. We’ve been called “genocide apologizers,” “conflict supporters,” or people with “blood in their hands,” but those are only the ones they are openly willing to say to us when the cameras are up. The true stories of antisemitism on campus occur in our daily activities.

On October 9th, Islamic chants were shouted at the campus Rabbi and me as we took down the Sukkah on the GC lawns; animal corpses were placed in front of our local synagogue; and constant verbal abuses, academic harassment, etc. were perpetrated by adherents of SJP until today. Many of these transgressions were kept within our circles until now, as we never expected the antisemitic nature of these organizations to grow to such extreme ends.

Yet, no attacks on me or my friends have proven to be as bizarre and abhorrent to me as this one SJP has done. We suffered the culmination of their hate during Shabbat. And yet we prayed, sang, and ate, as we do every Friday.

But this one was different; SJP decided to verbally attack and insult us. I was insulted in Arabic by being called a “son of a sharmuta”. Meanwhile, my friend, Ashley, was told that “Jews enslaved your people” while using an antisemitic troupe and assuming her personal opinions based on her skin color, or that they were following and harassing a mom and her little kid. But also, the fact that the same group that demonizes us throughout campus boxed us in by blocking all the exits of GC 243.

These brave IDF soldiers told us the stories of their friends who were brutally murdered by Hamas and how they helped to protect their towns from terrorists trying to murder, rape, and torture innocent families, while SJP harass them even though they have not participated in any operations within Gaza. Their continuous minimization of our suffering and the direct attacks on our ways of life at our doorsteps is a type of discrimination and harassment that cannot be part of our Panther Nation. Otherwise, is it safe to be a Jewish student at FIU anymore? NEVER AGAIN is NOW.

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board, nor does the Board necessarily endorse the content of letters to the editor. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of members of the university community and beyond. All letters to the editor are published with respect to PantherNOW’s role as a public forum for free expression at FIU.

Want to write a letter to the editor? You can respond to this letter or write your own. Email fiusmeditor@gmail.com with a piece no longer than 400 words. Text is edited for length, not for grammar, spelling or clarity. Letters may not include promotion, calls to action or hate speech. Students must send their full name, year and major and Panther I.D. Faculty must send their full name, department and postion at the university

1 Comment on "Letter to the Editor: Anti-Jewish Hate running rampant at FIU"

  1. As a gentile, I taught part-time at a major California university from 1998-2016. I witnessed first-hand the bullying, anti-semitism, and disruption of pro-Israel events by groups like SJP. This organization has created a climate of fear for Jewish students all over the nation. It was co-founded a couple of decades ago by UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, a radical Palestinian, who called for an intifada in the US as a student at San Francisco State Univ.
    SJP should be banned from every campus in America. They are a hate group that uses tactics of disruption and vandalism to make their points rather than engage in civilized dialogue. Now they are targeting Hillel Chabat dinners. Shameful.

    No matter what you might think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it never justifies crossing the line into Jew-hatred. All of us, community members, university community, students,and faculty must stand and protect our Jewish students from bullying, violence, and intimidation. It is also high time for university administrations to muster up some courage and crack down on hate directed at Jewish students on their campuses.

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