(January 7, 2020 / JNS) Radical anti-Jewish rhetoric is creating a violent environment on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. Last month, a group of Jewish students at the university were hospitalized after being viciously assaulted by their classmates. The perpetrators were members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, and to say the consequences were unsatisfactory would be an understatement.
Following a temporary suspension of the fraternity in question, a petition began circulating calling for Indiana University President Michael McRobbie to expel the assailants and for Pi Kappa Phi to be kicked off campus and face permanent suspension.
According to the petition, “11 assailants, members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, yelled anti-Semitic slurs including ‘go back to temple’ as they pummeled the Jewish victims into submission.” Campus authorities investigated the matter and even executed a search warrant on Pi Kappa Phi’s on-campus housing. Also according to the petition, “university officials temporarily suspended Pi Kappa Phi, which basically means they can’t throw officially sanctioned parties for a few weeks.”
This level of punishment might be appropriate for a fraternity that has thrown one too many loud parties, but is far from an adequate consequence for a violent anti-Semitic attack against members of the campus community.
The attack was not an isolated incident. The anti-Semitic culture on this campus was festering long before the assault. Posts on student forums give insight into the day-to-day discrimination and hate that Jewish students are forced to face at Indiana University. There are disgusting anti-Semitic comments saying that the Holocaust should have “toughened the Jews” and “these penny-pinchers can’t even handle slurs anymore.”
Perhaps even worse, some students suggested the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians somehow justified the attack. One post accused Jewish students of falling for Israeli “propaganda” for participating in Birthright trips to their ancestral homeland. The language being used by radical leftist public officials and even college professors is breeding a new generation of ignorance and anti-Semitism. American Jewish students should not suffer for the left’s political agenda.
Jewish students posted on the forum as well, expressing fear for the backlash the Jewish community was getting following the attack. One student wrote, “All of a sudden I am no longer in a community where I can literally exist as myself because no matter what I’m just an annoying, whining Jew who lives off daddy’s money.”
“Anti-Semitism has been rising steadily across the United States,” the petition continues. “Swastika graffiti and threatening messages are unfortunately becoming a common occurrence on college campuses. Most alarmingly, Jew-hatred is turning violent. This assault at Indiana University came just three days after two rabid anti-Semites shot up a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, N.J.”
“Anti-Semitism has no place in our society. It must be fought swiftly and decisively, particularly on college campuses where the next generation of leaders learn the values and beliefs that will guide them for the rest of their lives.”
Indiana University should act immediately and make it clear that anti-Semitic violence will not be tolerated on campus.
Ryan Fournier is the founder and co-chair of Students for Trump.
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