Anti-Semitism continues to rise on many U.S. college campuses including in Texas where universities face increasing vitriol that targets their Jewish student communities.
On Monday, Texas State University at San Marcos spokesman Matt Flores announced university police found and removed approximately four to five anti-Semitic flyers at around 1 a.m. Friday outside of the Albert B. Alkek Library, according to the San Antonio Express-News. A concerned student, who saw the inflammatory material, posted a photo of it on social media and posed to school officials: “What are you going to do about it?”
— Sierra (@SierraNotNevada) March 4, 2017
Flanked by black swastikas, the flyer asked: “White man, are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneracy?” It beseeched others to “join us in the struggle for global white supremacy” and directed them to the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi, white supremacist group. At the bottom, the flyer noted the anti-Semitic message was “brought to you by your local #SmashAntifa activist group.” On Twitter, Smash Antifa links to the Daily Stormer website.
Smash Antifa says it promotes “White Interests” and “agitating” others like “(((them))).” Breitbart Jerusalem reported this parenthetical symbol is called an “(((echo))).” It allowed white nationalists and neo-Nazis to more easily aim their anti-Semitic venom online until Google removed the app last year.
On Saturday, the Texas State University Star reported this as the third racially-charged incident on campus since November. One student tweeted: “How am I supposed to want to enroll in #TexasState when this kind of hate is tolerated here.” Another student responded: “@TXSTPresident needs to address this, not in an email. I will withdraw from @txst if I continue to feel unsafe.”
“I don’t know that you can stop it,” the Texas State spokesman told the Express-News. He said university President Denise Trauth did not plan to issue a formal statement regarding the anti-Semitic flyers but she made it “quite clear” they go against the “core values of what it’s like to be a Bobcat.”
Texas State University is only one of the state’s colleges dealing with anti-Semitism. Watchdog group Canary Mission conducted long-term investigations on the University of Houston (UH) and the University of Texas at Arlington.
Canary Mission told The Algemeiner they uncovered a “disturbing degree of hatred” among a group of current and recently graduated UH students who posted dozens of anti-Jewish online messages that also praised Hitler, mocked the Holocaust, and threatened violence against Jews. Their January 2017 report revealed an alarming number of the social media posts that expressed hatred of the Jewish people and Israel came from individuals associated with campus chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association, plus other supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
In a February report, Canary Mission called the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the UT-Arlington “a focal point for campus anti-Semitism.” Investigators identified 24 current and recent students responsible for 158 anti-Jewish hate posts dating back to 2012. Nineteen of these students were affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine and 12, with the Muslim Students Association chapter at the Dallas area campus. Social media remarks supported Hitler, the Holocaust, and terrorism. They also promoted violence against Jews, Israelis, and supporters of Israel. Of particular concern was a UT-Arlington student activist and her brother, a Tarrant Community College student, who posted anti-Semitic posts. According to the report, these individuals are cousins of a man who masterminded a 2012 Tel Aviv bus bombing.
The flagship UT-Austin campus ranked 34th on The Algemeiner’s 2016 list of 40 worst colleges for Jewish students because of anti-Semitism. In November, Jewish groups cancelled Jerusalem Times editor Caroline Glick’s campus speaking engagement because of pressure, Breitbart Texas reported. One year earlier, 12 members of the Palestinian Solidarity Committee burst into an Israeli studies class and interrupted a guest lecturer from speaking with chants of “free, free Palestine” and “long live the Intifada.”
Last week, UT-Austin’s Texas Hillel, a Jewish fraternity, posted on Facebook one of their windows was shattered in an act of vandalism. University and Austin police opened an investigation to determine if this was an anti-Semitic act against Jewish students. Hillel admins wrote: “Our primary focus is to ensure all Jewish students feel safe and welcome on campus, and that incidents like this do not happen again.”
In response to the Hillel vandalism and recent anti-Semitic posts on the UT Class of 2020 Facebook page, the student government unanimously passed Assembly Resolution 26 Tuesday declaring support for the university’s Jewish students. AR 26 author Jonathan Dror told the Daily Texan: “Several Jewish students that I know don’t even feel comfortable wearing their (Star of David) necklace out or small things like that just to express their religion.”
Dror hopes AR 26 will serve as a reminder of solidarity and support to Jewish students despite ever-present anti-Semitism on the UT-Austin campus.
Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.