Anti-Semitic incidents impact MSU community

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Recently, Michigan State University has noticed anti-Semitic incidents that have impacted the MSU community.

MSU is currently investigating whether the perpetrator is a member of the MSU community.

The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel said in a statement they’re disappointed.

“Whether such perpetrators are affiliated with MSU or not, their actions harm the campus community.”

In one incident, an individual allegedly joined a biology class group chat using a Nazi swastika as a profile picture and claimed that they study biology to prove that “Jews are scum.”

The other students in the chat denounced those statements and removed the person from the chat.

One student reported the incident to the class professor and to a number of campus units, including the Sterling Institute.

The Serling Institute also says an individual using the same screenname made anti-Semitic comments in the group chat of a local apartment complex. The person responded to another residents message with, “Shut the hell up Jew boy.”

When asked to leave the chat by others in the group, the person apparently answered with: “This is why you don’t trust Jews.”

The Jewish Studies institute at MSU said they were proud to see the students in the chat jump into action.

“We applaud the students in this group chat for censuring these statements and commend the university for investigating these incidents,” said The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel in a statement.

On Friday, Sept. 11, the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, The Serling Institute says a campus student organization painted the MSU rock with an American flag. The flag had a caption that said “Never forget,” and the number of victims lost on 9/11 attacks.

At some point shortly after that, the word “Israel” was spray painted over the American flag. The word “Never” was also painted over. The institution says the graffiti evokes the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attack.

Students have since then re-painted the rock.

In the last several years, MSU students have reported more than 75 incidents of antisemitism that have ranged from jokes to destruction of property.

The Serling Institute is a resource where students can be educated about antisemitism. This institute is encouraging the MSU community to join their virtual symposium on anti-semitism on Oct. 8.

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