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Jewish DePaul Student: ‘I No Longer Felt Safe on this Campus’

One Jewish DePaul student said, "This entire [BDS] campaign and entire sit-in going on is totally unsafe for Jewish students."

Rachel, a Jewish student at DePaul University, says the campus has become unsafe for Jews since the SJP's DePaul Divest campaign began.

Rachel, a Jewish student at DePaul University, says the campus has become unsafe for Jews since the SJP's DePaul Divest campaign began.
Photo Credit: screen capture from Paul Miller video

This week, students at DePaul University are being asked to get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and vote on a non-binding resolution that asks the university to divest from companies that do business in the Jewish State. But for some Jewish students on the Lincoln Park, Chicago campus, the campaign behind the proposed measure has created an atmosphere of intimidation, not free speech.

Rachel (last name withheld), a sophomore at DePaul, explained that the “DePaul Divest” campaign, begun two months ago, has transformed this campus from one that used to be “safe and community-giving.”

“This entire campaign and entire sit-in going on in the SAC (Schmitt Academic Center) is totally unsafe for Jewish students and I have had a lot of Jewish students text me and call me today and tell me they are not comfortable walking through that part of our campus, which is really disheartening.”

Rachel added, “About two months ago when SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) started the ‘DePaul Divest’ campaign, I no longer felt safe on this campus and I no longer felt I could be a proud Jewish student.”

During a Tuesday afternoon public forum on campus about the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, freshmen student Ally (last name withheld) told a pro-Israel panel that as a Jewish student, she feels intimidated on the Lincoln Park campus. (Note: SJP did not respond to an invitation to participate according to moderator Professor Patrick Callahan.)

When asked if she feels as safe as the other students on campus, Ally said, “I do kind of feel as a Jewish student that I am being targeted on campus. I feel that a lot of questions are being directed to me and I am constantly on the defensive on campus,” she explained. “I have to defend myself, my Judaism, my pride in Israel every day and it’s getting a little bit exhausting.”

Ally continued, “I’d like to live and go to a university where everybody can have their own opinions and have a diverse community and feel safe.”

Accusations of intimidation tactics against the BDS movement are not new.

Last month Jewish students were allegedly targeted on the New York University campus. Mock eviction notices were placed under doors in their dorm, causing Jewish students to “feel violated and unsafe.” A similar incident at Northeastern University in March led to that SJP chapter being suspended.

During the investigation of this story, supporters of DePaul Divest holding a rally in a popular “social gathering and study area” became agitated when they noticed photos and video being taken of their rally.

“The outright harassment and intimidation of pro-Israel students is commonplace wherever BDS rears its hateful head,” said Brett Cohen, National Campus Program Director for the pro-Israel group StandWithUs. “Shocking events have occurred at Vassar College over the past few weeks, ranging from BDS supporters violently shouting down opponents and posting actual neo-Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda images to their social media accounts.  A hostile takeover of the Student Government agenda at the University of Michigan last April included BDS supporters shouting racial epithets at student senators.”

SJP DePaul treasurer Hanna (last name withheld) did not respond to an email request for comment regarding Jewish students “feeling intimidated” or concerns about a lack of “open and honest dialogue” on campus.

When asked about charges of anti-Semitism in an earlier on-campus interview, Hanna stated, “There are three goals to the BDS movement. The right of return for the Palestinians as stipulated by U.N. resolution 194; the rights of Palestinian citizens within Israel to full equality; and the end of the occupation. This is a rights-based movement; there is nothing anti-Semitic about it.”

Student voting on the divestment resolution concludes on Friday. DePaul’s President Dennis Holtschneider has stated he “will not be able to honor it one way or the other without first being satisfied that the university community has explored all the matters at issue, and come to a thoughtful, informed, recommendation.”

About the Author: Paul Miller is an op-ed contributor to the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. He serves as principal of Pauliegroup LLC, a Chicago-based new-media and political consulting firm. His articles and editorials have appeared in the New York Post, Chicago Tribune, Jerusalem Post, San Diego Union-Trib, Fox News and Washington Times.


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126 Responses to “Jewish DePaul Student: ‘I No Longer Felt Safe on this Campus’”

  1. The Jewish DePaul Student..should RELAX G-d is in CONTROL…No weapon Fashion against US shall prosper.

  2. Sue Johnson says:

    This is sad. I am sure there are other schools in the US that are more tolerant, even welcoming. I would not give DePaul the honor of my presence if I were you.

  3. Sue Johnson says:

    This is sad. I am sure there are other schools in the US that are more tolerant, even welcoming. I would not give DePaul the honor of my presence if I were you.

  4. Why she’s an X in bold face roman new times font. DePaul. All the books and she never read why Jesus wept.

  5. Sounds like “hate crimes” to me!

  6. Everyone has the right for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and education too! Whether at public or private school settings! It’s hard enough to pay for and get a great education for any student she is a bright smart student and should be treated and respected that way as she inturn respects others! Don’t play Religion race or sexism play conversation and building friendships that’s the right way fair way and correct way to learn and advance to your goal of graduation!

  7. Gary Gien says:

    Carry some pepper spray with you don’t be afraid of these savage anti Semites

  8. Romans, Jesus, & this? A red ” X ” ? is

    Divinci involved with some kind of code?

  9. Gene Strong says:

    Liberals are as dangerous to israel.as.are muslims…perhaps more so..

  10. Bob Maram says:

    Terrible. DePaul was Always known as a school that elcomed diversity. Jews were Always welcomed there.

  11. I see, my dear. It is free-speech to bully Jewish students? You are not responsible for the PA problem, but as racists, your schoolmates are responsible for making you feel unsafe an out of place. This, too, shall pass. Every Jew has always had to justify themselves, Judaism, and Israel every day of our lives out in the world, even in the US. You are a lovely young woman and very courageous. Stay the course and keep to your beliefs. Of course, if it gets to bad, you can always leave…but with your head held high and your heart pure.

  12. Bob Talbot says:

    שבת שלום

  13. There never was a Palestine state and God willing never will be….read your history guys…the Arabs themselves threw these people to the wolves themselves! Anyone remember the holocaust? Blaming Jews was a scapegoat the nazis used for all their troubled!!! And no I am not Jewish…I am a Christ follower!!!!!

  14. keep be proude to be a jewish girl and god bless you.

  15. Dror Aluf says:

    I felt that way at my school too

  16. Ira Kurtz says:

    As Obama brings more Islamic scum to America every day.

  17. Ira Abramson says:

    Keep it up girl, don’t let them beat you.

  18. I support Jewish people and Israel. I am sad that she feels this way. Stay strong young lady. God Bless.

  19. I support Jewish people and Israel. I am sad that she feels this way. Stay strong young lady. God Bless.

  20. Ira Abramson says:

    Ira is right, to much Islamic scum, unhappy in their countries and now coming to America to try to put us back to the first century. What have they contributed to society?

  21. Have faith in GOD, take Karate lessons like my daughter , and carry Maize

  22. Our organization MASADA .. Lives …only a little over 200 strong, our goal is 2000, and if you are a Jew you know why.. GOD bless you

  23. Our organization MASADA .. Lives …only a little over 200 strong, our goal is 2000, and if you are a Jew you know why.. GOD bless you

  24. shameful – suggest you enroll in another school next fall and tell these fools goodbye

  25. Even Brandeis has taken a bad turn.

  26. Morry Barak says:

    I see the a-rab scum around there. the women dress with 2-3 kaffiyahs gaza chic. Perfect for Chicago.

  27. Es necesario que seamos fuertes y valientes y que defendamos aquello que amamos,pero debemos estar consientes de que si la violencia aumenta debemos ponernos a salvo , resguardar nuestras vidas y pedir ayuda a otras personas y denunciar estos hechos.Eres joven pero recuerda siempre que hay gente en todo el mundo que esta luchando para que tu tengas seguridad ,los Judíos tenemos el Mandato de Permanecer Unidos y de Velar por cada uno de nosotros . SHALOM … JUNTOS SOMOS FUERTES!

  28. Transfer to Hebrew University Jerusalem Israel Hang Tough

  29. Leda Tilton says:

    With all due respect to the Jewish students on DePaul students…what the hell do you expect from a Catholic University? These folks have been harassing, and killing us for 2000 years. Didn’t you pay attention in shul? Why should 2014 be any different than 1492 and 1938?

  30. Leda Tilton says:

    With all due respect to the Jewish students on DePaul students…what the hell do you expect from a Catholic University? These folks have been harassing, and killing us for 2000 years. Didn’t you pay attention in shul? Why should 2014 be any different than 1492 and 1938?

  31. Brave, – be Confident My Frind

  32. Jade Stone says:

    There everywhere. I feel so intimidated I got a gun and and a permit. I don’t want to take anymore chances.

  33. all jewish students should unite and fight for your safety and survival

  34. not the first anti semitism from this ‘skool’

  35. oh she is just a spoiled jew bitch, she can easily transfer, to any other universty, what will i say after i converted to judaism if she see,s how i live and facin everyday what will dis bitch jew will say ooh

  36. I don’t feel safe anywhere. So many racist skin heads and others who plain hate Jews. Sometimes I feel like wearing my kipah is just a target for hate.

  37. Very sad commentary. Perhaps you should change your school.

  38. Don’t be afraid.YHWH bless you.

  39. Don’t worry God has Israel’s back. They don’t need our Govt. The prayers of God’s people availeth much.

  40. You are very brave continue to hold your head high and be proud of your Jewish heritage well done

  41. Get out of that obnoxious atmosphere and find a school that is not as ignorant

  42. I am sorry for that but must admit I do not feel safe here in my own country either.

  43. may the lord give you strength and protection all day long in Jesus name amen.

  44. Naomi Smith says:

    You’re right, and sadly I have had NO problems with my school, Grand Canyon University, and they’re a Christian university.

  45. Eduardo Mazo says:

    truly, encroaching your religion of U.K.

  46. Loren Renee says:

    This is awful, kudos for the courage to share. It is so important. Jewish students should make known what schools are unsafe and patronize elsewhere. Support Amcha innitiative – they have a fb page. I am so nervous about sending my teen to college in a few years. BDS has created a whole generation of antisemetic sociopaths.

  47. It’s a shame that people have to be so racist that you cannot be who you are and have the right to express yourself.

  48. My generation had the same bull**** but we had Jewish Defense League Chapters and no one excused my French dared to F’k with us on Campus! Much like Israel everyone sits around and does nothing in response to the recent rash of Anti Semitism! If you do not combat it at the source it will rear its ugly head! So keep sitting back and letting these *******s perpetuate their negative spin and do nothing about it! See how that works for you being above it all and leaving everything for others to combat you indignation! Wake younger generation before history repeats itself! I blame the individuals that tolerate this behavior and do nothing in retaliating to circumvent it!

  49. -
    Do you think you can live on occupied Native land and not have your reality grossly distorted?

  50. Maybe it’s time to go to Israeli university? You know,there you’ll be at home!

  51. Then if anything is transparent, anti-Semitic, Why Rachel is so afraid, why is she thinking about be a Jewish and defend her Judaism, is so exhausting, Why? When asked about charges of anti-Semitism in an earlier on-campus interview, Hanna stated, “There are three goals to the BDS movement. The right of return for the Palestinians as stipulated by U.N. resolution 194; the rights of Palestinian citizens within Israel to full equality; and the end of the occupation. This is a rights-based movement; there is nothing anti-Semitic about it.”

  52. I love yo kick anti Semite ass

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