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Jewish Students at West Chester University in Pennsylvania Call for Action Against Antisemitism on Campus

The "We Choose Unity" event hosted by the West Chester University Hillel on April 29, 2022. Photo: Madelyn Chartock via the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.

May 10, 2022

Jewish students at West Chester University (WCU) in southeastern Pennsylvania are speaking out and calling for action by the school’s administration following a recent series of antisemitic incidents on campus, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent reported last week.

On April 15th, a man carrying signs reading “Jews Caused 9/11 by Provoking Palestine” and “Jews Reject Jesus Christ, You Know What You Did” was seen walking around the WCU campus.

The WCU Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion issued an email response urging students avoid the demonstrator on campus, but it did not mention the antisemitic nature of his signs.

“We can’t stop the gentleman from coming to our campus because we’re a public university,” Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tracey Robinson was quoted as saying. “So we’ve talked about our efforts to try to not give hate an audience. That’s why we send out our message to let people know that there’s an uninvited guest in the quad and, if they can, to avoid that area or not engage. We also provide them with strategies for using their voice in ways that counter the message that’s being sent.”

Two weeks later, on April 29th, WCU hosted a speaking appearance by anti-Israel activist Mohammed El-Kurd, who has a long track record of venomous antisemitic rhetoric.

Also in April, antisemitic flyers were distributed in the nearby community of Ardmore.

In an April 21st statement, the WCU Hillel said, “There has been a dramatic rise in antisemitic crimes this year. We are nervous for our safety as Jewish students of WCU.”

“We call on the University to call out antisemitic activity as antisemitic or, at least, as hate speech when it happens on campus,” it added. “We will work with out student partners to do the same.”

At the same time of the El-Kurd lecture, Hillel hosted an event under the banner of “We Choose Unity.”

Category:On Campus