Jewish students responded to antisemitism on their college campuses, including chants for an “intifada revolution” and “Holocaust 2.0” and “F–k Israel” graffiti on the walkways, which sparked an investigation from the University of Maryland.
“There is only one solution. Intifada revolution,” pro-Palestinian students chanted on Nov. 10. The university responded to the demonstration by denouncing antisemitism.
However, students Shayna Leibowitz, Emma Steinhause and Benjamin Blain are concerned about whether the university was just giving them lip service. Blain’s family member – a 16-year-old girl – was killed during one of the Palestinian intifada terrorist attacks in the 2000s and said hearing the chants was “quite traumatic.”
“The university has been understanding, but there hasn’t been action taken… And if action isn’t taken, these actions will proliferate and it will lead one to another. And we don’t want to have to deal with those consequences,” Blain said.
“In regard to the intifada. [UMD has] one of the largest Jewish communities, with 2,000 Jewish kids on this campus. And a lot of kids here have direct family members that were either murdered in the intifada or have grandparents that survived the Holocaust,” he said.
“My relation is my mother’s first cousin, one of her cousins was murdered, a 16-year-old girl sitting in a pizza store during the intifada,” he said. “And [Jewish students] having to deal with sitting in their biology classes, hearing outside hundreds of students referencing the Final Solution, calling for an intifada on UMD campus. It’s just a really unfortunate reality.”
Steinhause described feeling scared to be on campus.
“It made me feel pretty scared because that is a call to violence and that has no place on our campus. I’m happy for people to represent whatever views they do have, but I think having any sort of call to violence on our campus is unacceptable. And the lack of like any sort of address from the university about that has really shocked me,” Steinhause said.
The intifadas were periods spanning years of intensified Palestinian terrorism. The first (87′-93′) is sometimes referred to as “The Intifada of Stones,” where Molotov cocktails, grenades and rocks were used against Israelis.
During the Second Intifada, Palestinian suicide bombers used increasingly powerful bombs to kill larger numbers of Israelis in their terror attacks. Terrorists would include shrapnel in the bombs and would dip the fragments in rat poison, an anticoagulant, so the victim would have a higher chance of bleeding to death, Israeli officials said.
“As a Jew, I am still proud to be Jewish and proud to be who I am. My identity. And I don’t want to hide who I am. However, I do fear being Jewish on campus sometimes because it does put a larger target on our backs or everything that’s been going on,” Leibowitz said.
About the “Holocaust 2.0” graffiti, she said, “I kind of just was more in shock that someone would write something like that. I just don’t understand how someone could write that in a public setting and think it’s okay.”
“We are aware of the hateful, antisemitic sentiments expressed at today’s demonstration organized by Students for Justice in Palestine. We condemn it in no uncertain terms,” the university said in a statement. “The offensive actions of a few should not reflect on the vast majority of protesters who were there to peacefully express their views, but there is no place for any antisemitic message, behavior or action at the University of Maryland.”
The university also said it launched an investigation and The University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) has launched an immediate investigation and continues to conduct real-time threat assessments, saying, “Responsible parties will be held accountable.”
Fox News Digital reached out, asking for the status of their investigation, but did receive a response on that question.
“The health and safety of every member of our campus community remain our highest priorities. There is an increased police presence on our campus with more high-visibility patrols as part of the University of Maryland Police Department’s (UMPD) robust and comprehensive safety plan. UMPD actively monitors circumstances locally and nationally, and remains ready to deploy additional resources if needed,” the university said.
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