AMCHA’S Responses to Antisemitic Activity at University of Missouri



2.  Another swastika is found on campus.

  • INCIDENT: A swastika was drawn out of feces and found on the wall of a bathroom in Gateway Hall on October 24, 2015. The administration remained silent, without any condemnation of this antisemitism.
  • 11/5/15 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative coordinated a coalition letter of 36 organizations to Chancellor Loftin stating, “… we are dismayed that neither you nor any other MU administrator has yet to publicly address this act of blatant antisemitism, which clearly targets Jewish students and causes them to feel threatened and unsafe.”
  • 11/5/15 – UNIVERSITY RESPONSE: Chancellor Loftin responds with an email stating, “…the university did not immediately react to this latest incident in order to give law enforcement time to investigate and possibly identify the perpetrator(s). I met yesterday with a Jewish student leader who is arranging for me to sit down with three Jewish student groups soon and obtain their input on how best to respond to these events in the future as well as how we can improve the campus climate for all.”
  • 11/6/15 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative replied with a coalition letter of the 36 groups to Chancellor Loftin stating, “We thank you your prompt response to our letter.  However, we are dismayed by what you have written. You claim that you did not immediately react to the swastika drawn in feces “in order to give law enforcement time to investigate and possibly identify the perpetrator(s).”  But we cannot understand how an on-going investigation into the identity of the perpetrator(s) would prevent you from speaking out publicly and forcefully against this despicable act, labeling it what it is — antisemitism — and acknowledging that as a symbol directly linked to the slaughter of 6 million Jews and the genocide of the Jewish people, a swastika is extremely threatening to Jewish students and will not be tolerated…”
  • 11/6/15 – UNIVERSITY RESPONSE: Chancellor Loftin responds with an official letter stating, “While I have not issued a public denunciation, I have expressed my horror and anger to our students directly.”

1.  Swastikas are found on campus.

  • INCIDENT: Reports of two separate incidents of antisemitic graffiti discovered in a stairwell of the Mark Twain dormitory on campus surfaced.  According to one account, the graffiti found on the morning of April 9 included a swastika, the Illuminati symbol, and the word “heil” drawn in ash on the wall.  The graffiti was cleaned from the wall that day by residential life staff members.  However on the evening of April 10, another swastika and the words “You’ve been warned” were discovered in the same area. In the wake of these antisemitic incidents,  Jewish students have expressed feeling targeted and unsafe at MU.
  • 4/16/15 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative coordinated a coalition letter of 16 groups to Chancellor Loftin thanking him for his statement, and asking that in order to fully protect Jewish students he, “Swiftly, forcefully and publicly acknowledge that swastika graffiti is an act of antisemitism and will not be tolerated on campus; Publicly commit to educating University staff, including campus police, in identifying antisemitism and antisemitic hate crimes; Formally adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of antisemitism to fully and accurately identify all future acts of hate toward Jews; Allocate resources and publicly commit to educating students about antisemitism and anti-Jewish discrimination.”
  • 4/16/15 – UNIVERSITY RESPONSE: Chancellor Loftin responds promptly with an email stating, “The MU Police Department is actively investigating the incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti that you reference.  At their request, I delayed making a statement so that my remarks would not compromise the investigation.  It is, in fact, MUPD’s recognition that this graffiti constitutes a hate crime and the high degree of care that they apply to the investigation of any bias crime that delayed my public denunciation…I can assure you that I take this issue very seriously and that my priority is identifying and imposing sanctions and pursuing criminal prosecution ofthe perpetrator or perpetrators. The Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative has focused a Difficult Dialogues series on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, where faculty are trained to discuss these issues in the classroom. ..”
  • 4/17/15 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative coordinated a coalition letter of 16 groups to Chancellor Loftin thanking him for his reply while also reiterating, “Campus lectures and campaigns which themselves engage in antisemitc activity when they demonize and delegitimize Israel and its supporters and seek to dismantle the Jewish state, can create a toxic campus environment that allows further acts of anti-Jewish bigotry to flourish.  We therefore urge you to familiarize yourself with, and then formally adopt, the U.S. State Department’s definition of antisemitism, which recognizes that specific forms of anti-Israel expression cross the line into antisemitism. We urge you to use this definition to identify and address campus antisemitism with the same promptness and vigor as you do all other forms of racial, ethnic, and gender bigotry and discrimination.”