Campus Monitor - University of Florida, Gainesville

Student Voices

  • January 30, 2017 – University of Florida Gainesville Jewish Student (Jacob) “As a proud Jewish student at UF, it can be scary to witness something like what happened.” Read more
  • University of Florida Jewish Student (Avichaim ) “Tuesday was not the first day [I have] felt hatred because of [my] religion. Last year, while walking on Turlington Plaza wearing a star of David, about five students called him a dirty Jew and a Zionist pig. [I] also saw someone dressed as Adolf Hitler for Halloween last year. It has happened before, and it will happen again, and I’m tired for not being able to stand up for myself.” Read more
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    Antisemitism Tracker

    Total Antisemitic Activity:

    To see more information on how AMCHA determines antisemitic activity, click HERE.
    To report a concern, click HERE.


    Classification Date-Description
    TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/MOVEMENT/ASSEMBLY 4/5/17 – Pride Student Union of UF pulled support for an event with an Israeli gay speaker that was co-sponsored with the student group This is Israel UF, claiming that it was “out of respect for and support for the Palestinian community” and justifying it because “supporting a political agenda plagued with violence and racism is antisemitic. Choosing not to support such an agenda represents solidarity.”
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HISTORICAL
    1/27/17 – A second man was seen prominently displaying a swastika on his clothing on campus. In this case, the man wore a black leather jacket with a large swastika symbol painted on the back and walked around campus. He was seen the same day as the “Liberation Rally” event was taking place, which commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the infamous Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.
    VERBAL ASSAULT;
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HISTORICAL
    1/26/17 – A man wearing a Nazi armband returned to campus and, after verbally assaulting a Rabbi and executing the Nazi salute at a Jewish student on his way to synagogue, stood on a bench in the center of campus at Turlington Plaza. While being surrounded by about 150 protesters shouting “no more Nazis ever again,” the man executed the Nazi salute another time.
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HISTORICAL
    1/24/17 – As members of the Jewish Student Union were packing up following tabling to educate about Jewish Heritage Month, a man rode his bike nearby wearing a swastika armband reminiscent of the ones worn by the Nazi party.
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HISTORICAL
    11/20/16 – A swastika and anti-Trump graffiti were spray-painted on the gate of a fraternity house following an anti-Trump rally.
    SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/MOVEMENT/ASSEMBLY;
    HARASSMENT;
    DENIGRATION;
    DEMONIZATION
    2/19/15 – A StandWithUs-sponsored event featuring two IDF Soldiers was disrupted by SJP members. In the middle of the talk, SJP members stood up in protest, wearing shirts that read “You’re the real terrorist.”
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: HISTORICAL 11/13/16 – Three fliers reading “Tired of anti-white propaganda in college? You aren’t alone” were reported on campus. According to the Alligator, “At the bottom of the fliers was a link to The Right Stuff, an anti-Semitic blog with an affiliated podcast that created the “parenthesis meme,” in which Jewish names are surrounded by parentheses, often in order to target them for online abuse on social media.”
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT)
    4/18/16 – SJP held a “Boycott Sabra Demonstration” on campus where they had a cooking tutorial of the “ingredients” that goes into Sabra Hummus which includes “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid”. One attendee held a sign saying “Stop supporting ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine” and another attendee held a sign saying, “Don’t buy into Israeli human rights abuses, #BoycottSabra” and in a video explained this as part of the BDS movement.
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION
    3/30/16 – An article in the school newspaper falsely accused Israel of apartheid and “probably even ethnic cleansing”. SJP’s facebook post that shared the article stated, “Let’s be clear: Palestinians have undergone apartheid, colonization, displacement, occupation and ethnic cleansing. Israel has continuously proven itself to be a racist apartheid state.”
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BOYCOTT)
    1/14/15 – Students for Justice in Palestine University of Florida was one of the signatories of a statement entitled “Say No to Faithwashing: Boycott Muslim Leadership Initiative,” which falsely accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid,” and pledges commitment to “the BDS call.”
    BDS ACTIVITY: CALLS FOR BDS 3/31/16 – SJP tabled on campus, and included literature and materials to share about BDS.
    CALLS FOR BDS 3/29/16 – As part of “Palestinian Solidarity Week”, SJP held the event, “Confronting Occupation: A Conversation with International Peace Activist Dezeray Lyn.” Dezeray Lyn is the co-founder of BDS Block the Boat Tampa and STOP G4S in Tampa. The advertisement for the event claimed she would be discussing her experiences with occupation and her [BDS] activism.
    CALLS FOR BDS 3/23/16 – SJP held the workshop, “Sabra what’s all the Hoopla” to discuss their Boycott Sabra campaign.
    CALLS FOR BDS 1/23/16 – SJP announced the launch of a “Boycott Sabra” campaign.
    CALLS FOR BDS 1/21/16 – An article in the school newspaper promoted and called for BDS.

     

    In the News ?

    April 10, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – Gay Israel Activist Strikes Back After LGBT Student Group Pulls Support for His Event to Show ‘Solidarity’ With Palestinians

    March 19, 2017:
    The Independent Florida Alligator – UF SG resolutions condemn hate on campus, defend free speech

    February 23, 2017:
    WUFT – Amid National Anti-Semitism, UF Jewish Center Sign Vandalized

    February 3, 2017:
    Heritage Florida News – Swastika-wearing man at UF

    January 27, 2017:
    WUFT – Another Swastika Wearer Spotted Near Rally To Commemorate Auschwitz Liberation

    January 26, 2017:
    Gainesville.com – Swastika-wearer draws UF protests, has hate symbol stolen

    January 26, 2017:
    ClickOrlando.com – Police: Man wearing swastika ‘jumped’ in Gainesville

    January 26, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – Jewish Students at U of Florida ‘Shocked’ by Cyclist Wearing Swastika Armband Riding Around Campus

    January 25, 2017:
    Gainesville.com – Swastika-wearing man spotted on UF campus

    January 25, 2017:
    The Independent Florida Alligator – Man wearing swastika armband at UF prompts outcry

    November 21, 2016:
    The Independent Florida Alligator – Frat house vandalized after anti-Trump protest – A swastika was spray-painted, window broken

    November 14, 2016:
    Alligator – Pro-white fliers found on campus prompt UF response
    (Description note, “Three fliers reading “Tired of anti-white propaganda in college? You aren’t alone” were reported on campus between Saturday and Monday, UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said. They were found at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the Murphree Hall parking lot and Ustler Hall. At the bottom of the fliers was a link to The Right Stuff, an anti-Semitic blog with an affiliated podcast that created the “parenthesis meme,” in which Jewish names are surrounded by parentheses, often in order to target them for online abuse on social media.”)

    November 2, 2015:
    The Independent Florida Alligator – UF group to host pro-Palestine event at The Jam
    (Descripiton note, “He said he hopes to educate people on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement, which calls for boycotts against Israel until the conflict ends.”)

    October 16, 2015: The Independent Florida Alligator – Protests at Israeli-Palestinian rally
    (Description note, “impassioned chants from behind the crowd rose up. “Viva, Viva, Palestina! Free, Free Palestine!” the protesters yelled, signs in hand. “Netanyahu, shame on you. Palestinians are people, too!” The counter-protest, organized by Students for Justice in Palestine at UF, aimed to educate students about the discrimination and oppression Palestinians suffer at the hands of Israel, said Brian Feldman, a member of SJP. “We believe that solidarity for Israel is in itself a racist statement,” the UF political science senior said. “It implies solidarity with oppression and occupation.”)

    April 7, 2015: The Independent Florida Alligator- UF group educates students on discrimination in Palestine (Description note, “A member of UF’s Students for Justice in Palestine held a sign Tuesday that read, “IDF attacked Palestinian Christians in Beit Jala during Palm Sunday service — Do you care?” About five members of the organization, which advocates for Palestinian liberation, spoke with students on Turlington Plaza about the discrimination Palestinian Christians face as their Easter celebration approaches this Sunday…SJP will show a documentary called “Enemy Alien” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Anderson Hall, Room 34.”)

    February 20, 2015: The Independent Florida Alligator – Israel Defense Force soldiers share stories; SJP walks out

    November 24, 2014: The Independent Florida Alligator – UF Hillel condemns anti-Semitic acts on Jewish students in email

    September 22, 2014: UF SJP TUMBLR – Letters to the Editor: Stand against the Israeli Occupation (Description note – “In his letter to the editor, UF Hillel rabbi and CEO Adam Grossman made a comment about divestment being divisive. Was the Montgomery bus boycott divisive? Was the movement to divest from apartheid South Africa divisive? Yes, challenging systems of oppression can alienate those who defend the status quo and racism. Those who feel that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is divisive should look inward and ask why they feel the need to support the university’s endowment going toward further marginalizing people here and abroad.”)

    September 21, 2014: Fight Back! News – Students for Justice in Palestine confront Michael Oren (Description note: “ACCENT tried to frame it as a balanced event, since Rula Jebreal, a Palestinian, was the one asking him [Oren] questions…Rula Jebreal accepting to speak with Oren totally undermines all of the on-ground work that SJP and other activists are doing. SJP at the University of Florida is working towards a one state solution and campaigning hard for Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS)…We made sure to make a Facebook event for the counter-action well in advance. We also kept the event private to keep it from being discovered and foiled by any right-wing or Zionist organizations. …We came prepared for whatever weather Florida would throw at us, and held our ground…We need to protest events like this …SJP members stood outside all the entrances to the event, with our supporters holding signs and chanting pro-Palestine and anti-apartheid slogans. Even though it was very cold and raining, our supporters remained strong and we held one of the most militant, successful demos SJP at UF has ever put on. There were over 30 cops trying to shut us down, but we stood strong in the face of the enemy … We have no intention of begging the Jewish Student Union or Hillel, actively Zionist organizations that fund the occupation, to talk to us.”)

    September 21, 2014: Fight Back News – Students for Justice in Palestine confront Michael Oren: Interview with Farah Khan (Description note – “SJP at the University of Florida is working towards a one state solution and campaigning hard for Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS): we are tabling every day, hosting teach-ins, workshops, speak-outs and protests. We are already delivering information to our student body.”)

    September 21, 2014: Fight Back! News – Students for Justice in Palestine confront Michael Oren (Description note: “ACCENT tried to frame it as a balanced event, since Rula Jebreal, a Palestinian, was the one asking him [Oren] questions…Rula Jebreal accepting to speak with Oren totally undermines all of the on-ground work that SJP and other activists are doing. SJP at the University of Florida is working towards a one state solution and campaigning hard for Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS)…We made sure to make a Facebook event for the counter-action well in advance. We also kept the event private to keep it from being discovered and foiled by any right-wing or Zionist organizations. …We came prepared for whatever weather Florida would throw at us, and held our ground…We need to protest events like this …SJP members stood outside all the entrances to the event, with our supporters holding signs and chanting pro-Palestine and anti-apartheid slogans. Even though it was very cold and raining, our supporters remained strong and we held one of the most militant, successful demos SJP at UF has ever put on. There were over 30 cops trying to shut us down, but we stood strong in the face of the enemy … We have no intention of begging the Jewish Student Union or Hillel, actively Zionist organizations that fund the occupation, to talk to us.”)

    September 19, 2014: Oren-Jebreal Discussion: Accent’s done enough to offend Palestinians (Description note – Highlights SJP’s absolute refusal to discussion. Quote from author, Amanda Nelson, secretary of the UF branch of Students for Justice in Palestine,”The Oren-Jebreal conversation misrepresents the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a dispute between two groups…predicated on the assumption that the two just need to “work things out.” This approach…creates a false image of inclusiveness and diversity. We do not wish to be involved in such a thinly veiled display of favoritism for a modern-day colonialist government. SJP says “no, thank you”)

    September 16, 2014: ISRAEL EVENT DISRUPTED BY SJP – Description note: SJP performed a “militant demo” against Michael Oren former U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) organizer Farah Khan stated, “We made sure to make a Facebook event for the counter-action well in advance. We also kept the event private to keep it from being discovered and foiled by any right-wing or Zionist organizations. …We came prepared for whatever weather Florida would throw at us, and held our ground…we held one of the most militant, successful demos SJP at UF has ever put on. There were over 30 cops trying to shut us down.”

    August 28, 2014: The Independent Florida Alligator – Farah Khan, Vice President of External Affairs for the UF branch of Students for Justice in Palestine, “An Open Letter to Bernie Machen: It’s OK to be wrong” (Description note – ” Israeli universities are highly militarized, and they create the culture of occupation and settler colonialism that you must stand against…”)

    July 29, 2014: Smart Board – Student group wants Machen to boycott Israel

    May 2, 2014: Tampa Bay –Maxwell: Divestment in support of Palestinians’ rights

     December 26, 2013 – Miami Herald –UNIVERSITY STATEMENTFIU becomes latest college to oppose boycott of Israel (Description note – mentions University of Florida President Machen’s statement, “I believe the entire University of Florida community holds academic freedom to be a cherished principle that advances the interests of society.”)

    October 18, 2013: Hecklers Flee Israeli Speaker at U of Florida

    October 10, 2013: ISRAEL EVENT DISRUPTED BY SJP – Description note: At a UF Hillel event, four members of SJP stood up during her talk wearing signs, one female member read a statement, then SJP performed a walk out of the event.

     

    Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

    Source Credit: WUFT (January 27, 2017)

    Source Credit: WUFT (January 25, 2017)


    Source Credit: A man wearing a swastika armband rode his bicycle as the Jewish Student Union promotes Jewish Heritage Month (January 25, 2017)

    Source Credit: A man wearing a swastika armband rode his bicycle as the Jewish Student Union promotes Jewish Heritage Month (January 25, 2017)



    SJP holds a “Boycott Sabra Demonstration” on campus. Source Credit: Youtube – 4/18/16


    SJP holds a “Boycott Sabra Demonstration” on campus. Source Credit: Youtube – 4/18/16


    April 20, 2016: The President of SJP at UF discussed the “ingredients” of Sabra hummus, which include “ethnic cleansing,” “torture,” and “apartheid” as well as encouraged a boycott of Sabra Hummus.  Source Credit: Youtube

     

    To report antisemitic activity at this or any other campus, you may:

    BDS Tracker

    No divestment vote has taken place.


    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 1
    SJP

    FACULTY BDS

    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 7

    1. Richard Burt
    2. Kim Emery
    3. Michael Leslie
    4. Leah Rosenberg
    5. Malini Johar Schueller
    6. Phillip Wegner
    7. Gwendolyn Zoharah-Simmons

    Signatures