The Daily Illini

Uphold the student code

Graffiti+on+a+bathroom+stall+in+Altgeld+Hall.
Graffiti on a bathroom stall in Altgeld Hall.

Graffiti on a bathroom stall in Altgeld Hall.

Brian Bauer

Brian Bauer

Graffiti on a bathroom stall in Altgeld Hall.

By Hayley Nagelberg, Columnist

“I hate Jews.”

These were the words found carved on the door of a bathroom on our campus this week.

“There is no room for … Zionists at UIUC.” 

This statement came on a post by Students for Justice in Palestine, written publicly on Facebook for anyone and everyone to see.

These words do not belong on our campus, nor anywhere else.

Calling into question, let alone vilifying someone’s identity based on religious reasons, ideological reasons, ethnic background or any other identity is entirely unacceptable.

Moreover, these words are a blatant violation of the University’s Student Code.

The Student Code states that “Registered Organizations and Registered Student Organizations shall not practice discrimination against a member or prospective member on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation …” 

The Student Code also requires each member of this University community to live up to a set of values, stating, “These values include the freedom to learn, free and open expression within limits that do not interfere … with respect for the dignity of others, and personal and institutional openness to constructive change.” 

Beyond these standards, the Student Code states that students may be disciplined for “inciting, aiding, or encouraging others to engage in a behavior which violates the Student Code.”

Hateful words on social media often lead to hateful words in person, and hateful words often lead to hateful, intolerant action: actions like two swastikas being found scrawled on the doors of the bathroom in Altgeld Hall.

Yes, this also happened this week — in the same building where the inscription on one door stating “I hate Jews” was found.

None of this information was presented to the student body when it was known; and yet faculty were made aware of the swastikas and anti-Semitic scrawls via an email sent to the math department.

Our University’s leadership and certain students have bred an environment where words and actions like these have become acceptable.

There are thousands of new freshmen walking around campus, meeting new people and learning what this campus stands for.  

Words of hate and acts of intolerance should not be a part of new student orientation.  

Words of hate and acts of intolerance are not what this campus stands for.

Very little is spoken about the Student Code on this campus. I can’t recollect being asked to sign off that I would live up to the guidelines set forth in that Code, yet that is my responsibility as a student. So, I have taken the time to learn what is expected of me and what is not allowed. Clearly, some other students, and possibly administrators, have not taken this responsibility upon themselves.

This is not the first time that hateful, anti-Semitic language or symbols have been found on social media pages of campus organizations or on our school grounds. Our administration’s failure to address these matters has fostered a culture of intolerance and prejudice.

Furthermore, failing to share with the student body the occurrences of these disgraceful acts makes the administration complicit in accepting this hate.

Both the students and administration need to revisit the guidelines of this University and uphold their responsibilities to this campus and to every student who calls it home.

Hayley is a junior in ACES.

[email protected]

39 Comments
  • Elan Karoll

    Over this past weekend, swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti were found in the Altgeld Math Building at the University of Illinois.
    Days before, Students for Justice in Palestine declared: “there is no room for Zionists at UIUC.”
    Last semester, a white supremacist and known Holocaust denier came to campus with a sign that read “Israel bombed World Trade Center” and harassed students.
    That very same day, Students for Justice in Palestine held their annual “Israel Apartheid Week” on the main quad.
    Also last semester, swastikas were found on a different University of Illinois building.
    That was three days before a vote to divest University funds from Israel, put on the student ballot by Students for Justice in Palestine.
    Do you see the trend or is it just me.

    • Akram A

      You mean a trend of IlliniPac leaders tweeting explicit anti-Muslim hate?
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/568a23b7bdd29d4956f4cb1315598dc296c0e9b7947767a8adee03c4f69ff6aa.jpg

      • Publius

        A critique of the real trend in Islam towards fanaticism that does not exist in other worldwide religions is not the same as saying “I hate Jews,” or even an attempt to exclude Jews. Calling parts of Islam out for their extremism and violence is not “anti-Muslim hate,” anymore than calling out extremist settlers in Israel is anti-Jewish hate.

        • Illinois Alum

          “Anymore than calling out extremist settlers in Israel is anti-Jewish hate.” This is important. There is absolutely nothing wrong with criticizing Islam or any fundamental political movement based on Islam. It’s not racist or antisemitic to call out Israeli policies or to criticize ‘Zionism’ in terms of referring to it as a political movement.

          • ModernMaccabi

            It is absolutely fair to call out Israeli policies and practices. But comparing all Zionists in general to members of the KKK and Fascists and saying they should be banned from campus is something else completely. Just as it would be if a group of conservative students chanted “Arabs are terrorists and should be banned from campus.”

      • LMAO! You call that anti-Muslim hate? I get that many Muslim activists are using SJW techniques to try and topple the West, but beware before one starts to believe in the SJW dogma !

    • Illinois Alum

      It’s just you. Don’t pull a muscle reaching so much. How are you tying these things together? You said it yourself, the idiot with the WTC sign is a known white supremacist and Holocaust denier. He had absolutely nothing to do with the SJP display. Why would you suggest there is a connection? It’s pretty simple: this idiot knew that the Israel/Palestine issue would be brought to attention and he wanted to exploit that by stirring up trouble. Apparently he succeeded if you’re trying to equate those two movements.

      • ModernMaccabi

        Members of SJP chanting “No Zionists, no KKK resisting fascists all the way” is not a legitimate “criticism” of Israel or Zionism and is a clear violation of the Student Code as described in this article. Just as if another group of students were to chant, “Arabs and Terrorists are the same, they must be kept away,” or “If you don’t want to be bombed, then you must fight against Islam.”

        Those types of chants are all unacceptable and should be shut down according to the Student Code of Conduct.

        • Illinois Alum

          Again, Zionism is not a religion. There are various definitions and movements of ‘Zionism’. Many, including SJP, view it primarily as a political and nationalist ideology. It’s not a protected class under the law, nor under the student code. Protesting that Republicans are fascists or that Antifa are fascists, or that fundamental political *Islamists* (read, not simply Muslims) are fascists or that pro-Independence Catalans are fascists cannot and should not be shut down. Chanting that Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. are not welcome is entirely different.

          • ModernMaccabi

            Zionism is the belief in a homeland for the Jewish people. Zionists, who are largely Jewish, are people who believe in and support the State of Israel. Whether or not YOU or SJP make a distinction between Jews being a religious group or an ethnic group is completely irrelevant. The language used is insulting, degrading and violates the Student Code of Conduct.

            It’s fair game if you want to engage in a debate or discussion about the ideas behind Zionism and the policies of the state of Israel. But comparing ALL Zionists to the KKK (a racist group that targets Jews in particular) is offensive and out of bounds.

            Likewise, if you want to talk about “protected classes” and other constitutional issues then we can go down that route and talk about how the KKK, Nazis and other groups have the right to say whatever they want under the 1st Amendment regardless of whether or not it is offensive or intimidates students on a college campus. However, that is not what this thread is about. It is about the Student Code of Conduct which holds speech to a very different standard.

          • JEB

            You are wrong. There is one single definition of Zionism. Others may be trying to derail it, change it, villify it…but there is only one definition and that is the dream for a return of Jews to their homeland. It is pure and after 1878 years of JEWS being subjugated by Muslims Jews finally have autonomy and now you’re crying that the Muslims are subjugated? Please! They have full rights in Israel.

        • Why? Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  • JEB

    As a Jewish alum I am discouraged by this administration allowing the mainstreaming of anti-semitism. Sometimes it is veiled as anti-Israel sentiment and other times it is blatant. We are watching carefully and trying to decide how to best help stem this tide. It takes bravery, courage, and organization to defeat this type of evil.

    • Elan Karoll

      Well said sir!

    • Akram A

      Hi, Mr. Jewish Alum, would you care to denounce explicit Islamophobic and anti-Arab hate as well, from this Jewish girl? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/568a23b7bdd29d4956f4cb1315598dc296c0e9b7947767a8adee03c4f69ff6aa.jpg

      • Facting Illini

        Is it true that in January you told a Jewish person to “go back to Europe”?

        • Akram A

          No? Also, get a little more creative with your comebacks

          • Facting Illini

            Oh but you did.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7910bf51d4258ebb6186d50e0c75e7d9d0b14b5a17c0326bc681eeafea173373.jpg

            Let’s break down why your comments on this article and the message from January are anti-semitic:

            1, You responded to a Jewish person by pointing out that another Jewish person did something you did not like. Through that you are basically grouping Jews just because they are Jewish. You have no idea if these two people are actually connected. Why would you ask him to comment on that? It seems like it upsets you when people generalize about Islam and Muslims, yet you are doing the exact same thing here to Jews.

            2. Telling a Jewish person to go back to Europe, where 6 million Jews died in the holocaust is not just insensitive, it is not even a micro-aggression. It is an outright shameful anti-Semitic act of racial and religious intolerance.

            3. Making distinctions about which type of Jew
            you like or not (the Mizrahi comment) is just plain racist, as you are you choose between groups of Jews based on their ancestry.

          • Facting Illini

            Oh but you did.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b8e048441274702b5fee331a07fb71629e3cb2573ef91c6fa31a9f54d4ef9be.jpg

            Let’s break down why your comments on this article and the message from January are anti-semitic:

            1, You responded to a Jewish person by pointing out that another Jewish person did something you did not like. Through that you are basically grouping Jews just because they are Jewish. You have no idea if these two people are actually connected. Why would you ask him to comment on that? It seems like it upsets you when people generalize about Islam and Muslims, yet you are doing the exact same thing here to Jews.

            2. Telling a Jewish person to go back to Europe, where 6 million Jews died in the holocaust is not just insensitive, it is not even a micro-aggression. It is an outright shameful anti-Semitic act of racial and religious intolerance.

            3. Making distinctions about which type of Jew
            you like or not (the Mizrahi comment) is just plain racist, as you are you choose between groups of Jews based on their ancestry.

          • Akram A

            David, you claimed that Palestinians don’t exist and aren’t a real group of people. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bf50ce549885642f261470d865f9fa42741a18aa530fc5d2be1faed0fd9cab0.png

          • Facting Illini

            This is not David.
            Way to avoid taking responsibility for your words.

          • Akram A

            OK buddy, I’ll respond to your points. To be frank I didn’t read your paragraph as I thought it was just going to be another annoying, overused, and anti-Semitic conflation of Jews and Zionists. I gotta say I’m pleasantly surprised for a semi-thoughtful argument. But here goes:

            1. I actually know these people (David, Elan, Shani, Nagelberg etc. etc.) are connected to each other, b/c believe it or not we used to be friends (exc. Shani, who I think only likes being friends with Arabs that she benefits from [Shani, if you’re reading this, remember how I tried reaching out to you last December through Max, and you didn’t care to talk?]). Yeah, not to make this too personal but there you go.

            2. I admit, that was probably insensitive, and I am sorry–though it was not nearly as insensitive as denying an entire ethnic group’s identity. These happened in the same conversation, which is why I brought it up afterwards. And David knows this. A rather hypocritical accusation by David who unsurprisingly didn’t provide any context to that conversation. But now you have it.

            I will follow-up by saying that I was also referring to Ashkenazi Jews living in Palestine and/or have Israeli citizenship/identity–I refer to them specifically because they by definition are not indigenous to Palestine or the Middle East. I am of course welcome and support Mezrahi Jews living in the Middle East because that is their homeland. Ashkenazi Jews are European, and that is their homeland.

            3. Refer to #2. I don’t “like” a certain type of Jew over another. I deliver criticism of and against colonialism and ethnic cleansing, something that sadly happened as a result of mass immigration to Palestine.

          • ModernMaccabi

            Its interesting that you would probably never talk about Muslim and other immigrants and refugees the same way you talk about Ashkenazi Jews who fled persecution, war and genocide from Europe, Russia and elsewhere. Why do you make such a distinction? Indeed, how would you respond to an American or European who argued Muslim refugees and immigrants are not “indigenous” and “stealing” their lands? You would probably call that person a bigot and a racist worthy of condemnation, wouldn’t you? So what’s the difference? Is it because we are talking about Jews instead of Muslims? Please explain the distinction.

          • ModernMaccabi

            Prior to 1948 the people living in British and Ottoman Palestine were largely described as Arabs, Jews and Christians. There was not a unified group of people known as Palestinian. Do you disagree?

          • Akram A

            Nope! I think anyone can identify any way they want, unless that identity is built upon the erasure of another group. So, since the Arabs (both Muslim and Christian) living in Palestine identified as Palestinians, with their own distinct culture, dialect, and customs from other Arabs, they are therefore Palestinian. To this day, there exist Arab Jews that live in Arab countries and are still referred to as Arabs. They also speak Arabic fluently. My parents had Jewish Arab friends while growing up in Syria. Isn’t that cool?!

          • ModernMaccabi

            When exactly did these Arabs and Christians start “identifying” as Palestinians with their own distinct culture, etc…? And it’s curious that you excluded Jews from your definition of Palestinian. How would you characterize the Jews who lived in Ottoman and British Palestine prior to 1948? Are they also Palestinian?

            As for the Jews living in Arab and Muslim lands that you think are so “cool,” it wasn’t and isn’t cool when they are persecuted, attacked and forced to flee by the hundreds of thousands. But of course you never learned the history of how Jews were mistreated by Arabs and Muslims and how a population that once numbered in the hundreds of thousands has been ethnically cleansed to only a handful remaining in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, etc… How ironic.

          • Mother Nature

            They are real – 95% real Arabs from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria

      • JEB

        Akram, Each religion has its fringe followers who call for violence in the name of religion and I denounce all of those people. The tweet was wrong, Islam is not the only religion that has those that call for violence in the name of their religion. There are Jewish and Christian fanatics as well.
        That being said, the number of Muslims that fall into this category far exceeds any other religion. If you deny that then you are not being honest. So to answer your question, I don’t like that tweet, it should not have been put out there because it is not fully honest and unless we are all honest about the issues we will not be able to get past these issues.

      • JEB

        And in turn, Akram, I ask you to denounce SJP calling for the elimination of Israel instead of a 2 state solution. In addition, I ask you to denounce their absolute fallacy about Zionists assisting the government in enforcing the rescinding of DACA. Those are absolute lies.

        • Akram A

          I would totally denounce SJP if they called for the destruction of Israel, but they don’t. They call for the Palestinian Right of Return, and if that means “destroying” Israel to you, I’m sorry but you are interpreting that in your own way. A very racist way, if I may add

          • JEB

            Akram, why do you feel displaced Palestinians deserve a Right of Return but the Ashkenazi Jews who’s communities were displaced (prior to Islam ever existing) don’t deserve to come back?

          • JEB

            And yes Right of Return would destroy what makes Israel special and unique amongst all other nations of the world-a place where Jews have autonomy and a majority. Muslims have dozens and dozens of countries like this. Why can’t Jews have ONE-its smaller than Massachusetts. The answer is anti-semitism. And saying that it is racist to feel that way is dead wrong. Israel isn’t even saying they want a nation of only Jews, just a majority. In the meantime Abbas has stated that any Palestinian nation would be 100% free of Jews yet Israel is the one accused falsely of ethnic cleansing. Give me a break.

          • Mother Nature

            Of 300,000 to 700,000 thousand “Palestinians” who fled there are now FIVE MILLION refugees.

            Of almost 1,000,000 Jews expelled by Muslim states during the same period, there are now ZERO refugees.

            Only “Palestinians” carry refugee status for generation after generation, because they are the new Jesus myth for whom Jews are framed for killing. Any racism against Israel/Jews falls on fertile soil in the Christian west. Islam only copied its Jew hate from Christianity.

  • Illinois Alum

    When you say it is a blatant violation of the student code, what are you referring to? The antisemitic graphiti saying ‘I hate Jews’ or the Facebook post of a student group? Are you intentionally trying to conflate the two things? If so, that’s pretty disingenuous and we should strive for better attempts at this conversation.

    Speaking out against Zionists is not the same as saying you hate Jews. Don’t pretend that ‘Zionism’ is a synonym for Jewishness or the Jewish faith (it’s often secular anyway), nor that there is only one definition of Zionism. Not all Jews support Zionism, and not all Zionists are Jews. Suggesting so is unproductive and disingenuous. It’s pretty obvious that the ‘Zionism’ the SJP group was calling out was not a religious concept but rather a political and nationalistic ideology. An ideology that many people claim resulted in driving away people from their homes in order to create a modern political state and aims to further expand into Palestinian and displace residents. And that supports the subjugation of Palestinians and the violation of their human rights. Hence the annual demonstration by the SJP.

    By this definition, promoting ‘Zionism’ and ancillary views is also discrimination against the Student Code. You say that the University needs to uphold their responsibility to protect students. Does that not apply to Arab students or those from Palestine who feel threatened by Zionist attempts to settle on their homes? Are we not going to acknowledge the many cases of anti-Islam displays on campus? Or that modern day white supremacists don’t exactly love those of the Islam faith? Discouraging both of these kinds of intolerance and racism doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive…in fact we should be condemning both. But instead you seem to be trying to drive a wedge against both of these marginalized groups.

    • ModernMaccabi

      Members of SJP chanting “No Zionists, no KKK resisting fascists all the way” is not a legitimate “criticism” of Israel or Zionism and is a clear violation of the Student Code as described in this article.

      • Illinois Alum

        How is that not a legitimate ‘criticism’ of a political and nationalistic ideology (as they see it)? I don’t agree with that language, but they might very well view Zionists as fascists. In no way is that against the student code. When protests on campus against Trump and other conservative movements include chants calling them fascists is that somehow against the student code? Of course not.

        You have to try to view it from their perspective. If you actually read my comment, I point out that the SJP do not view this form of ‘Zionism’ as a religious movement but rather a political and nationalist movement that they view to be immoral and commiting human rights violations. You can disagree with that (I don’t agree with it), but you should hestate before yelling ‘racism! antisemitism!’ at criticism of a non-religious ideology.

        I consider myself a neutral observer and it’s pretty disappointing to see representatives of both sides refusing to acknowledge that the opposition might indeed have some reasonable points.

        • ModernMaccabi

          Is referring to Arabs in general as terrorists a legitimate criticism?

  • ModernMaccabi

    Where did Akram go? Yesterday he was so talkative. Today he deleted all his comments. I suppose he is afraid that his understanding of the facts and issues wasn’t holding up under very basic scrutiny.

  • 1luvHavenMonahan

    While it is welcoming to see that the DI is finally addressing the rampant anti-Semitism on campus, it still fails. As everyone knows, that had this been any other demographic it would be a front-page article for weeks on end. Instead it is regulated to one editorial column. Nor does it do anything to address the Daily illinis shameful history of anti-Semitic Publications

    Indeed where are the investigative stories about the incestuous relationships between anti-semitic racist organizations including the SJP, the campus faculty Association, and the coordinated efforts through the inappropriately described IMC, which
    has peddled anti- semitism, and given shelter to hatemongers- the likes of Steven Salihta and Robert Warrior , Holocaust deniers, violent antifa members, and 9/11 conspiracy theorists?