Another day, another example of anti-semitism on an American college campus.
Jewish students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say they are in fear after a “hostile” pro-Hamas and anti-Israel “blockade” prevented them from attending classes.
The MIT Israel Alliance addressed the concerns in a letter to the MIT community.
This is the reality that MIT President wants to hide. A letter from Israeli & Jewish MIT students:
To all students at MIT,
Today, Jewish and Israeli MIT students were physically prevented from attending class by a hostile group of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel MIT students that…
— Retsef Levi (@RetsefL) November 10, 2023
A letter from Israeli & Jewish MIT students:
To all students at MIT,
Today, Jewish and Israeli MIT students were physically prevented from attending class by a hostile group of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel MIT students that call themselves the CAA.
This is after students from the CAA harassed MIT staff members in their offices for being Jewish and interrupted classes in the past few weeks. All of this has occurred with no clear response from the administration. With each passing day, MIT admin’s silence makes Jewish and Israeli students feel unsafe at MIT.
Many Jewish students fear leaving their dorm rooms and have stated that they feel MIT is not safe for Jews. This message is compounded by the public and private warnings of Hillel and many faculty that Jewish students should not enter MIT’s main lobby today, November 9th, 2023.
Instead of dispersing the mob or de-escalating the situation by rerouting all students from Lobby 7, Jewish students specifically were warned not to enter MIT’s front entrance due to a risk to their physical safety. The onus to protect Jewish students should not be on the students themselves.
MIT administration recently announced guidelines to avoid illegal and unsafe protests on campus. The CAA, which planned the protest, knowingly and proudly violated these requirements, and even invited people from outside of MIT to join them. Their actions inhibit the possibility of safe and peaceful dialogue and endanger Jewish students on campus.
The CAA hosted a blockade that not only disregards MIT guidelines, but also obstructs Jewish students from attending classes.
Some Jewish students who saw the administration’s failure to respond to the targeted harassment of Jews on campus by the CAA came together to support each other and peacefully together stand against this threat to their safety.
Four hours after the blockade started, at 12 pm, the MIT administration passed a letter to all students, threatening their suspension if the crowds did not disperse from Lobby 7. Only the Jewish students left immediately. The CAA protesters did not cooperate. Indeed, the CAA proceeded to invite more students and non-MIT protestors to join them in calling for a violent uprising (“Intifada”) and justifying the terror attacks of Hamas on Israeli civilians.
At 5 pm, all students on campus were warned through MIT’s emergency notification system to “avoid Lobby 7” –– officially recognizing the danger present to students as a result of this violent protest. No Jewish or Israeli students were present at this point.
As of 10:30 tonight MIT has officially decided not to academically suspend CAA students who repeatedly violated the administration’s guidelines and threats. They have shown that actions against Jews at MIT do not have consequences. Additionally, in an email to DUSP students, the Department Head indicated that he would protect any DUSP students involved in violating MIT’s rules today by protesting with the CAA. Not only do Jewish students feel unsafe on campus, but now they also feel excluded from and unsafe in DUSP.
Today, on the 9th of November, on the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, which marked the beginning of the Holocaust, Jews at MIT were told to enter campus from back entrances and not to stay in Hillel for fear of their physical safety.
We are seeing history repeating itself and Jews on MIT’s campus are afraid.
Footage from a math lecture captured a student disrupting a math lecture to yell ‘Free, Free Palestine‘ and accuse the university, Israel and the U.S. of ‘perpetuating genocide’.
He was joined by other students in the chants.
Signed, The MIT Israel Alliance and its supporters
Welcome to MIT. pic.twitter.com/nEsiKwcYIX
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 10, 2023
Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman has been vocal with his concerns, and disgust, at what is happening on college campuses across the country.
He shared, “The failure of @Harvard, @MIT and other universities to discipline protesters who violate their rules emboldens the protesters to more aggressive, disruptive and antisemitic actions. This has created a climate of fear that is not conducive to a university education. The failure to discipline students who have bullied, assaulted or otherwise been abusive to Jewish students under the guise of free speech or a supposed requirement to wait for the completion of a police and FBI investigation is similarly absurd.”
The failure of @Harvard, @MIT and other universities to discipline protesters who violate their rules emboldens the protesters to more aggressive, disruptive and antisemitic actions. This has created a climate of fear that is not conducive to a university education.
The failure… https://t.co/yGHGotbR6q
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 10, 2023