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UIC Investigates Anti-Semitic 'Jewish Privilege' Flyers Posted On Campus

By Stephen Gossett in News on Mar 16, 2017 5:07PM


The University of Illinois at Chicago is investigating after anti-Semitic posters were found distributed on campus on Tuesday.

"Ending white privilege starts with ending Jewish privilege," the flyer reads. Several figures with Stars of David stand atop a pyramid. "Is the 1% Straight White Men? Or is the 1% Jewish," it reads.

Student and Rohr Chabad House president Eva Zeltser, who posted a photo of the flyer on Facebook, sent a letter to the Dean of Students asking that the university take action. "If you are against hate crimes against one group, you should be against these acts of violence for ALL groups," she wrote. "I understand free speech, but what about my freedom to feel safe on campus," she added.

As several commenters noted, the math on the flyer, which tries to cobble together two PEW Research polls, does not add up, either.

In a letter to students, faculty and staff, Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis and other university officials reaffirmed UIC's commitment to "the importance of tolerance, inclusion and diversity" and also "the right to free expression."

"Today, anti-Semitic posters were found on campus that defame, insult and negatively portray Jewish members of our campus community," the UIC announcement reads. "Such actions do not reflect the values we hold as a community. Acts that invoke hatred or violence toward members of our community will not be tolerated on our campus."

"As we investigate this recent event, we strongly encourage all members of our university to exercise their right to free speech in a manner that recognizes these principles and avoids prejudice or stereotypes," the alert adds.

Zeltser told Chicagoist that that the university's response was "better than what we've seen in past." She said the school "still has a ways to go" in getting rid of anti-Semitism on campus.

UIC representatives did not comment further about the incident beyond the campus announcement.

Other Chicago universities have been targeted with racially and ethnically charged flyers in the recent past. A white supremacist group put up several such posters in January and February on the University of Chicago campus. In December, a neo-Nazi group put up at least one poster of Adolf Hitler, emblazoned with swastikas, in UChicago's Levi Hall.

The flyers were distributed at a time when Jewish community centers have increasingly found themselves the targets of threats. JCC Chicago has received three bomb threats in as many months, the most recent one over the weekend. Acts of anti-Semitic intimidation—such as the Loop synagogue defacement last month—have been on the rise this year.