New Brunswick, NJ

Anti-Semitism Incidents at Rutgers, NJ-Israel Commission Responds

Morristown Minute

The NJ-Israel Commission responds to recent bias incidents at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and Gov. Murphy makes new appointments to the NJ-Israel Commission.

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The New Jersey-Israel Commission responds to reported incidents of harassment toward Jewish students based on perceived support for Israel at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

“The New Jersey-Israel Commission is deeply troubled by reported incidents at Rutgers University-New Brunswick that demonstrate harassment towards Jewish students based on perceived support for Israel. Hate should have no place in New Jersey or anywhere.

While we respect legitimate criticism of Israel, it should never be co-opted into antisemitism in which individuals are targeted for their identity.

We applaud recent statements by Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway which rightfully reaffirms the right of all students to live, study, and work in an environment without prejudice or fear.”The New Jersey-Israel Commission

The statement from the NJ-Israel Commission came on April 27, just a day later the Jewish News Syndicate reported that –

“a representative of an organization whose mission is to ‘bolster the Palestine solidarity movement…’ said during a virtual program sponsored by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, that the group has been responding to reports of students being “canceled” by being falsely accused of antisemitism at universities and colleges.”

Additionally, on April 28, TapInto New Brunswick published an article detailing two recent antisemitic attacks targeting the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

According to the Rutgers University Police Department, after Alpha Epsilon Pi held a 24-hour vigil for Holocaust victims in observance of Yom HaShoah, they discovered on April 26, that eggs had been thrown at their fraternity house.

The above incident comes only a few days after university police said they were investigating a bias incident that occurred Friday, April 22, 2022, in which occupants of several vehicles stopped in front of the fraternity house and yelled antisemitic remarks such as “baby killers” and “terrorists.”

According to police, the occupants of the vehicles spit in the direction of the house and threw items at fraternity members.

The same fraternity house was vandalized last year during Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway, Ph.D., released the following statement regarding the bias incidents on April 25, 2022 –

The University has received reports of harassment of Jewish students at the AEPi fraternity on Friday afternoon. The incident involved yet-to-be-identified individuals who appear to have targeted the Rutgers fraternity entirely because of the Jewish identity of its members.

Initial representations regarding the incident are disturbing. We understand and are sensitive to the concerns of those who were targeted, and stand by our Jewish students, faculty and staff. Harassment based on religious belief, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or for any reason, is antithetical to our values at Rutgers University.

The University has received multiple reports regarding this incident, which is currently under investigation by RUPD.

The University will increase security patrols in and around the targeted building and, as always, provides counseling and support to students who are experiencing trauma or other effects of these actions. Students needing to speak with someone can contact the Dean of Students Office.”

On April 28, 2022, Governor Murphy announced the appointment of five new members to the New Jersey-Israel Commission and three reappointments.

The Governor has issued the following appointments:

  • Senator James Beach (D-6) – Reappointment
  • Senator Linda R. Greenstein (D-14) – Appointment
  • Senator Robert W. Singer (R-30) – Reappointment
  • Senator Michael L. Testa Jr. (R-1) – Appointment
  • Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D-6) – Appointment
  • Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer (R-3) – Appointment
  • Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-36) – Reappointment
  • Assemblyman Edward “Ned” Thomson (R-30) – Appointment
“In 2020 Governor Murphy made a sweeping set of appointments to the 77 public members of the Commission, helping to revitalize it and open the door for a record amount of New Jersey-Israel bilateral trade, academic partnerships, official visits, foreign direct investment, cultural engagements, and other aspects crucial to the Commission’s work.” – NJ Department of State Press Release

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