U finds anti-Semitic fliers

Bryce Haugen

Some University professors and teaching assistants in the social sciences building found anti-Semitic literature that was slipped under their doors Monday. The University Police Department said a report was filed and it was investigating the incident.

Melissa Weiner, a sociology department doctoral candidate, said she thought whoever distributed the pamphlets appears to have targeted people with Jewish last names.

The copied pamphlet included a review of a book that prominent anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald wrote and an online book called “When Victims Rule: A Critique of Jewish Pre-Eminence in America.” Scribbled notes in the pamphlet’s margins read, among other things, that “all the intellectual architects of liberalism and the left are Jews.”

Timeline

University police detective Bob Herberg declined to comment directly about the case. But he said distribution of hate speech generally must be directed at individuals to be a crime.

“It’s kind of a gray area,” he said.

The literature was distributed in the morning, political science professor Martin Sampson said. At approximately 7:35 a.m., he said, he asked a suspicious man why he was wandering the building’s 14th floor.

“I can’t be sure that I saw the guy,” he said. “But the irony is there was literature under my door, but not under the doors of the last two doors in the corridor – where he was standing.”

The man left after he could not tell Sampson the name of the professor he said he was looking for. Sampson said the man had no literature in his hands.

Some building occupants said the pamphlet caught them unprepared.

“I’ve heard about this, but I’ve never seen it in this form, so I was kind of shocked,” said Jonneke Koomen, a political science teaching assistant.

Second incident on campus

The pamphlet distribution is the second case of anti-Semitism on campus in the last month. The Washington Avenue Bridge panel for the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi was vandalized two weeks ago.

Weiner, who is Jewish, said the incident is a part of an anti-Semitic trend on campus.

“When this occurs, it contributes to a culture of discrimination on campus,” she said. “I think people need to know this stuff does happen, and it happens close to home.”

Amy Olson, director of Hillel, the Jewish student center, said the pamphlet saddens her.

“It’s unfortunate and terrible that anti-Semitism is alive and well,” she said. “We have to speak forcefully about it and do our best to educate people. We also need to speak out against bigotry in any form.”

Political science professor David Samuels, who is Jewish, said he discarded the pamphlet and its claims are “silly.”

” ‘Liberal arts’ means you’re open to questioning authority and questioning received wisdom,” he said. “If you can’t handle that, don’t take liberal arts classes.”