On Monday, UC Santa Barbara students and staff were shocked to discover antisemitic messages scrawled on a chalkboard of an Israeli Politics class on campus. One statement specifically read, “From the river to the sea,” referring to a common phrase symbolizing the total elimination of the State of Israel and Palestinian control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Images of the chalkboard that were posted to Instagram have since been deleted, and showed the phrase “F*** ISRAEL” in large letters, surrounded by other offhand references to Israel and Jewish people.
On Tuesday morning, residents and employees of businesses in the neighboring Isla Vista community were startled to find hundreds of flyers distributed in the area spreading antisemitic ideas, denying the Holocaust, and seemingly connecting Jewish people with racism, homophobia, and pedophilia.
NGO StopAntisemitism reported on incident at UCSB and has also identified Jon Minadeo II, leader of the Goyim Defense League (GDL) as the white supremacist group behind the antisemitic flyer drops around the nation. Minadeo was named StopAntisemitism’s ‘Antisemite of the Week.’
A joint statement about the incidents was released on social media Tuesday, signed by Jewish student organizations Santa Barbara Hillel, Chabad at UCSB, Students Supporting Israel, Mishelanu, and the school’s Alpha Epsilon Pi–Sigma Beta Chapter, which noted that the events took place within four days of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, saying they act as a reminder “that antisemitism is not a thing of the past but something that has become disturbingly common.”
In response to the incidents, UCSB released a statement saying the university “stands firmly against all forms of hate, violence, and discrimination, whether it is on campus or in our community,” and that the flyers “targeting the Jewish community” are being investigated by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office.