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Antisemitic Signs Posted at University of California Campus’ Multi Cultural Center

A Jewish University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) student body president who was left hateful messages declaring “Zionist not allowed” near her office stated emphatically on social media that “we’re not going anywhere.”

Tessa Veksler issued the statement on Monday night following the discovery at the school’s Multicultural Center of over a dozen messages, written on placards, calling her a “neutral ass b—,” as well as saying “resistance is justified,” “you can run but you can’t hide Tessa Veksler,” and “get these Zionists out of office.” In marker, someone else graffitied “Zionist not welcome” on the door, just inches away from a mezuzah.

“I am floored by today’s events. I am deeply upset by the blatant antisemitic messages displayed at UCSB’s Multicultural Center (we see the irony, right?),” Veksler said in an Instagram post. “This is dehumanizing and rooted in antisemitism.”

She continued, “This incident is not an isolated event but rather a culmination of neglecting to adequately address the implications of such speech and actions within our university. UC Santa Barbara must not remain complicit in the targeting, intimidation, and discrimination against its Jewish students. Silence perpetuates discrimination against Jewish students.”

The Algemeiner has asked University of California-Santa Barbara to comment on this story.

Tessa Veksler is a fourth year political science major who was elected in April 2023 as president of UCSB Associated Students (AS), making history by becoming the school’s first ever Shabbat observant student body president. At the time, she told The Algemeiner that becoming president was always a “far-distant” goal of hers. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, from which her family emigrated in the 1990s, compelled her to run.

“When the conflict started, I was one of the only Ukrainian students within student government, and so many students turned to me for advice,” she said during an interview. “In working to help international students in Ukraine I realized how very few resources were available and that the ones that were available were not well known.”

Since then, Veksler has become one of the most recognized student leaders of the pro-Zionist movement on campus, traveling to colleges across the country to speak to other students about the centrality of Zionism to Jewish identity and the importance of resisting antisemitism. She made friends everywhere she went.

“Tessa Veksler is a woman of valor,” Danielle Yablonka, a Florida Atlantic University graduate and activist-model who met Veksler during programs held by Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.

US colleges and universities have experienced an alarming spike in antisemitic incidents — including demonstrations calling for Israel’s destruction and the intimidation and harassment of Jewish students — since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel. Between Oct. 7 and Dec. 18, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recorded 470 antisemitic incidents on college campuses alone.

The Algemeiner has reported on numerous incidents that followed the attack, which was the single deadliest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

“Once again, we are seeing Jewish students in student government being targeted on the basis of the Jews’ shared ancestry and ethnicity,” Alyza Lewin, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law told The Algemeiner in a response to this latest outrage. “Demanding that a Jew disavow their ancestral heritage to be student body president is outrageous, immoral, and unlawful. It’s incumbent upon the university to put a stop to this baseless harassment and discrimination of Jewish students.”