Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Nevada University Scrutinized for Failing to Protect Jewish Students

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is receiving criticism over how it handled what’s being labeled as an antisemitic incident on campus.

Last week, 8 News Now reported how a Pro-Palestinian group stormed a visiting Jewish professor’s lecture.

Byron Brooks, a board regent for the Nevada System of Higher Education, says UNLV isn’t doing enough.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity for growth and understanding, specifically regarding to what I would consider to be the most vulnerable students on campus right now, and those are Jewish students,” Brooks said.

Brooks formally served as chair of NSHE.

He says some students are abusing the First Amendment, which protects speech but not disruption.

Brooks saw the video where the UNLV chapter of Nevadans for Palestinian Liberation barged into Asaf Pe’er’s lecture.

“Students are concerned with the rise of antisemitism on our campuses. Students are concerned with their own safety,” Brooks said.

Pe’er lives in Israel and was invited to speak at UNLV on the topic of black holes. But 15 minutes into his lecture, the group held up signs and banners and shouted at him. University Police eventually canceled his discussion.

“You are not welcome on UNLV campus,” a protestor is heard saying in the video.

“That is not UNLV. That does not speak for UNLV,” UNLV History Professor Dr. Gregory Brown said.

Brown takes issue with the group targeting Pe’er’s nationality.

“They were explicitly singling out this man, not because of his views on astrophysics, or his political views, which he had never articulated. But because he was Israeli,” Brown said.

Brown added there has to be campus messaging that says this behavior isn’t tolerated, and part of that is holding those involved accountable.

“We can’t be the kind of place where that is considered normal behavior. We just can’t,” Brown said.

Responding to some of the ongoing concerns, UNLV issued 8 News Now a statement:

UNLV’s leadership is reviewing the decisions and actions associated with the event to help determine how we can better handle such situations in the future. UNLV’s Office of Student Conduct, is also reviewing video and images from the event to determine if students were involved and, if so, did any actions arise to the level of misconduct. UNLV’s leadership is reviewing the decisions and actions associated with the event to help determine how we can better handle such situations in the future.

The Nevada System of Higher Education also issued a statement:

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) was made aware of the situation regarding the public lecture at UNLV and has been in regular communication with the university as it reviews the matter. NSHE supports UNLV’s investigation of the incident.

NSHE values academic freedom and free speech as fundamental principles and works closely with its institutions to balance these principles while prioritizing the safety and well-being of our campus communities.