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Antisemitic Graffiti at French University Draws Outrage from Community

The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) has condemned antisemitic messages scrawled in the bathroom of the law building at Paris Nanterre University.

Photographs of the graffiti shared by UEJF show a Star of David scrawled on yellow tile with “MEDIA” written in black permanent marker. Others said “Hitler, you’re the best,” and invoked the antisemitic “qui?” (who?) slogan, which was launched after a retired French general insinuated in a television interview that Jews control the media, according to Le Figaro Étudiant.

“Enough is enough! This antisemitism, unabashed, assumed, in front of thousands of students and in the total indifference, it is every day,” UEJF president Samuel Lejoyeux told Le Figaro Étudiant on Thursday. “It’s complicated to be a Jewish student … we are constantly brought back to the question of Israel, to the conspiracy that whites dominate everything and that Jews are ‘super whites.’”

Responding to the graffiti on Thursday, Paris Nanterre University president Philippe Gervais-Lambony told the outlet, “We condemn in the strongest terms and in an absolute manner any antisemitic and racist act.”

The public university also tweeted that removal and investigation of the graffiti is underway.

“Antisemitic inscriptions have been reported on the Nanterre campus,” it said. “The university strongly condemns these acts. The cleansing is in progress and an investigation is launched. Please do not hesitate to report any such inscriptions to us.”

The student-focused imprint of the French paper noted a 2019 survey commissioned by UEJF, showing that 45% of Jewish and non-Jewish respondents having witnessed antisemitism at school. Antisemitic graffiti — showing up at Sciences Po ParisUniversity of Grenoble, and University of Créteil — was found to be especially common.