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Rutger’s Student Govt. VP Spews Antisemitism on Social Media, Gets Elected Anyways

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A Palestinian student who was elected this month as VP of the student government at the Newark campus of Rutgers University has a history of posting anti-Israel and antisemitic content on social media. Carolyn Assaf, a pre-med student, once posted a since-deleted 15-second cartoon video on Instagram of what appears to be an Israeli soldier with a long nose, exemplifying a Jewish stereotype, preventing what appears to be a Palestinian Muslim woman from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. In the full video, the woman curses the soldier as “son of a Jewess.”


In June 2017, Assaf was selected as a delegate to represent Passaic County Vocational Technology School District and the State of New Jersey at the annual prestigious Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston.

Both Rutgers-Newark and its student government did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Assaf’s anti-Israel activity on social media.

Jewish groups criticized Assaf’s anti-Israel history. Ahead of the election, the Anti-Defamation League’s northeast division censured the Instagram video Assaf shared. “We are deeply concerned that a student running for a position in student government at Rutgers University-Newark would post this offensive video,” the division’s vice president, Evan Bernstein, stated. “The segment she posted appears to be part of a longer video with additional antisemitic imagery, and Assaf has in the past also published posts that celebrated physical harm, including the glorifying of violence, against Israelis.”

“This latest incident fits a pattern of offensive and inflammatory social-media posts that do nothing to advance peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, but rather fuels more hate and divisiveness,” he continued.

Ahead of the vote, Students Supporting Israel founder and president Ilan Sinelnikov said, “In recent years, we see that student [governments] across the country are being controlled by anti-Israel voices. We can’t manage who is running for positions, what we can manage is to run for such positions ourselves.”

He said that the remedy to the problem is “if pro-Israel leaders are running and winning student government races across the country.”

“What Carolyn Assaf has shown is the moral rot in higher education nowadays,” CAMERA’s Hali Haber expressed. “Because of years of anti-Israel propaganda in academia, many ‘progressive’ professors and students are simply unable to see that they often traffic in the ugliest forms of antisemitism, every bit as ugly as the hate literature found in far-right circles.”

Already, the elected president of the Rutgers-Newark student government, Dylan Terpstra, was endorsed by the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, which stated on Instagram, “Aside from all the important issues Dylan plans to address, he has showed immense concern for the Palestinian cause, and we believe that he will use his platform to further work on Rutgers-Newark’s BDS referendum and support our ongoing Justice for Palestine mission.”

Such a referendum passed last September with 81 percent of students voting in favor, according to Terpstra. A BDS resolution was passed by the student government in 2016.

Terpstra’s Instagram shows a picture of his platform, which includes “continuing push for divestment from all companies that support or operate within the settlements of the Occupied Territories of Palestine and Syria.”