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Antisemitic Controversy Erupts at Northwestern University between President and Radical, Far Left Student Group

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A radical, far left student activist group has repeatedly called Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro- “piggy Morty”.

The antisemitism accusations have divided Northwestern’s campus just north of Chicago this week, with the school’s Hillel offering students the opportunity to reflect on the incident virtually in small groups.

The activist group, called NU Community Not Cops, chanted “piggy Morty” outside Schapiro’s home over the weekend, according to an open letter Schapiro wrote on Monday. The group is calling for the abolition of the Northwestern University Police Department as part of a racial justice campaign.

Schapiro wrote that while he recognizes “the many injustices faced by Black and other marginalized groups,” he opposes disbanding the police and “condemn[s], in the strongest possible terms, the overstepping of the protesters.”

He noted the chant in particular. “Many gathered outside my home this weekend into the early hours of the morning, chanting ‘f— you Morty’ and ‘piggy Morty,’” he wrote. “The latter comes dangerously close to a longstanding trope against observant Jews like myself. Whether it was done out of ignorance or out of anti-Semitism, it is completely unacceptable, and I ask them to consider how their parents and siblings would feel if a group came to their homes in the middle of the night to wake up their families with such vile and personal attacks.”

Associating Jews with pigs is a centuries-old antisemitic trope traditionally called the “Judensau,” a type of image that depicted Jews engaging in obscene acts with pigs.

In the context of anti-police protests in the United States, however, “pig” is commonly used as a derogatory term for police. The activist group wrote in a statement that it was using the term in that context, though it wrote, “Regardless of our intent, we apologize to our Jewish community, to individuals both inside and outside of the campaign who may have been harmed by language utilized at the protest.”

But the statement also emphasized the group’s opposition to Zionism and Israel, something Schapiro did not reference in his own letter and which was not a focus of the protest. The group wrote it condemns antisemitism, then included “Zionism” among a list of other ideologies it opposes.