As the war between Israel and Hamas rages on overseas, the Jewish community is sounding the alarm about antisemitism here at home.
A sign showing photographs of the hostages held by Hamas was knocked down twice outside a Jewish student center on the University of Minnesota campus.
Posters have gone up around the world, showing the faces of the more than 200 hostages seized by Hamas on Oct. 7.
Hillel, the Jewish student center just off the University of Minnesota campus, put the posters outside their building, and they’ve since been repeatedly vandalized. In broad daylight, surveillance cameras show the poster being kicked down and stomped on. And then on Saturday night, after the posters were repaired, they were kicked down again.
“It was a sad moment to see it, but when you understand the vitriol that is being spewed on college campuses, I can understand why someone would do it,” Hillel executive director Benjie Kaplan said.
Posters too obscene to share in this story have also been plastered around campus. Students at Hillel say they are struggling.
“The pain is so overwhelming for so many of us — Jewish, Palestinian, Israeli alike,” senior Izzy Lundquist said.
Lundquist says the bitter divide is deepening.
“When someone sees the pain of one side being acknowledged, they view it as an erasure of the other pain that is being caused,” Lundquist said.
Hillel says the University of Minnesota police have increased surveillance of their building. Kaplan says once the posters are repaired they will once again be placed outside the Hillel building. And they will stay there until the hostages are back home.
Officials with the University of Minnesota gave WCCO the following statement:
“Beyond responding promptly to any reports of crime or bias, the University takes a multi-layered approach to supporting students, faculty and staff any time a local, national or international situation may cause stress. The safety of all members of our community is our top priority. “
“Specifically, U of M leaders, Student Affairs representatives and others have reached out to individuals affected by the unfolding crisis in Israel and Gaza. In addition, this Current Event Stress Support page, Systemwide and Campus Resources offered by the Office for Equity and Diversity, and Resources for Students and Scholars During a Crisis in their Home Country are just a few of the resources available, in addition to direct counseling and other services.”