Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Antisemitic Note Targeting Brown University Jewish Students Prompts Investigation

Brown University’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity has opened an investigation into an incident in which someone slipped a threatening note underneath the door of an off-campus apartment rented by Jewish students.

“Those who live for death will die by their own hand,” said the note, which, according to the Brown Daily Herald, matches lyrics from a song by an early 1980s punk band. The paper added that the note was found by an electrician, who brought it inside.

“There is evidence the perpetrator left the note based on the Jewish identity of students who live there,” Brown University vice presidents Sylvia Carey-Butler and Rodney Chatman said in a statement shared with The Algemeiner on Thursday. “Antisemitism, discrimination, and threats of violence in any form are unacceptable and have no place at Brown.”

The officials added that the students whom the note targeted contacted Brown’s Department of Public Safety immediately after finding it. In anonymous comments provided to the Brown Daily Herald, the students described the incident as “really frightening” and regretted that the campus environment has deteriorated in recent months, citing abusive messages posted on social media forums.

“It’s really scary to see the hate become real like this,” they said.

This is not the first that time Jews at Brown University have been left a threatening message. A similar incident occurred last November at a Hillel center that serves both students of Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design Students (RISD).

Additionally, in 2020, a swastika was graffitied in Brown’s Hegeman Hall. In 2017, another was found in a gender-neutral bathroom at RISD. It was drawn using human feces, according to the Brown Daily Herald.

The latest incident comes amid an explosion of antisemitism across the Western world. College campuses have been hubs of such antisemitism since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel, with students and faculty both rationalizing the terror onslaught and demonizing the Jewish state. Incidents of harassment and even violence against Jewish students have also increased. As a result, Jewish students have expressed feeling unsafe and unprotected on campuses. In some cases, Jewish communities on campuses have been forced to endure threats of rape and mass slaughter.

A recent poll, released by Hillel International, found that 37 percent of Jewish college students have felt the need to hide their Jewish identity on campus since the Hamas atrocities, in which some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were murdered and 240 others taken as hostages into Gaza. The survey also found that 35 percent of respondents said there have been acts of hate or violence against Jews on campus. A majority of those surveyed said they were unsatisfied with their university’s response to those incidents.

At Brown, anti-Zionists have either cheered Hamas’ invasion or called for a ceasefire that experts have said would hinder Israel’s ability to destroy the terror group. They have done so against the counsel of President Christina Paxson, who has repeatedly called for respect and civil dialogue since Oct. 7, reaching out to the campus Jewish community as well as denouncing hatred of Muslims.

In recent weeks, the university has ordered the arrests of extremist anti-Zionists student protesters, who have held unauthorized demonstrations in administration buildings, sometimes occupying them for hours after being asked to leave. Over 40 were arrested on Monday while onlookers shouted “Shame on Brown, Shame on Brown!” Last month, 20 members of BrownU Jews for Ceasefire Now were trespassed and arrested after occupying University Hall. The university eventually requested that the charges against those students be dropped.