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Dossier Shows College Failing to Prevent Antisemitism

Jewish students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) accuse the college of failing to stop antisemitic acts from a campus group who vandalized a holocaust display and openly declared support for terror group Hamas.

A dossier compiled by MIT students and shared with The Post shows evidence of racist behavior dating back to October 2022 — a year before the Hamas terror attack on Israel, largely perpetrated by the led by the Coalition Against Apartheid (CAA).

According to the documents, CAA hosted Palestinian writer Mohammed El-Kurd as a speaker on campus that month, despite him having already declared on X he hoped all Israeli soldiers would die “in the most torturous and slow ways”. 

“I hope that they see their mother’s suffering (not that these conscienceless pigs would care),” El-Kurd added in the 2021 post.

The papers obtained by The Post say CAA ignored strong opposition from Jewish students who raised their concerns ahead of time. 

“In his speech at MIT, El-Kurd targeted Israeli students on campus, falsely claiming that there were students who had tied up and gassed Palestinian children during their service in the Israel Defense Forces,” according to an eyewitness.

Two days after appearing at MIT, El-Kurd went on to speak at Harvard, according to the Jewish News Syndicate.

The MIT students also reported CAA members defaced a Holocaust display on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, by scrawling “Free Palestine” slogans over it, then “proudly posted [it] on their Instagram account” in April this year.

They claimed the social media posts of the group had most recently, “unequivocally supported, justified, and glorified the terrorism committed by Hamas”.

CAA and MIT did not respond to The Post when contacted for comment about the allegations on Thursday.

“Coalition Against Apartheid is a student group at MIT focused on advancing anti-colonial and anti-apartheid organizing on campus,” its site reads.

“We support the liberation of all peoples, with a focus on the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

“In addition to working for administrative and institutional change, we hold events on campus that range from social to educational.”

Separately, the dossier also called out MIT Postdoctoral Associate Afif Aqrabawi for allegedly claiming in a tweet that Zionism is a “mental illness”, and suggesting Israeli soldiers have been “organ harvesting” from the bodies of dead Palestinians.

“Aqrawabi has been posting extreme anti-Zionist, antisemitic rhetoric and blood libel,” the document said.

But Aqrabawi told The Post the allegations against him were merely a failed attempt to silence him “from speaking the truth” because he is “a Palestinian speaking out against the active genocide occurring in Gaza”.

“As a Palestinian, I am inherently anti-Zionist by blood and I have no fear of vocalizing my attitudes against Zionist supremacists,” he said on Thursday.

“I have disgust towards antisemitism in general and believe Zionism itself is the greatest threat to Judaism.”

Agrabawi also doubled down on his claim that “Zionists steal…our dead bodies for organ harvesting”, citing an Al Jazeera report from 2009.

Several of his contentious tweets were reported to MIT by students who said the response from a member of the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) division was disappointing.

In an email seen by The Post, DEI described Aqrabawi’s tweets as “disturbing, inflammatory, and polarizing” but warned the person who reported them against accusing “any one of our colleagues, staff or trainees of hate speech”.

“The painful truth is that many people around us are grieving and many people’s lives and families are at stake,” the email read.

“And now more than ever (as a faculty member, an associate department head of DEIJ, and also as a Jew whose father was born and raised in Tel Aviv) I am committed to ensuring that those values include all possible compassion for each other’s intensity – and all gentleness for each other’s fragility.”

On Wednesday another protest was staged at MIT calling for a ceasefrie in Gaza, attended by around 150 people, both students and non-students.

Protester Safiyya Ogundioe, a 4th-year undergrad majoring in chemical engineering said she and her peers are protesting MIT’s “vested ties to Israel,” including alleged research funding from the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

Amidst chants she explained: “From the river to the sea…” simply means “freedom for all people, Palestinians and Jews, in the region, from the river to the sea,” a definition most Jewish people disagree with.

Students at the rally called IDF’s actions in Gaza a “genocide” and argued anti-Zionism is not antisemitism.

Israeli student Dana Rubin didn’t agree with the rally and said she had become more politically active since the Oct. 7th Hamas attack.

She said: “The dehumanization that [Jewish people] have been experiencing for the past 100 years has not gone away, it has just changed. Instead of being bad for ‘controlling the money,’ now we’re bad for being ‘white colonizers.’

“There’s a group of white liberals who think they understand what’s going on, but they have no idea, and they are more extreme, in my opinion, than the actual Palestinians I know,” she added.

Details of divisions at the school emerged after more than 700 MIT Jewish alumni and allies accused MIT of failing to condemn its President Sally Kornbluth, who is Jewish, for not taking enough action against antisemitism following her testimony on Capitol Hill last week.

“During the congressional testimony of December 5, 2023, President Kornbluth implied calls for genocide of Jews may not constitute bullying and harassment under MIT’s code of conduct, depending on context,” the letter to the school’s governing body, the MIT Corporation, read.

The university said in a statement to The Post: “MIT and our president, Sally Kornbluth, reject antisemitism in all its forms. Our senior leaders are working to stay focused on keeping campus safe and functioning.” 

In their letter, the MIT alumni called for “immediate and concrete” action from the institution, including “enforce meaningful consequences for the individuals who violate MIT’s rules, create an antisemitism-specific task force on campus, and publicly announce that calls for violence against civilians is grounds for expulsion and amend the MIT Code of Conduct to include this if necessary.”

In response, MIT said: “We recognize there are a range of deeply and sincerely held views across our nearly 30,000+ on-campus community and our wider MIT family beyond campus, including nearly 143,000 living alumni.” 

Source: https://nypost.com/2023/12/15/news/jewish-mit-students-say-college-didnt-stop-yearlong-campaign-of-hate/