Home>Education/Schools>A Pogrom at ASU as Palestine Supporters Hurl Rocks

This screenshot from the Chabad ASU instagram shows the campus police escorting Jewish students home after the abrupt cancelation of a student government meeting.

A Pogrom at ASU as Palestine Supporters Hurl Rocks

Jewish students escorted home by campus police

By Ken Kurson, November 15, 2023 2:26 pm

On Tuesday night, a disturbance broke out at an Arizona State University meeting of the Undergraduate Student Government that was so intense Jewish students reportedly “had to be escorted home by police.”

And now Arizona Globe can report that the university police are “currently investigating the disruption.” According to a university spokesperson with whom Arizona Globe communicated on Wednesday afternoon, “The ASU Police Department is currently investigating the disruption of the ASU Student Government meeting Tuesday night on Tempe campus. The incident is being reviewed for possible disorderly conduct and criminal damage charges—no arrests have been made at this time.”

The State Press had earlier reported that the melee broke out when representatives from Students for Justice in Palestine and a group of representatives from ASU’s five Jewish student organizations were each given five minutes to address the student government about concerns with campus responses to the war between Israel and Hamas. The story says the “meeting was adjourned abruptly after some people involved in a rally supporting Palestine outside the Memorial Union threw rocks at the second-floor window to the room where the meeting was being held.”

An attendee from Chabad at ASU said on Instagram that “They threw some rocks at the window. We had to go out the back door and get a police escort to take us back to Hillel.” His film shows the Jewish students thanking the police for escorting the students. One young lady is wearing a shirt that reads “I ❤️ being Jewish” and another says, “It’s terrible in 2023 we can’t walk to our Chabad house without a police escort.”

The incident looks certain to attract wider attention as several reporters, including Marissa Sarbak at Fox Phoenix slid into Chabad’s DM’s looking for more information.

University president Michael Crow has been vocal in his support both for free speech but also civility and a campus free from intimidation. Way back in good old days of November 2019—i.e. before ordinary college students felt free to yell “nazi” at Jewish students and call for the elimination of the world’s sole Jewish state with the fashionable chant “from the river to the sea”—Crow wrote an open letter affirming the university’s commitment to the University of Chicago’s embrace of Freedom of Expression.

The letter reads, in part, “ASU condemns behaviors and actions that threaten or intimidate any individual or group of individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, veteran status, or any other particular status. At the same time, as a public university, we advance our charter within the framework of state and federal policy, including the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides the right to free speech.”

On Tuesday night, in response to the incident at Memorial Union, Crow tweeted “Let it be clear that ASU will not tolerate acts of intimidation or violence.”

The Globe asked the spokesman whether the university planned to punish the student groups involved in intimidating the Jewish students. The spokesman declined to answer directly, telling the Globe only “The university rejects and denounces antisemitism. ASU will not tolerate physical intimidation or violence, and we will take action to ensure the physical safety of students.”

Some universities have banned (Brandeis) or suspended (GWU and Columbia Univ) Students for Justice in Palestine, whose chapter at ASU is one of the groups reported to be involved in harassing and threatening Jewish ASU students.

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Ken Kurson
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