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Antisemitic phrase found written on MLK Student Union doors

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KYLE GARCIA TAKATA | SENIOR STAFF

UCPD has launched an investigation into the graffiti found on the doors of the MLK student union, which was reported Jan. 24.

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FEBRUARY 07, 2023

Content warning: antisemitism

Antisemitic graffiti reading “No Jew Go Away” was found scrawled on the doors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union on Jan. 24.

The act was reported to UCPD, according to campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff. The graffiti was removed that day, and UCPD has launched an investigation into the matter, Ratliff noted.

As of press time, UCPD has not responded to a request for comment.

ASUC Senator Shay Cohen, who reported the incident, said an image of the graffiti was sent to her by a concerned member of the Jewish community. She added that she recommended that UCPD check security footage to determine the suspect’s identity.

“This shows kind of an issue that has been building up in our university,” Cohen said. “We’ve seen a lot of instances in which Jewish students are discriminated against, and I’ve seen a double standard for Jewish students.”

Additionally, Cohen emphasized that such acts of antisemitism on campus go back to a lack of accountability and lack of education about the Holocaust, and said she found that changes she tried to implement as an ASUC senator often incited backlash.

Last semester, Cohen passed a resolution denouncing the rise of antisemitism last semester, but noted that eight senators removed their names from the co-sponsoring of the bill. An additional five were absent from the meeting.

“We’ve already gotten opposition over something as simple as defining antisemitism by the international Holocaust remembrance definition,” Cohen said.

Resources are available for those who feel affected by the event — in an Instagram post describing the incident, Cohen encourages students to reach out to her office or other Jewish leaders on campus for support.

In addition, campus Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion Dania Matos shared further resources for reporting future incidents in a letter to Rabbi Gil Leeds of the Rohr Chabad Student Center, and encouraged anyone with information about who wrote the message to contact the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination as soon as possible.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact this action could have on the members of our Jewish and Asian American & Pacific Islander campus communities — many of whom are already holding layers of stress and trauma related to recent and extreme acts of antisemitic and anti-Asian violence,” Matos said in the letter.

Matos also mentioned the anonymous whistleblower hotline and online forms available for UC Berkeley community members to report incidents of insensitivity.

Contact Ria Raniwala at 

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FEBRUARY 07, 2023