Interfaith Group Calls for Civil Rights Intervention in the Wake of Repeated Anti-Jewish Vandalism at Northeastern

Dec 03, 2012, 13:25 ET from Americans for Peace and Tolerance

BOSTON, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), a Boston-based interfaith group, is calling on Governor Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts Civil Rights Commission and the US Justice Department to investigate the repeated desecration of the Jewish Chanukah Menorah on Northeastern University's campus.

APT President, Dr. Charles Jacobs, called the November 30 desecration "the most recent in a long line of anti-Jewish events and lectures at Northeastern over the years. Northeastern University President Aoun's reluctance to take vigorous action has enabled this desecration – the third in the past several years – to occur.  In another incident last spring,  NEU Jewish students were outraged by what they termed the anti-Semitic defacing of a statue of a prominent Jewish donor."

"Last week's menorah desecration could have been foreseen," Jacobs said, given the history of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel bias among tenured professors and Northeastern staffers.

Jacobs was referring to controversies earlier this year in which three staffers in the Spiritual Life Center, including the campus Muslim chaplain were quietly dismissed after a series of APT videos ( revealed how SLC staffers had arranged lectures and presentations defaming Israel as a "Nazi-like state," and "inflaming students against Jewish supporters of Israel.

Jacobs said, "One video, previewed by Northeastern's lawyers, showed campus Imam Abdul Faaruuq urging students to support convicted Muslim terrorists. In another, a tenured professor was caught on tape telling NEU students to be proud to be called anti-Semites. The Center for Middle East Studies is packed with lectures and readings heavily biased against the Jewish state."

"His response to last week's attack," Jacobs said, "showed that President Joseph Aoun continues to be unwilling to honestly deal with the anti-Semitism on his campus. He spoke only in in abstract terms about tolerance and diversity."

APT board member, Denis Hale, Associate Professor of Political Science at Boston College, wondered how Aoun can be `shocked' to learn people on his campus attack Jewish symbols when he pays the salaries of people who incite people against the Jewish supporters of Israel.  "A college president is responsible for the intellectual atmosphere on the campus," Hale said. "Aoun has tolerated a nest of anti-Semitic defamation at NEU which now for the 3rd time has produced an act of vandalism against Jews. He needs to be held accountable."

Jacobs said, "the continued  refusal by the NEU President and its Board to deal with anti-Jewish bias on campus permits, and may even encourage, the continuation of a hostile learning environment for Jewish students at NEU."

"Therefore we urge Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the US Justice Department to launch investigations," Jacobs said.

"It also has become quite clear," Jacobs said, "that Jewish community leaders' strategy of quiet, behind the scenes meetings with President Aoun has clearly failed."

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

SOURCE Americans for Peace and Tolerance