GWU student urged to leave Jewish star at home as antisemitic violence surges: ‘This is the reality’ we face

Jewish students continue to fear for their safety on college campuses across the U.S. as tensions around the Israel-Hamas war rage into the fourth week, with defacements, protests and calls for the state of Israel to be eradicated emerging on several fronts.

One Jewish student at George Washington University is warning that the divisive misinformation is driving the unrest, and that the cultural climate of today’s antisemitism is alarmingly reminiscent of persecutions from the past.

“This has intimidated Jewish students. It’s affected the campus dialogue to the extent that it infiltrates the classroom, and it makes students like myself have to change our way of life,” Sabrina Soffer told FOX News on Saturday.

“This past week my mom told me from California… not to leave the house with my Jewish star. That’s scary. Now I wear one where I actually have to open it, and this was worn by Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. This is the reality that Jewish students are facing today, Jews are facing around the world in countries from the Middle East to Europe and the United States, the country of freedom and human rights and good values… And now these values have been distorted.”

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Soffer said “there should be absolutely no tolerance for” the shows of antisemitism, adding that Jewish students at her school haven’t been spared the chaos. 

“My friends have been spat on. They have been laughed at for having family members lost in Israel and their professors remain silent,” she claimed. 

“The frat house, there were students who came up and started trying to strike brothers with flagpoles,” she continued. “Yesterday, right before Shabbat, the GW Hillel building was vandalized, and our hostage posters were taken down. Last Tuesday, there were projections on the Gelman Library with euphemisms to destroy the state of Israel and its Jewry and celebrating mass murder.”

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Projections displayed on the library include expressions “glory to our martyrs” and “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”

The administration has been supportive through statements and has agreed to meet with students, she said.

Responding to calls to expel students behind the projections, the university said in a statement that the “unauthorized” messages “violated university policy, and leadership intervened to ensure that these projections were removed.”

“The statements made by these individuals in no way reflect the views of the university. We are reviewing this incident and will take any appropriate steps with respect to the individuals involved in accordance with university policies,” GWU wrote.

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GWU President Dr. Ellen Granberg also condemned Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, writing in an Oct. 11 press release, “The extent of this brutal violence and the staggering loss of innocent lives has continued to come to light, and I am horrified and grief-stricken,” adding, “In no uncertain terms, I condemn these acts of terrorism.”

Granberg additionally called for “coming together” during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Soffer said Jewish students at other universities haven’t been so fortunate to witness support from administrators, however.

For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media.

FOX News’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.

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