Rutgers University has struggled the past few days in responding to the current conflict between Israel and Palestine. Now, the university president, Jonathan Holloway, is insisting the school didn’t apologize for condemning anti-Semitism.
Holloway issued a statement on Saturday titled “On Hatred and Bigotry,” stating that Rutgers “deplores hatred and bigotry in all forms. We have not, nor would we ever, apologize for standing against anti-Semitism.”
“Neither hatred nor bigotry has a place at Rutgers, nor should they have a place anywhere in the world. At Rutgers we believe that anti-Semitism, anti-Hinduism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism, intolerance and xenophobia are unacceptable wherever and whenever they occur,” the short statement concluded.
The Daily Wire’s Hank Berrien previously reported on what led to Holloway’s statement. Last Wednesday, Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy and Executive Vice-Chancellor Francine Conway issued a statement titled “Speaking Out Against Anti-Semitism,” in which they asserted:
We are saddened by and greatly concerned about the sharp rise in hostile sentiments and anti-Semitic violence in the United States. Recent incidents of hate directed toward Jewish members of our community again remind us of what history has to teach us. Tragically, in the last century alone, acts of prejudice and hatred left unaddressed have served as the foundation for many atrocities against targeted groups around the world. …
Although it has been nearly two decades since the U.S. Congress approved the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, the upward trend of anti-Semitism continues. We have also been witnesses to the increasing violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in the Middle East leading to the deaths of children and adults and mass displacement of citizens in the Gaza region and the loss of lives in Israel.
This recent resurgence of anti-Semitism demands that we again call out and denounce acts of hate and prejudice against members of the Jewish community and any other targeted and oppressed groups on our campus and in our community. …
We call out all forms of bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, xenophobia, and oppression, in whatever ways they may be expressed. We condemn any vile acts of hate against members of our community designed to generate fear, devalue, demonize, or dehumanize. We embrace and affirm the value and dignity of each member of our Rutgers community regardless of religion, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, and ability.
The next day, however, the two Rutgers officials apologized for not communicating “support for our Palestinian community members”:
We are writing today as a follow-up to the message sent on Wednesday, May 26th to the university community. We understand that intent and impact are two different things, and while the intent of our message was to affirm that Rutgers–New Brunswick is a place where all identities can feel validated and supported, the impact of the message fell short of that intention. In hindsight, it is clear to us that the message failed to communicate support for our Palestinian community members. We sincerely apologize for the hurt that this message has caused. … Our goal of creating a beloved community will not be easy, and while we may make mistakes along the way; we hope we can all learn from them as we continue this vital work together.
The latest statement, from the president, is yet another attempt to quell the public relations disaster for the university.
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