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Guest Columnist Noah Rubin spoke at a Congressional roundtable on antisemitism at college campuses on Feb. 29.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

It has now been 117 days since former Penn President Liz Magill exposed to the world the indifference and lack of moral clarity that has persisted on our campus for far too long.

Since then, antisemitism has continued and the perpetrators, including our faculty, have become emboldened. The pattern of harassment, threats, and even violence toward Jewish members of our community rages on. This is unacceptable.

I have devoted countless hours to meeting with the administration to address antisemitism, and those concerns have been met with meaningless words and empty promises.

I was invited to speak to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to share my experiences of antisemitism at Penn. Here is what I told them:

On Sept. 19, I met with the Division of Public Safety to plead with them to do more to protect Jewish students. I was told that Hillel was one of the safest buildings at Penn. Two days later, Hillel was broken into and vandalized by a perpetrator who was yelling “F**k the Jews!” and “they [Jews] killed JC!” Two months later while I was eating lunch, bomb sniffing dogs came through the building after staff received hate mail. Some Jews avoid Hillel altogether now. This is unacceptable.

Countless antisemitic incidents happened in the immediate months following Oct. 7, culminating in a riot on Dec. 3.

A mob of students, faculty, and additional extremists marched through our campus recording themselves — with reports afterward documenting vandalized school buildings, smoke bombs, and vicious chants screamed in English and Arabic.

The next morning, we were confronted with the hate again as we walked to class:

  • The bank across from Huntsman Hall was graffitied with the words “Blood $,” combining the medieval antisemitic tropes that Jews have a lust for blood, are greedy, and control the banks.
  • “Avenge Gaza” was sprayed next to Pottruck Health and Fitness Center — calling for violence in our own community. 
  • 3401 Walnut St. was defaced with “intifada.”

Despite these and countless other antisemitic incidents, our Jewish institutions still do not get basic and reliable University support with security. In my experience, police presence at Hillel is wishy-washy at best, and the University has yet to offer ongoing support to Chabad or MEOR. This is unacceptable.

I also told Congress about the moral bankruptcy within our faculty:

Professor Ahmad Almallah skipped teaching his own classes to harass and intimidate Jewish students by leading intifada chants. This is unacceptable.

Professor Robert Vitalis posted a Hamas military brigade patch on his Facebook in October with the caption: “A quick and easy way to reduce my friends list (and it will look cool on your jacket too).” This is unacceptable.

Professor Dwayne Booth has created horrifying blood libel cartoons, and the website where he shares them is still promoted on his official Penn biography. He was just renewed for next semester. This continues and is unacceptable.

Professor Huda Fakhreddine posted on Oct. 7 in Arabic that “While we were asleep, Palestine invented a new way of life,” and clapped at a protest after the speaker told Jewish students to ‘‘… go back to Moscow and Brooklyn and Gstaad, and f**king Berlin where you came from …” This is unacceptable.

Professor Tukufu Zuberi retweeted on Oct. 7, “by what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of the slave master.” This is unacceptable.

Professor Anne Norton posted on Oct. 7 that “Palestinians have the right to defend themselves,” and later liked a tweet that “playing the victim is what Jews are best at.” This is unacceptable.

The list goes on and on. This is unacceptable. 

The University has done nothing to address any of these horrific acts or even reach out to students affected within their classes. Why is Penn so helpless while others act? Penn has recently brought disciplinary actions against faculty and students under other circumstances. 

We’ve been told, over and over again, that “the University is taking these issues seriously.” That there are task forces convening and “confidential” proceedings taking place. Why has nothing changed then? The task forces have led to no changes on campus and the Jew-hating members of our community continue to act with impunity. 

We heard loud and clear at the now-infamous hearing with Magill that context matters. Here's the context: It’s open season for Jews on our campus, and continued inaction by our University is unacceptable.

On Feb. 26, the latest protest that stormed through campus started with calls for an intifada and finished with Jordan Vaughan, an avid Hamas supporter, screaming, “We won't stop at a cease fire!” Jordan later posted the names and phone numbers of Jewish students who commented on the protest in a private Jewish group chat. Later that week, Jordan posted “POWER TO ALL OUR MARTYRS LONG LIVE THE RESISTANCE” with photos of 13 terrorist groups including Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. 

Despite all of this, Jordan was invited to and participated as a panelist in a Zoom last week hosted by the Max Kade Center.

It’s time to wake up Penn. Seriously, what are we waiting for? DO SOMETHING! 

NOAH RUBIN is a Wharton and Engineering junior studying electrical engineering and economics from Boca Raton, Fla. He is a former co-president of the Penn Israel Public Affairs Committee. His email is