Agencies monitoring concerns of antisemitism and Islamophobia nationwide

Agencies monitoring concerns of antisemitism and Islamophobia nationwide

Agencies monitoring concerns of antisemitism and Islamophobia nationwide

The University of Minnesota is “actively monitoring concerns” after reported cases of antisemitism and Islamophobia on college campuses nationwide.

A university spokesperson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:

“The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. Acts of harassment, intimidation or bias are entirely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We have and will respond promptly and fully to any reports of this behavior on campus.”

Earlier this week, the White House announced a new plan to address hate speech and threats.

“We have seen an alarming rise in reported antisemitic incidents at schools and on college campuses,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, during a media briefing Monday.

The Anti-Defamation League is reporting a nearly 400% increase in antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7.

The Biden-Harris administration said it will work with the Department of Justice and Department of Human Services will provide outreach and support directly to colleges and engage with campus police.

“The Department of Education is expediting the process of making it easier for students and others who experience antisemitism, Islamophobia or other discrimination to file a complaint under Title 6 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” Jean-Pierre said.

The FBI has also said it is tracking a surge in threats against both Jewish and Arab people nationwide.

That includes a college student at Cornell University who is now facing federal charges, accused of posting threats to kill or hurt Jewish classmates.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas(JCRC) held a news conference Thursday, where multiple people spoke about the rise in concerns, including a college student at the University of Minnesota and a parent.

A university spokesperson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:

“Beyond responding promptly to reports of crime or bias, the University is providing resources to support our community. Specifically, U of M leaders, Student Affairs representatives and others continue to reach out to individuals affected by the unfolding crisis in Israel and Gaza. This Current Event Stress Support page, Systemwide and Campus Resources offered by the Office for Equity and Diversity, and Resources for Students and Scholars During a Crisis in their Home Country are just a few of the resources available, in addition to direct counseling and added security protection as needed.”

The Minnesota Ukrainian American Advocacy Committee (UAAC) and JCRC partnered in 2022 after Russia attacked Ukraine.

“Our advocacy was built upon a foundation of a shared history of being the victims of genocide. For years, we have worked together to commemorate and educate about the Holocaust and the Holodomor (the Soviet-inflicted starvation of millions of Ukrainians in 1932–33),” said Luda Anastazievsky, the UAAC chair. 

Speakers at Thursday’s news conference shared stories from Ukrainians and Israelis while simultaneously addressing “the exponential rise in antisemitism globally, including here in Minnesota.” Later, officials say they will urge Congress to fulfill President Joe Biden’s request for funding for Ukraine and Israel.

“Today, after twenty months of war and substantial portions of Ukraine still under Russian occupation, and less than one month since the deadliest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust by Hamas terrorists, we are united in both grief and resolve that the unprovoked and unjustifiable aggression against our people will not stand,” said Steve Hunegs, JCRC executive director.

Advocacy groups in Minnesota protest “annihilation by criminal governments”