UC Santa Barbara Student and A.S. President Targeted with ‘Antisemitic’ Signs on Campus

Storke Tower in the center of University of California, Santa Barbara campus (Photo: Matt Perko / courtesy)

The Associated Students (A.S.) President at UC Santa Barbara has issued a response after she was targeted in offensive signs posted on the university’s multicultural center.

Tessa Veksler, a fourth-year student at UCSB, posted photos of the signs along with a statement in an Instagram post Monday.

Some of the handwritten signs included statements such as, “you can run but you cannot hide Tessa Veksler” and “Tessa Veksler supports genocide.”

Veksler stated she does not feel safe on campus calling out the signs as “dehumanizing” and “rooted in antisemitism.”

“How can Jewish students feel safe when they see a Jewish leader being explicitly targeted?” she wrote on Instagram. “This incident is not an isolated event but rather a culmination of neglecting to adequately address the implications of such speech and actions within our university.”

There has been a sharp increase in reports of antisemitism and Islamophobia at college campuses across the U.S. over the Israel-Hamas war, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

UC Santa Barbara’s Office of the Chancellor released a statement  addressing the issue saying the messaging was in “violation of our principles of community and inclusion.”

“We were distressed to learn of incidents over the weekend that included offensive social media messages and signage at the MultiCultural Center entrance. Campus offices are reviewing these unauthorized and unofficial messages. The signage has been removed and campus is conducting a bias incident review based on potential discrimination related to protected categories that include religion, citizenship, and national or ethnic origin,” the university statement read.

Another post on Instagram, appearing to be from the university’s Multicultural Center’s official page, showed images of signs on the center’s door that read “Zionists not welcome” with the caption, “in case we aren’t clear, let us spell it out.”  As of Wednesday, this Instagram page has been taken down along with the center’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Screenshot of the UCSB Multicultural Center’s instagram story page. (contributed photo)

College campuses have struggled with addressing conflicting views on the Israel-Hamas war since the terrorist attack by Hamas in Israel on Oct. 7 in which at least 1,200 were killed, according to Israeli officials. In the Gaza Strip, at least 29,878 people have been killed by Israeli forces, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry,

According to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the department is investigating at least 58 universities for complaints that included both antisemitic and anti-Muslim harassment. The category titled “Open Title VI Shared Ancestry Investigations” includes investigations at Harvard University, Northwestern University, and Yale University.

Within the state there are currently open investigations at Abraham Lincoln University in Los Angeles, San Diego State University, University of California – Davis, University of California – San Diego, Stanford University, and University of California – Los Angeles.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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    • The MCC is supposed to be a safe space for all students. If they support the signs that were posted, that doesn’t make it safe. Supporting Palestine is one thing and supporting the targeting of a jewish student is another.

      • It’s not really about religion that is the front. It is about land grab and exploitation of resources not to mention the millions pulled in by Xian Zionist pastors.

        It is the business of US citizens whose taxes pay for it all as well as UC which has military contractors supplying the firepower. Totally is our business. If you think otherwise why are you even commenting?

        • How can you seriously believe what you’re writing? It’s about “land grab”? Really? “Xian Zionist pastors”? Listen to yourself. If it was about land grab, why did Israel leave Gaza 18 years ago, uprooting 9000 Israelis including digging up Israeli graves to relocate them? I think you’re full of it. Keep your jihadist propaganda off this forum.

    • SacJon nobodyy was “targetted for their religion,” That is a distortion that TVex puts out. Donn;t take the bait. It is because she is a professional front for Israel on Campus which sends her around the country raking in speaker fees touting the IDF line, THAT is why she was named. Wich may be daft, tone deaf and tactically problematic. But it has nothing to do with her religion period.

      • MARATHONER – I didn’t mean to say she was, but rather, if she had been, then it would not be OK. I really don’t know enough about her or this situation to agree she was targeted simply for her religion.

        I absolutely agree that when people are verbally attacked for their actions/beliefs (eg, racists, homophobes, Islamophobes, anti-Semites, etc) it is acceptable, as opposed to attacking someone (verbally or physically) for their identity (eg, race, religion, gender, etc). That’s why, when the cons here call me a bigot, I accept that as I AM a bigot towards those who discriminate against others for the way they were born. Discriminating against someone for being cruel or having beliefs that cause ill will towards others is just fine in my book.

        • That is an extremely slippery slope. If you support discriminating against someone for their beliefs “that cause ill will toward others” then it’s pretty much gloves off isn’t it?

          That allows for discriminating against anyone who has strong religious beliefs based in religious supremacy, i.e., Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

          We should never, ever, allow mob violence and harassment to shut down free speech in this country and particularly on university campuses. If someone wants to stand around with a sign that says they think Jews are Satanic, fine. If someone wants to stand around with a sign that says “Indians are genetically superior to white people” fine. They should be confronted with rational and calm discussion by those who wish to dispute that. If people want to keep some people out of certain buildings based on their beliefs, which THOSE STUDENTS DO NOT OWN (The Multicultural Center) or to target individual students based on their beliefs (Tessa Vekkler You Can’t Hide) -no. Never. That is the start of the death of academic freedom.

      • Anti-Zionism is simply a new term for “Anti-Semitism” which the people you’re supporting figured out is a slithery way to get away with Jew hatred. If they’re not the same thing, then tell me why attacks on Jews and synagogues totally unrelated to Israel around the US spiked by over 400% after Oct 7? Any non-Jew who sees a Jew immediately associates them with Israel. Wake up

        • Thank you Calib for saying outloud what has been tip toed around for a while. But it is not so. Zionism is not a part of Judaism. The attempt to include anti-Zionism in the category of anti-semitism is a ruse designed to guilt people who are generally supportive of Israel and who recognize the unpleasant history of the Jewish people over recent decades. We can criticize The Crusades without being said to be anti-Christian can’t we? But the political effort of Zionism can be challenged for its unfairness and bigotry without condemning Judaism. That is free speech and that is essential to democracy.

        • I’m an anti-Zionist Jew and I’m not alone. Your comments are lies promoted by a *political* entity, the State of Israel.

          “Any non-Jew who sees a Jew immediately associates them with Israel.”

          And whose fault is that? It’s the fault of Israel and people like you who insist that they’re the same thing. In fact you foment *actual* antisemitism and Jews like me are the victim.

          • So you oppose the existence of a Jewish homeland? As a Jew yourself, you don’t think that history has shown over and over that Jewish people should have the right to self-determination, autonomy and self protection?

            That’s what Zionism is.

            And you don’t believe that there is a historic basis for the claim that Israel is their true homeland? As opposed to, I don’t know, Russia, or Germany, or Iraq, or Egypt, or Syria, or Yemen, or Poland, or Spain, or any of the places in the world where Jewish people have been forced to live in fear under constant threat and actual violence?

            As an “Anti-Zionist Jew” you think that Jewish people should always be under the control of people who may harbor resentment and violent intent towards them?

            Okay, now that’s your cue to start sCReaMInG!

            • ALEX – Honestly curious here and not trying to start anything, but just wondering, what does a “Jewish homeland” look like to you? One run by a religious government? One where Jews are automatically granted citizenship? Is Israel, as it stands now, a “Jewish homeland” or should there be something more? I honestly don’t know from a Jewish perspective so I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

              • Thanks for an honest question. We all know that it’s incredibly complicated. But, you’re asking what a “Jewish Homeland” looks like to me, so I’ll give you the short answer if I can, which is my ideal version, and is the opinion of one Jewish person among millions, of course.

                In a perfect world, the Jewish homeland exists in Israel because that is where our religion began. in my perfect world it is a nation founded with a hybrid of the best of Judaism and Western Democratic ideals. It is a nation which is fundamentally Jewish in nature but one which confers the same rights to all of its citizens, of all religions and backgrounds. It is not a theocratic government but is a multi-party, Democratic system intended to create a balanced society. It is a place where Jewish people can have safe harbor and security in a world where we have been oppressed, abused, hunted and joyously murdered even in nations where we thought we would be safe.

                I don’t have a problem with the Jewish homeland functioning as fundamentally and explicitly “Jewish”. There are twenty five nations in the world where the official, state religion is Islam. And in some of these nations it is literally illegal to try and convert a Muslim.

                Twenty five.

                And we have one nation which is explicitly and officially “Jewish”. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

                But we don’t live in a perfect world. And my priorities are not to be able to live on, or return, to a particular patch of dirt on planet Earth. I’m not religious and I really don’t give a fuck about a “place” and I would never put my childrens’ lives and futures in jeopardy because “God said so.”

                So my next best version of this whole thing is that, in the late 19th century, the first Zionists would have been prescient enough to predict that “Israel”, being a place that has been plagued by religious violence for millennia and which will likely always be plagued by this violence, is not a good place to be, regardless of the religious and historic significance which, in my book, confer as strong a right on the Jewish people to live there as any people on Earth.

                So, I like the idea of a “New Zion”. I like the idea of a place in the world which is underpopulated enough to have raised enough money to create a Jewish homeland without impacting other populations or cultures. Maybe buy a big chunk of Canada. Or somewhere, anywhere on the planet, where the Jewish people would be able to have a home and, frankly, control a military apparatus which would guarantee as much as possible that we would not always have to live in fear of our “own” government and our own neighbors turning on us.

                But it’s too late for that. We can’t turn back the clock. So version three where I can try and have some optimism is that present day Israelis decide that their own fanatics are as much a problem as the fanatics that want to destroy them and the State of Israel and that the population rejects the current government, rejects fanaticism, and finds the humanity necessary to make a deal that provides a future for the Palestinian people and in doing so create a safer and more stable present day Israel.

                Of course, even if the Israelis are able to get to that point, I don’t know that the extreme forces in Iran, in other areas of the Middle East, and within the Palestinian population will be a willing partner.

                So, yeah, that sort of sums it up.

            • In their 1948 letter to the NYT, Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook, and other prominent Jews warned about the fascistic elements that were taking over Zionism …the people they warned about, like Menachem Begin, later became Prime Minister and other leading positions in Israel. Had it gone in a different direction I might not now be anti-Zionist. I support a single secular state, but I don’t believe that is within reach, certainly not in my lifetime. For now I just want Israel to stop murdering, maiming, and starving tens of thousands of women, children, and other Palestinians. (For those blind-to-genocide creeps who say that the numbers come from Hamas, the numbers are considered to be reliable by all international aid groups, and the U.S. government says that it’s an undercount.)

    • There is no such country or nation ‘Palestine’ Never was .
      Asking a American University to support a terror state that refuses to acknowledge Israels right to even exist, would be a travesty. From its formation in 2005, Gaza has been a staging ground for multiple attacks on the Jewish State. There has been NO occupation in Gaza. The hundreds of miles of tunnels packed with weapons is proof of their intentions and their goal. Their actions Oct 7 exposes what they are. Terrorist, financed by Iran with the sole purpose of removing the Jews. Voted in by a 68% margin the hardline HAMAS. This is after many Jews were uprooted from the area called Gaza in order to give the the so called Palestinians land.

  1. As a long-time Edhat reader, I don’t weigh in very often. But there is a concerted effort to implement massive censorship on campus and every little slight or indiscretion which annoys the proponents of an Israel-right-or-wrong attitude is exploited to that end. I can’t sit by without weighing in, much as I would prefer to read restaurant reviews and look at all the cool dog pictures on Edhat.

    Nobody was targetted for their religion; a public figure was targetted for their support of Israeli military activities which are illegal and horrendous. That said, some of the posters were in poor taste. According to the college paper, uninvolved MCC staff were doxed, with their personal information posted, exposing them to harassment. If true, that would be a more egregious matter than the small percentage of signs that named the public figure – a student government politician whose IG advertises availability as a public speaker.

    While some of these posters were tacky and inappropriate, elevating this to an international incident is a transparent ploy to distract from what the International Court of Justice has characterized as plausibly an actual genocide or a genocide risk. As yesterday’s Michigan primary results make clear, the youth electorate takes this very seriously. If some of them are a bit over-zealous, let’s not fail to see the forest for the trees: the MCC is a fine institution that does many good things, and their staff should not be subjected to hyped-up hostility because they chose not to censor the students.

    This whole episode is illustrative of passive-aggressive manipulaiton, elevated to a political ploy to shift public attention away from the primary issue, which, in this matter, is to stop the ethnic cleansing which our government and university systems support.

      • And here we have a classic textbook example of a #strawman argument, misquoting “from what the International Court of Justice has characterized as plausibly an actual genocide “…I doubt that the Associated Students President over-dramatizing this was specifically thinking of “the ICJ”, as you contend that I stated. But her career record, constantly complaining that any criticism of Israel and her terrible takes on it are “all because of her identity” [paraphrasing], make it clear that she is all about shifting public attention away from the horrors going on daily in Rafah and the West Bank and central/northern Gaza. It is pretty obvious that, intentional or not, elevating a few distasteful posters into an international cause c’elebre at this time is a distraction. This should not be controversial; if you wish to carry water for the IDF, you can come up with something more convincing than to deny that this stuff serves as a distraction.

        • Yet the ones in control of Gaza for the last 18 years were Hamas — not Israel. The ones responsible for the current conflict are Hamas — not Israel. The ones stealing aid from Palestinian civilians are Hamas — not Israel. You can cut the cake anyway you like Marathoner, but at the end of the day, your post demonstrates to us all your lack of understanding on the often overlooked historical and current context of what’s going on in Gaza, and your pension for lapping up left and biases media narratives. come on now. Do better, for the sake of our community.

          • You are livinbg in a fantasy if you think that Gaza was not utterly blockaded and controlled by Israel which would allow not even chocolates in at one point. Sompletely surrounded. The IDF attacked a ship of humanitarian aid, killing many peace workers who tried to bring in supplies.

            Also, if you knew anything about the history you would realize that it was none other than Bibi Netanyahu who engineered Hamas influence, in order to dived and conquer Palestine and set up a rialry with the Palestinian Authority.

            • Marathoner — for your information:

              1) Egypt shares a border with Gaza too. But of course it’s more convenient to blame the Jews/Israel as always as the sole instigator in the region.

              2) Why do you think Israel blockaded Gaza to varying degrees over the last 18 years? Could it be because after Israel pulled out in 2005, they let the Gazans know that they would now have full freedom AS LONG AS they didn’t target Israeli civilians? How long did that last? I’ll tell you: 3 days. Only 3 days after Israel pulled out, the first rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel. My only critique isn’t that Israel was blockading Gaza — it’s that Israel wasn’t hard enough on Egypt to make sure its border was also monitored enough to prevent the over 50 THOUSAND rockets, missiles, and mortars, and countless guns and ammunition that made its way into Gaza over the last 18 years.

          • CALIB589 – “The ones stealing aid from Palestinian civilians are Hamas — not Israel.” Why did you leave out the whole thing about Israeli protesters blocking food and aid to Gaza recently? Kind of important to your praise of Israelis.

            • Sacjon – listen up. The ones protesting the food going into Gaza ARE THE ISRAELI HOSTAGE FAMILIES who are sick and tired of seeing aid go in to feed TERRORISTS (since Hamas has been stealing well over half of all aid that enters) while their kidnapped relatives are raped, tortured, starved and executed DAILY. I would be protesting too. The Israeli government is too lenient, giving in to leftist nutcases and jihadist supporters like yourself. Did the US give Nazi citizens aid when they were attacking Dresden? NO. Did anyone give ISIS aid when they were attacking ISIS-held cities? NO. Enough with your one-sided narrative. REMOVE HAMAS and INSTALL a Palestinian government that actually cares about its people more than it cares about blind hatred of Jews (yes Jews, not Israelis, but all Jews), and you’ll be making the first step in the direction of regional peace and stability.

          • CALIB – speaking of blocking aid to starving civilians in Gaza, this just happened……

            “Israeli forces opened fire on Thursday as a crowd gathered near a convoy of aid trucks in Gaza City in a chaotic scene where dozens were killed and injured, according to the official Palestinian Authority news agency and an Israeli official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.” https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/29/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news

            Of course, both sides are saying something different, but you can’t blame all the starvation and oppression on Hamas. That’s just ignoring facts.

        • Strawman? LOLLLL!!!!!

          You said:

          “While some of these posters were tacky and inappropriate, elevating this to an international incident is a transparent ploy to distract from what the International Court of Justice has characterized as plausibly an actual genocide or a genocide risk. ”

          I paraphrased your words with:

          You claiming that people reacting to this is a “ploy to distract from the ICJ’s” statements is beyond ridiculous.

          So you’re going to claim that the meaning of these fist statement is twisted or misrepresented in the second.


          And then you say:

          “if you wish to carry water for the IDF, you can come up with something more convincing than to deny that this stuff serves as a distraction.”

          LOLOLOLOL!!!! OMG!!

          Carry water for the IDF. You are hysterical. I am talking about UCSB. In California. In the United States. Your funny world is really quite conspiracy driven isn’t it.

          We are seeing many instances of Jewish students being abused, harassed, bullied and attacked on college campuses in the U.S.. If you’re not even willing to acknowledge that this is happening then it’s 100% what kind of water you are carrying and the reason it reeks of hate.

    • I think the vast majority of the SB community would disagree with you. I encourage you to dig a bit deeper. What went on is truly reprimandable and abuses the first amendment in every sense. I also never see Jewish students posting signs saying “Intifada” (violent action) against Palestinians; or “From the river to the sea (we’re going to wipe you clean)”, or “Palestinians not allowed!”

      These “protests” are extremely one-sided and in violation of campus regulations.

      Try adjusting your narrative. You’ll sleep better at night.

      • What is seen are claims from Israelis that Israel is “their land” as promised by their God. Israel is a religious state which gives privilege to members of the official religion and punishes, excludes, removes members of another religion. Look at what is being done by Israelis in the West Bank and their terror campaign against people who have lived in this area for many generations. Clearly both sides are nuts…religion is destructive when it is claimed to give any individual higher status than others.

        • Most of what you write is correct, ie ” claims from Israelis that Israel is “their land” as promised by their God. Israel is a religious state which gives privilege to members of the official religion and punishes, excludes, removes members of another religion. Look at what is being done by Israelis in the West Bank and their terror campaign against people who have lived in this area for many generations. ”

          But no need for “both sideism” as injected at the end. Israel is clearly the aggressor, as per the 1948 terrrorism which never ceased. But I agree with your overall sentiment and sure, there are a lot of people in Gaza with PTSD going back generations. They are living in the worlds’ largest outdoor prison, now really a concentration camp, of course they tend to go berserk. Sadly, the US is backing this with wild enthusiastic support by some of the people you see waving Israeli flags.

        • FALSE. You are quoting possibly 20% of Israelis (the very religious ones). Less religious Israelis don’t see this as their land promised by God, but rather their one and only ancestral homeland supported by facts. Archaeological findings (including 2000+ year old artifacts found in Gaza and outside the boundaries of the modern state of Israel as well). Documents (dead sea scrolls, countless tablets and pottery etchings confirming certain parts of the Torah and other independent writings such as those found in Egypt written by the ancient Egyptians).

          To focus on what’s being done by a handful of Israelis in the West Bank is to miss the enormous picture in front of you which is a massive global jihadist attempt to wreak genocide against all Jews in Israel. That’s what “From the river to the sea” means. From the Jordan River to the Med Sea, we’re going to wipe out all Jews. Come on man, do better. This isn’t difficult to see through the jihadist propaganda.

          • Yep, it’s so inconvenient for people who mindlessly support one side over another side in a monolithic fashion which dehumanizes people for you to note that there is not consensus in Israel about this war, illegal settlements, etc., etc..

            Nah. It’s toooooooo haaard to understand that there is no Israeli consensus and to recognize that people in Israel have also been working for peace for decades. It’s so much easier to scream “Zionist” any time they see an Israeli or a Jewish person.

            Just as people will always scream “terrorist” about any person who lives in Gaza. It’s fucking pathetic. It adds to the violence. It extends this war.

            The extremists must be reigned in. But guess what, there is a multibillion dollar industry that exists to literally keep Palestinians poor and powerless. UNRWA is invested in keeping these people enslaved to Hamas. Hamas must maintain power to keep making billions from smuggling. Corrupt Egyptians must maintain Hamas so they can get their piece of the smuggling revenue. Iran and the other Arab States and the theocracies must keep Palestinians as pathetic figures to be exploited for political points.

            And, yeah, right wing extremist fuckhead settlers are catered to by Netanyahu and his shithead party to maintain their power, “because God said so.”

            All you people that are claiming a “side” on this. STFU.

    • Do you even know what the word, “couple” means? There are more than “a couple (literally)” here that call you and your pals out for the constant lies (like this one), ignorance and hate you folks spew.

    • You’re right.

      Jews aren’t out there shouting “Intifada!” (violent riots).

      Jews aren’t putting signs saying “Palestinians not welcome!”

      Jews aren’t shouting “From the river to the sea we’re going to wipe all of you out!”

      The situation is pretty one-sided, yet the left and the jihadist sympathizers let their anti-semitic leanings overrun rational thought.

      • WRONG. Go online and read any comment section on Facebook, Instagram, etc following articles about Pro-Palestinian protests or anything supportive of Gaza.

        These are outright lies. Verifiable lies.

        Again, with the “one sided” BS. Here’s a tip: avoid absolutes that are easily verified as wrong while you complain about “one sided” narratives. It’s wildly hypocritical.

      • There are right wing, extremist settlers and their political leaders in Israel who are saying pretty much of all of this. I’ve sen videos of settlers chanting “There will be no children in Gaza”, etc., etc..

        You don’t really see that in the US, here, IMO the Pro-Palestinian support has been more extreme, more harassing, more violent by far than the Pro-Israel support, and definitely this has been the case on college campuses. Attacking people, attacking businesses, attacking people in vehicles trying to drive around protests, breaking windows, defacing property considered to be “Israeli” linked or owned by people from Israel.

        In Israel though, it’s another story.

      • As a Jew I am disgusted by such dishonesty.

        “Intifada” means “resist”, like “we shall overcome”. Jews in Israel certainly have signs (and laws and barriers and guns) saying that Palestinians are not welcome. ““From the river to the sea” is part of Israel’s charter. “we’re going to wipe all of you out!” is the lie you added.

        “The situation is pretty one-sided”

        Yes, it’s very heavily tilted toward Israel. At the same time nearly every building in Gaza has been razed, tens of thousands of Palestinians, mostly children, have been killed and vast numbers more permanently wounded, and violators of Jewish talmudic principles like you don’t care.

        “yet the left and the jihadist sympathizers let their anti-semitic leanings overrun rational thought.”

        I’m Jewish. I’m anti- fascistic violence and murder, and that’s why I oppose what Israel is doing, and dishonest people like you.

        • Hey, Dalfgorf, I’ll just fix your typo real quick. You said:

          “Intifada” means “resist”, like “we shall overcome”.

          In fact:

          “Intifada” means use violence to achieve our political goals.”

          “We shall overcome”. L the fuck OL

          You make it sound like it’s a resistance movement based in non-violent ideas.

          sTOp yOUr DiSHonESTY aNd LYinG

          Sounds familiar?

            • COAST is so absolutely, foolishly blind with hate and rage for anything perceived to be “progressive” that he literally defended Dalgorf, who thankfully and continuously reams him for his lies and ignorance, against you, who I wouldn’t describe as “progressive left” on this particular issue (no offense at all intended).

              It truly is hilarious, if it wasn’t so pathetic LOL!

          • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intifada

            “An intifada (Arabic: انتفاضة intifāḍah) is a rebellion or uprising, or a resistance movement. It is a key concept in contemporary Arabic usage referring to a uprising against oppression.[1][better source needed] In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict context, it refers to *violent or non-violent* uprising or opposition by the Palestinian people to the Israeli occupation.”

            The American Revolution was an intifada, as was resistance to apartheid in South Africa, The White Rose Movement and other resistance to the Nazis, and on and on.

          • ” I’m anti- fascistic violence and murder, and that’s why I oppose what Israel is doing, and dishonest people like you.”

            And of course your dishonest bigoted turn-a-blind-eye-to-genocide self completely ignored this.

  2. More details in this article from the Independent:

    “Protests against the Israel–Hamas conflict are a regular outcry on the UC Santa Barbara campus, but it got more personal this weekend when handmade signs were posted at the campus MultiCultural Center reading “Zionists NOT WELCOME” and “It was never about Hamas, never will be.” Another sign read “Stay away from our kitchen too!” The MultiCultural Center’s kitchen was scheduled to be used for a Shabbat meal to students this weekend.

    These signs, among others, were widespread on social media, including on the MultiCultural Center’s official Instagram account, with the caption, “In case we aren’t clear, let us spell it out.” The center’s Instagram and Facebook accounts are no longer active.

    Some of the signs attacked Tessa Veksler, the daughter of Soviet Jewish refugees and president of UCSB’s Associated Students whose office is in the MultiCultural Center (MCC) building. These signs were stuck to MCC’s walls and read, “You can run but you can’t hide Tessa Veksler!” and “F*** a ‘neutral’ A.S. President.”

    In an Instagram response to the signage, Veksler wrote, “I do not feel safe on campus. How can Jewish students feel safe at UCSB when they see a Jewish leader being explicitly targeted?”

    The verbal aggression was found in the dormitories, as well. One student had a mezuzah, a small piece of parchment inscribed with Hebrew verses, fixed on his dorm room door. He woke up this weekend to find “Zionists not welcome” written on his door in black marker. Despite efforts to scrub the writing off, remnants are still very much visible.

    UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang released a statement on Monday evening that read, “The signage has been removed and campus is conducting a bias incident review based on potential discrimination related to protected categories that include religion, citizenship, and national or ethnic origin. The posting of such messages is a violation of our principles of community and inclusion.”

    Attempts to contact the MultiCultural Center, which has canceled events through March 1, were returned by the university’s media relations manager, Kiki Reyes, who simply echoed Yang’s original statement. Santa Barbara Hillel and Chabad at UCSB were also asked for comment but did not respond.

    This comes after hundreds of anti-Semitic flyers were posted on Isla Vista homes and businesses late last month. The leaflets attempted to connect Jews to racism and pedophilia, and they denied the Holocaust entirely.

    Michael Drake, president of the University of California, pledged $7 million last November to combat such anti-Semitism and Islamophobia on UC campuses. The money was committed to go toward mental health services for affected students, new educational resources, and additional training for leadership and staff.

    • ” a Jewish leader being explicitly targeted”

      But she wasn’t targeted for being Jewish. As a (non-Zionist) Jew, I have seen plenty of antisemitism that attacks Jews generally, and it’s a different thing from being attacked for supporting the criminal State of Israel and its violence, razing Gaza, murdering tens of thousands, starving children, stealing property in the West Bank, etc. (And I’m completely opposed to Hamas and its 10/7 attack, so forget about your dishonest deflecting whataboutisms.) When people criticize me personally for a host of different reasons, I never say “you’re antisemitic for attacking me, a Jewish person” … I only accuse people of antisemitism when it’s an attack on Jews as a category, as when we’re accused of owning all the banks or drinking Christian blood or trying to “replace” white nationalists, etc. A Jew (or a woman or a Black etc.) saying that they are being attacked for their identity when they are being personally criticized or attacked is a vile exploitation of the oppressed status of the group they belong to–there is real antisemitism, racism, and misogyny but criticism of one’s actions or positions, including supporting Israel, isn’t that. And in fact this bleating foments actual antisemitism etc. as it falsely associates an individual’s actions with the entire group, just as the bigots do. And equating antisemitism with anti-Zionism gives cover for real antisemites to mingle with sincere critics of Israel … I call out those antisemites whenever I encounter them, as do many other supporters–Jewish and otherwise–of the Palestinian people.

    • “The leaflets attempted to connect Jews to racism and pedophilia, and they denied the Holocaust entirely.”

      This is real antisemitism, and is vile. But it’s not at all the same as criticism of Israel and its supporters.

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