By: Gabrielle Dankanich

Leftist students at Northwestern University painted the antisemitic slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” on a rock that functions as a prominent campus display, according to a tip received through Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tip Line.

The controversial slogan has been utilized by terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Northwestern University is no stranger to antisemitism. For years, groups of students have targeted the Jewish president of the institution, Morton Schapiro, in addition to the state of Israel, and promoted the ideology on campus. 

The 2020 targeting of Schapiro, with students hurling the insulting nickname, “piggy Morty,” immediately prompted a statement from the President.

“Many gathered outside my home this weekend into the early hours of the morning, chanting ‘f— you Morty’ and ‘piggy Morty.’ The latter comes dangerously close to a longstanding trope against observant Jews like me. Whether it was done out of ignorance or out of anti-Semitism, it is completely unacceptable,” Schapiro wrote. 

This ignorance remains two years later with the annual painting of Northwestern’s “The Rock.”

“The phrase ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free calls for the expulsion of Jews from the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. To do so would constitute ethnic cleansing, which is inherently antisemitic,” Zach Kessel, a senior at Northwestern, told the New Guard.

Kessel is outspoken in his disgust with these demonstrations. Last spring, Students for Justice in Palestine at Northwestern painted this same slogan on the Rock. The anti-Semitic painting of “The Rock” has happened every year that Kessel has attended Northwestern.

Northwestern has failed to denounce this slogan on university property. “The university should absolutely condemn these actions,” Kessel said, “but given Northwestern’s unwillingness to do so in the past, I do not believe they will this time.”

“I’m not surprised,” Kessel said, “Antisemitism is a problem on campuses across the country, not just mine. College students are not disabused of their antisemitic notions by the time they graduate. They bring these ideas to newsrooms, to corporate boards, to nonprofits like Amnesty International when they graduate,” he continued.

“The university essentially functions as a breeding ground for the hatred of Jews, and it is incumbent on those universities to rectify the issue,” he added.

Antisemitism isn’t the only radical ideology running rampant on Northwestern’s campus. Last year, the university’s student government wrote and passed a resolution to prevent a conservative student from providing input on the university’s Presidential Search Committee.

Disrupting a YAF Jeff Sessions’ lecture in 2019, students harassed police officers with the intent to disrupt and prevent the speech. 

Whatever one’s opinions regarding the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, using a Hamas and PFLP coined slogan to express disappointment in the state of Israel is unnecessary. This slogan is an antisemitic call to genocide and should not be overlooked.