The chancellor of Rutgers University-New Brunswick issued an apology to the university’s Palestinian community on Thursday for sending a university-wide announcement condemning the recent surge in anti-Semitic hate crimes across the country.
The university’s chancellor, Christopher Molloy, and provost and executive vice chancellor for research and academic affairs, Francine Conway, sent a message to students on Wednesday that brought attention to the recent rise in hate crimes against Jews.
“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,” the email said.
“If you have been adversely impacted by anti-Semitic or any other discriminatory incidents in our community, please do not hesitate to reach out to our counseling and other support services on campus. Our behavioral health team stands ready to support you through these challenging times,” the email said.
While the email also mentioned the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the administrators did not take a position on the conflict.
“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” it read.
Just one day later, Molloy and Conway sent students a follow up email titled “An Apology.”
The administrators apologized to the university’s Palestinian Community members and said that the first message “fell short” of their intention to be a “place where all identities can feel validated and supported.”
“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,” the message said.
“Our diversity must be supported by equity, inclusion, antiracism, and the condemnation of all forms of bigotry and hatred, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,” it added.
“As we grow in our personal and intuitional understanding, we will take the lesson learned here to heart, and pledge our commitment to doing better. We will work to regain your trust, and make sure that our communications going forward are much more sensitive and balanced,” it read.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recently said it has recorded a 75 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in just the last two weeks amid the heightened conflict in the Middle East.
Last week, pro-Palestinian rioters paraded through Manhattan’s Diamond District, a historically Jewish neighborhood, shouting anti-Semitic chants, disrupting traffic, and harassing patrons of local businesses.
The rioters threw a firework at bystanders, sending one woman and two police officers to the hospital with injuries.
Palestinian protesters were also caught on camera beating a Jewish man with an object. The NYPD is investigating multiple incidents.
President Biden on Monday condemned the anti-Semitic attacks.
“The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop,” Biden said in a tweet. “I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad–it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.