April 6, 2020
Contact: Avi D. Gordon, Executive Director Alums for Campus Fairness
917-512-4585, [email protected]
Since the onset of the current crisis, we have seen a spike in antisemitic activity in which COVID-19 is being used to hate on Israel and the Jewish people.
Recently ACF-UMass Amherst learned that the Student Alliance for Israel (SAFI) and the Black Student Union co-sponsored a remote event featuring an Ethopian Israeli. Prior to the event, Students for Justice in Palestine released an antisemitic statement that insinuated this event was connected to a “larger effort by the Israeli government.” During the event, participants were subjected “Zoombombing” in the form of racial slurs, vulgar sounds, and antisemitism.
The Anti-Defamation League characterizes “Zoombombing” as a reference to the popular video conferencing platform Zoom where virtual meetings are disrupted by graphic or threatening messages or actions. This often includes those that contain hate speech or pornographic content. Every campus must remain a marketplace of ideas in which diverse viewpoints are shared everyday. Jewish and Pro-Israel students and their many allies are supported by Alums for Campus Fairness and we are committed to combating antisemitism, including its proliferation through Zoombombing.
We ask the UMass Amherst community to stand united with us in combating antisemitism in all its forms, including through Zoombombing.
About ACF: Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) is America’s unified alumni voice on issues of antisemitism, demonization of Israel, and bigotry. With over thirty-five chapters, ACF positions thousands of alumni on the front lines of key issues at their alma maters and works to ensure that universities remain pillars of open dialogue and equal opportunity for all students. For more information, please visit www.campusfairness.org.