Santa Barbara, CA – UC Santa Barbara students and staff were shocked to discover antisemitic messages scrawled on a chalkboard of an Israeli Politics class on campus. One statement specifically read, “From the river to the sea,” referring to a common phrase symbolizing the total elimination of the State of Israel and Palestinian control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
A joint statement about the incidents was released on social media Tuesday, signed by Jewish student organizations Santa Barbara Hillel, Chabad at UCSB, End Jew Hatred, Students Supporting Israel, Mishelanu, and the school’s Alpha Epsilon Pi–Sigma Beta Chapter, which noted that the events took place within four days of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, saying they act as a reminder “that antisemitism is not a thing of the past but something that has become disturbingly common.”
“As proud and outspoken members of our Jewish community, we stand in unified opposition to these hateful antisemitic acts. UCSB has a vibrant and thriving Jewish population, and we refuse to be intimidated by hatred in any form,” the joint statement read. “At this time, we call on the UCSB administration to publicly condemn these antisemitic attacks on the Jewish student community of UCSB and Isla Vista, and take action to ensure Jewish students receive the same level of support and protection as is provided to students from any other minority group. We encourage you to share this statement on social media, contact the UCSB administration to express your outrage, and check in on your Jewish friends.”
Images of the chalkboard that were posted to Instagram have since been deleted, and showed the phrase “FUCK ISRAEL” in large letters, surrounded by other offhand references to Israel and Jewish people.
In response to the incidents, UCSB released a statement saying the university “stands firmly against all forms of hate, violence, and discrimination, whether it is on campus or in our community,” and that the flyers “targeting the Jewish community” are being investigated by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office.
“We also encourage members of our university community who are in need of support, or know of someone in need of support, to reach out for help,” the statement read. “We want every member in our community to feel at home — welcome, accepted, supported, and safe. As a community, we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment, and to addressing all forms of racism and discrimination.”