Antisemitic 'tropes' making a comeback on college campuses

Antisemitic 'tropes' making a comeback on college campuses

Antisemitic 'tropes' making a comeback on college campuses

An advocate for Israel and the Jewish people is not surprised that antisemitic flyers were recently posted on a university campus in Tennessee or that people believe their false claims.

In a statement to students, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (UTC) Chancellor Steven Angle said the UTC administration learned of "several antisemitic flyers posted on our campus" earlier this month. "The flyers include blatant falsehoods," he said.

Naya Lekht, a Holocaust historian and director of education for Club Z, says it is difficult to pinpoint one source responsible for clandestinely distributing the flyers that claimed nearly 80% of American slaves were owned by ethnic Jews.

Lekht, Naya (Club Z) Lekht

"We do know, however, that antisemitism right now in the United States of America is probably at the highest it's ever been," she tells AFN. "It's coming from everywhere, and it exists in all these different spaces, one of which is universities."

TimesFreePress.com reports that Dalton State College historian Seth Weitz says some Jewish people did own slaves at the height of American slavery, but the numbers cited on the flyer are statistically impossible. Still, lamenting that pervasive antisemitism is hardly anything new, Lekht says many likely believe the flyers' lies.

"We're living in a time where Jews are considered to have control, privilege, [and] the Jewish agenda," she says. "The ancient tropes that really originate from the early Twentieth Century have come back fiercely."

Lekht says there is much to be done to combat this in the field of education, but she questions whether people are willing to do it.

In this case, Chancellor Angle asserts that "the university strongly condemns and rejects antisemitism in any form." He directed the immediate removal of the flyers and for campus security to investigate the incident.