Intolerable Intolerance



For all the hatred that conservatives receive in general, there is a special level of insanity directed at the group Students Supporting Israel.

On September 11th, members of the group discovered that their panel on the Washington Avenue bridge had been vandalized. Swastikas, a symbol most commonly associated with Nazism and anti-Semitism, had been painted onto the panel. The vandalism was discovered in the midst of Students Supporting Israel’s event to remember the events of September 11th, 2011.

“We couldn’t make a big deal about it since it could have been drawn by anyone at anytime from the end of May to September 11th,” said Ron Feingold, president of the University of Minnesota’s Students Supporting Israel chapter, “We have no evidence about who did it.”

While the bridge has since been repainted, leaving little damage in this regard, it is indicative of a larger anti-Semitic attitude that SSI has had to deal with. The group’s Facebook page has been deluged with hateful and threatening messages, as have the personal pages of its officers and members.

Ilan Sinelnikov co-founded SSI starting with the very first chapter here at the University of Minnesota. He is the CEO of the parent organization, and received a message on the first of September reading, in its entirety, “Child killing scumbag”

“I’ve gotten it on my personal page,” said Feingold, “But the group’s page gets the most heat.”

Feingold said that the response to the group’s 9/11 event was mostly positive, though they did receive some comments saying that they were promoting Islamophobia, along with claims that 9/11 was an inside job.

The administration and faculty at the University has also had some mixed interactions with SSI.

“President Kaler’s actually very supportive,” said Feingold, “But some department heads are anti-Israel. More over, some professors don’t even bother hiding their anti-semitism.”

The lack of departmental sponsorship is curious, since they are all too willing to support groups that attack the state of Israel. Feingold himself reported for Truth Revolt on how five University of Minnesota Professors organized a “teach in” to advocate for a boycott of Israel. Feingold cited the Political Science and Anthropology departments as having helped to advertise for the event.

Everyone who thinks himself or herself ill treated because of their politics should remember that there’s always another level it can be taken to. Such intolerance cannot be allowed to continue.