Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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JVP NU releases statement after Deering Meadow counterprotest

JVP+NU+said+in+the+statement+it+has+evidence+the+counterdemonstration+was+%E2%80%9Ca+coordinated+effort+organized+by+the+Anti-Defamation+League%2C%E2%80%9D+contradicting+statements+by+pro-Israel+protesters+that+the+event+was+organically+organized.
Nicole Markus/The Daily Northwestern
JVP NU said in the statement it has evidence the counterdemonstration was “a coordinated effort organized by the Anti-Defamation League,” contradicting statements by pro-Israel protesters that the event was organically organized.

Northwestern’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace released a statement on the pro-Israel counterprotest on Deering Meadow Sunday afternoon.

“We condemn today’s violent, racist, and intimidating Zionist aggression at the peaceful encampment,” JVP NU wrote in the statement.

The counterprotest, which included about 150 pro-Israel demonstrators — most of whom appeared not to be students — included a tense standoff with encampment protesters, who formed a human chain to prevent them from entering the encampment. Counterprotesters brought Israeli and American flags, as well as posters of kidnapped Israeli hostages, and chanted “bring them home.”

The statement was posted to JVP NU’s Instagram page along with that of NU librarian Josh Honn, who authored an “Open Letter to President Schill from Concerned Librarians at Northwestern University” in November. 

It alleged that the demonstration included counterprotesters “putting hands on students, shouting racial slurs, laughing about genocide, and other forms of provocations and acts of intimidation.”

Representatives of NU Hillel and Wildcats for Israel both told The Daily that the counterprotest was not affiliated with the two organizations. Hillel Executive Director Michael Simon and Chabad Rabbi Mendy Weg both appeared at the counterprotest. 

The statement also stated that “ANTI-ZIONISM DOES NOT EQUAL ANTI-SEMITISM” — a sentiment echoed by signs held by encampment demonstrators earlier on Sunday.

JVP NU said in the statement it has evidence the counterdemonstration was “a coordinated effort organized by the Anti-Defamation League,” contradicting statements by pro-Israel protesters that the event was organically organized.

“As a librarian, my colleagues and I work with students every day to help them critically evaluate sources of information, and I am here to say that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is not a trusted, accurate, or reliable source,” Honn wrote in the statement. “The ADL tracks instances of anti-Semitism yet uses a definition of anti-semitism that erroneously and dangerously equates it with anti-Zionism…”

The ADL defines antisemitism as “the marginalization and oppression of people who are Jewish, based on the belief in stereotypes, myths and disinformation about Jewish people, Judaism and Israel.”

David Goldenberg, Midwest Regional Director of the ADL, told The Daily that the ADL did not have any role in planning the event today. He said he came to the demonstration after a graduate student at NU asked him to come support them.

“ADL does not typically lead in the planning of events like today, though we are 100 percent supportive of students saying enough is enough when antisemitism runs rampant on their camps — like it is at NU — and we will always get their backs,” Goldenberg said.

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