NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Christian Examiner) – In 2006, Yale University was the first school in North America to establish a center for the study of antisemitism, which makes the presence of anti-Semitic graffiti near the storied campus all the more unusual.
New Haven's local NBC affiliate has reported that a sign with anti-Semitic slogans was hung on a pole near, but not on the campus. The news station said a local psychiatrist, Dr. Gary Plotke, discovered the sign near Yale-New Haven Hospital. It read, "YALE IS A JEW HOLE – LET'S ROUND THEM UP!!!"
"I saw it for what it was: a patently offensive, anti-Semitic sign," Plotke told WVIT. "Obviously, I know about antisemitism, but I've never actually come face-to-face with a sign like that."
Plotke said he notified the Anti-Defamation League and the New Haven Jewish Federation. Neither has issued a formal response on the matter.
The incident is not the first instance of anti-Semitic graffiti at Yale. Almost one year ago to the day, students outside of the freshman dormitory on the campus found swastikas spray-painted on the sidewalk. That incident came after the Nazi symbol was found on white boards and message boards around the campus.
Ironically, the incident came days before the school's William F. Buckley Jr. Program and the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale hosted a panel on "Antisemitism in the 21st Century." According to Yale's Daily News, more than 100 students attended the event.
One of the students who organized the program, Zachary Young, said antisemitism is a subject that is often relegated to history.
"I think it's interesting that people our age are interested in civil rights and promoting rights of minorities such as through movements like Black Lives Matter or those to counteract Islamophobia and homophobia at Yale, but there isn't much of a grassroots movement to combat antisemitism," Young told the newspaper.
It is not known if there is a connection between the posting of the sign and the conference that was held three days later.
Yale University's Press Secretary Thomas Conroy did not issue a formal statement on the incident since the sign was not on the campus, but he told the NBC affiliate that students described the sign as "hateful and despicable" on the school's Facebook page.