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Emory University responds to campus protest targeting Jewish community

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Emory University responds to campus protest targeting Jewish community

Image obtained via Atlanta News First

By Brittany Ford, Atlanta News First

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) — The Jewish community at Emory University is raising concerns after a protest on campus.

Jewish students say protestors were chanting antisemitic phrases.

Video from Wednesday’s protest related to the Israel-Hamas war captures a crowd yelling, “From the river to the sea.”

“At the event, they chanted ‘from the river to sea,’ which we need to stop saying means anything different than the genocide of Jews throughout Israel,” said Morgan Ames, President of Emory Eagles for Israel.

The phrase refers to extending the Palestinian border from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Jewish students are calling for accountability.

“As a grandchild of a Holocaust survivor, it’s really hard it makes you feel unsafe on a campus that people believe that,” said Lindsey Lipson.

“I just think there’s a general lack of understanding and willingness to learn,” said Cassidy McGoldrick.

The protest was held by a group called Students of Stop Cop City.

Emory University President Gregory L. Fenves, the college’s first-ever Jewish president, echoed concerns.

This statement was sent to Emory Students and Staff Wednesday:

Dear Emory Community,

Earlier today, there was a protest on our Atlanta campus by members of the Emory community. Throughout the event, antisemitic phrases and slogans were repeatedly used by speakers and chanted by the crowd. I cannot be more clear—this kind of rhetoric has no place at Emory. I am appalled by this behavior. It violates our core values, particularly our commitment to creating an inclusive environment for all who learn, work, and live on our campuses. The terrorist atrocities and ensuing war in Israel and Gaza have horrified us all, and the continued loss of innocent life is deeply painful. So many at Emory have risen to meet this challenging moment—fostering dialogue, hosting vigils, relying on our religious leaders across faiths, and leaning into the expertise of our scholars. But antisemitic slogans degrade that important work and the mutual respect that underpins the Emory community. Emory has a long and distinguished history of supporting open expression. We welcome peaceful protests. We welcome a vast range of ideas and perspectives. But antisemitism targeting Jewish members of our community, even as part of a protest protected by our Open Expression policy, must be called out for what it is—divisive and reprehensible. No matter how strongly you feel about an issue, there is another perspective to consider and there are other people with their own beliefs, values, and history that you may not agree with or fully understand. Seek out that other perspective. Seek understanding over division and hateful attacks. Your words are powerful. I urge you to use them respectfully and in a manner that values every person at Emory. That isn’t too much to ask. It’s simply the right thing to do.

Emory University

Decaturish media partner Atlanta News First provided this story