Anti-Semitic Flyers at UC Berkeley Prompt Chancellor's Condemnation, Student Resolution

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Students walk through Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ is condemning a set of anti-Semitic flyers found on campus this week that blamed Jewish people for the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The flyers, identical to ones found at UC Davis, are disturbing and disgusting, Christ said in a message to the Berkeley campus on Wednesday.

"In the wake of this incident I want to make clear that my administration and this campus community stand together in condemnation of this and all hateful ideologies," Christ said.

The flyers say they were authored by a group tied to a neo-Nazi website and read: "Every time some Anti-White, Anti-American, Anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it and it's Jews behind it."

They depict Jewish members of the Senate and billionaire George Soros with Stars of David on their foreheads, as well as Christine Blasey Ford and Michael Avenatti with the words "Good Goy" on their faces.

Oren Segal, director of the Center for Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League, said on Twitter that the flyers were also posted at Vassar College in New York.

"This toxic material demands a response, though I regret that by doing so we provide adherents to this vile ideology with more of the attention they seek," Christ said.

The posters were discovered by a member of the group, Tikvah: Students for Israel, according to the organization's president, Nathan Bentolila.

Around 10 of the flyers were found near Eshleman Hall, which houses the student union, on Sunday afternoon, Bentolila said in an email.

On Monday Bentolila and other Jewish students, including Justin Greenwald, a junior and senator for the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), sent emails to Chancellor Christ and UC Berkeley police about the flyers.

At least two students filed police reports about the flyers, Greenwald said.

Police are looking into the posters, according to campus officials. A police spokesman did not return a request for comment.

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Greenwald authored a resolution, to be voted on by the ASUC Wednesday night, denouncing the flyers.

"We cannot have these incidents of hate be present on our campus any longer," Greenwald said.

"One of the things I'm really passionate about is making sure that these anti-Semitic incidents, which have happened in the past at UC Berkeley,  don't happen again and when they do happen, people are made aware of them so they don't just go under the table," Greenwald said.

Greenwald said he and his colleagues debated over whether to bring attention to the posters, and if doing so would give them extra publicity. In the end he decided exposing them would help the campus combat hatred.

That question is something the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — which tracks white Supremacist and neo-Nazi groups — also grapples with, according to Seth Brysk, director of the league's Central Pacific region.

"We have to weigh the prudence of making sure the public is aware and warning people versus giving them the additional exposure and publicity that they crave," Brysk said in an interview.