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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications
lmacinty@indiana.edu
812-856-1172

Keith Cash
IU Police Department
812-855-4286

Last modified: Friday, December 3, 2010

IU, Bloomington communities respond to anti-Semitic incidents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 3, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson today welcomed expressions of unity and support that have arisen in response to acts of anti-Semitic vandalism and intimidation on campus.

The local group Bloomington United condemned the acts in a newspaper column and encouraged residents to display "Bloomington United in Diversity" posters and to wear blue on Monday in solidarity with the Jewish community. Muslims, Christians and others have spoken out forcefully against the anti-Jewish attacks. Posters may be downloaded from http://iuhillel.org.

"As the Bloomington United members have observed, the recent incidents underscore the need to reaffirm our commitment to diversity and our opposition to all forms of hatred and discrimination," Hanson said. "We will not tolerate intimidation at IU Bloomington, and we will take all appropriate measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the community. We encourage faculty, staff and students to stand with those who have been targeted and to uphold the ideals of civility and respect for each other."

On Tuesday, Hanson sent an e-mail message to all IU Bloomington students, faculty and staff, providing information about the incidents and assurance that the campus administration is responding vigorously.

Since Nov. 23, there have been several incidents of vandalism on and near campus directed at the Jewish community. Rocks have been thrown through windows at the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center and the Chabad House Jewish Student Center, and a rock was thrown at the staff directory sign for the Jewish Studies program. There also was vandalism of Hebrew books at the IU Wells Library.

On Friday, IU Police received a report that swastikas were drawn overnight on a dry-erase board outside a dorm room on a women's floor in McNutt residence center. IU Chief of Police Keith Cash said there was no indication that there was an intruder on the floor. He said the incident appeared to be an insensitive and hateful prank and not a direct physical threat.

IU and Bloomington police are aggressively investigating all the acts of vandalism, and both uniformed and plainclothes patrols have been increased. Because the acts appear to be motivated by animosity toward a religion, the FBI and Department of Justice have been notified. Anyone with information about the incidents is encouraged to call IU Police at 812-855-4111.