Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found at Carleton University

Published: April 11th 2010
in News » Local

Carleton University

The Ottawa police hate crimes unit is investigating anti-Semitic graffiti that was discovered in a washroom at Carleton University last month during Israeli Apartheid Week.


The graffiti was written in orange marker on a men’s room stall in the Residence Commons building. There were three separate messages, “Kill a Jew slow + painfully,” “Nuke Israel” and White Power,” along with a swastika.


Immediately after the graffiti was reported to Carleton’s safety department, the university dispatched officials and it was removed less than 30 minutes later. The vandalism was treated by Carleton as a hate crime and reported to the Ottawa Police Service who opened an investigation.


“Needless to say this behaviour is not something we will tolerate on our campus,” said Carleton media relations officer Steve Blais. “We need to let the police investigation establish the facts and allow the justice system to do its job before we can mete out penalties or sanctions.”


While the graffiti was found during Israeli Apartheid Week, police are saying that the phrase “White Power” is a clue that those responsible may subscribe to neo-Nazi ideology which is not usually associated with individuals from pro-Palestinian groups.


So far, police have no suspects. With security cameras not allowed in washrooms because of privacy laws, the crime will be hard to solve without a witness.


Ottawa police are saying that this type of incident is becoming more common on university campuses.


"Within the university realm, you're starting to see more and more controversy concerning different political, religious or racial affiliations," Detective John Byers of the Ottawa police told the Ottawa Citizen.


Blais said that the university did not notice an increase in tension between students during this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week.


“The approach we have taken to Israeli Apartheid Week is to meet with the groups involved and talk about what kind of behavior is acceptable and what is not. We also have staff attend all of the week’s activities,” he said.


He added, “We continue to liaise will all groups on campus about the expectations the university has regarding their conduct.”


This is not the only incident to hit Carleton lately. Early last week, two Carleton students known for their pro-Israel views – one an Israeli engineering student at the other the vice president of the student association – went to police alleging that a group of 10 men yelled anti-Semitic insults at them in English and Arabic and then punched one of them in the head outside a Gatineau bar. When they attempted to go back to Ottawa across a bridge, three men got out of a car and came at them with a machete.


Last year, a poster for Israeli Apartheid Week was banned by the university’s equity services office because officials were afraid it could lead to violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code. The poster featured an Israeli gunship launching a rocket at a Palestinian child in Gaza. Seventy current and former faculty members wrote a letter to the director of the equity office protesting the decision.


“Carleton is almost 70 years old so, no, this is not the first instance of graffiti on our campus,” said Blais. “The Ottawa Police have indicated that graffiti in public washrooms is not an uncommon occurrence – we are fortunate that at Carleton it does not happen very often at all.”

Related articles: (carleton, graffiti, anti-semitic, neo-nazi, ottawa)

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