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UNC police begin investigation after anti-Semitic posters found in Davis Library

davis library
The Davis Library Infrastructure Project began in December 2017 and is expected to be complete in early 2019. Students study in Davis Library Wednesday evening.

University officials have found several anti-Semitic posters on the bookshelves and tables in Davis Library this week, according to an email sent to campus from Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. 

"I am extremely disappointed and appalled that anyone would write these abhorrent messages and direct them toward members of our Jewish community," the email said. "This behavior conflicts with the University‚Äôs long-standing commitment to fostering an environment where all students, faculty and staff can be free from harassment." 

North Carolina Hillel released a statement expressing outrage at the flyers that referred to "an evil Jewish plot." 

"We are disgusted by the vile and hateful rhetoric on these flyers," the statement said. "The language is reminiscent of centuries-old, anti-Semitic rhetoric that incited the murder of thousands of Jews in pogroms throughout Eastern Europe and the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. This racist, repulsive language has no place on any campus or in any society."

This comes less than two weeks after Guskiewicz sent another email to campus, alerting the community that the Unsung Founders Memorial and an art installment outside of Hanes Art Center were vandalized with "racist and other deplorable language." Two individuals with ties to the Heirs of the Confederacy were arrested for the vandalism on Monday. 

"This is the second time in two weeks I have had to share information with you about the discovery of racist or hateful messages on our campus," the email said. "While we believe the two incidents are unrelated, these actions do not reflect our values."

Chabad of Durham and Chapel Hill also issued a press release responding to the incident. Rabbi Zalman Bluming, the executive director at Chabad of UNC/Duke, said he was "deeply saddened and disturbed" to hear about the posters. 

"The fact that this sort of hatred exists on our campus is unacceptable and extremely troubling," Bluming said in the email. "It is particularly disconcerting that this reprehensible incident occurred as Jews are preparing to celebrate the Passover Holiday."

UNC police is investigating the incident, and the email asks that anyone with information related to the poster call 911. The Hillel statement said the organization will continue to work with The University to ensure "this matter is properly addressed to protect the safety and respect of all members of the campus Jewish community."

"When we are faced with this type of darkness, there can only be one response: increasing the light," Bluming said in the email. "We will not be bullied or intimidated. On the contrary, we will in fact intensify our activities on campus aimed at increasing knowledge and pride in our Jewish heritage."


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