‘Zionism = Nazism’ Painted on College Grounds

Spirit Rocks
University of Texas "Spirit Rocks" | Image by Benji Gershon/Facebook

The University of Texas at Dallas’ “Spirit Rocks” are being painted with increasingly inflammatory messages condemning the Israeli people .

In a back-and-forth between Jewish and anti-Israel student organizations on the campus, Palestinian sympathizers spray-painted the boulders with messages such as “No peace on stolen land” and “end occupation.”

Jewish students responded by painting over the messages with the Israeli flag and slogans such as “Terror does not equal ‘Justice,'” and “USA Stands With Israel.”

However, one night, the three stones were painted with a Palestinian flag and the words “Zionism = Nazism.” The stones have since been repainted, but as of the morning of October 17, they still bore Palestinian flags.

Pictures of the messaging began circulating on social media, leading pro-Israeli observers to call for the person responsible to be “fired or kicked out of the university.”

UTD’s school newspaper reported that “painting of the Palestinian flag eventually became coordinated throughout the week between students from several organizations, including SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] and MSA [Muslim Students Association].” Over three days, the Spirit Rocks were painted at least 11 times, the paper reported.

Students for Justice in Palestine at UT Dallas is an official student organization that has, in the past, posted pictures of its members painting the rocks on campus with anti-Israel messages.

The student group condemned the school’s president, Richard Benson, for his statement against the “atrocities committed by the terrorist group Hamas, which targeted, killed and kidnapped innocent Israeli civilians.”

In a mass email draft letter, the organization claimed, “You, the president of our university, do not care about the Palestinians murdered by Israel, nor do you care about the sizable Palestinian and Arab student population on your campus or in the nearby community you supposedly serve.”

“You have put your most vulnerable students at even greater risk by justifying anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim hatred,” the group alleged. “You must apologize for releasing such an abhorrent statement.”

Benji Gershon, the president of the Dallas Jewish Conservatives, told The Dallas Express that several Jewish students and alumni from the school had contacted him concerning the message.

“The fact that they put ‘Zionism equals Nazism’ is pretty disgusting,” he suggested. “It’s obviously extremely offensive and hurtful to the Jews and Israelis that are deeply affected by what’s going on.”

“We’re experiencing a modern-day holocaust of sorts. There’s not been this many Israelis and Jews killed since the Holocaust,” Gershon continued. “It’s a modern-day pogrom.”

“For them to write that Zionism equals Nazism and that people who love, support, and care about Israel are essentially Nazis not only does it not make sense, it’s just disgusting,” he added.

While there have been several large anti-Israel demonstrations by crowds of people waving Palestinian flags, the City of Dallas has unequivocally condemned the Hamas terror attacks and indicated its support of Israel. Similarly, Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders have publicly rallied in support of Israel.

“I’m happy that the state of Texas, here in Dallas, and many other places have put forward strong pro-Israel resolutions,” Gersher explained. “I think the pro-Israel sentiment is strong here in Texas, and I think people can understand what evil is now that they’ve seen it.”

“There’s no disputing now which side is evil and which side is not evil,” he concluded.

Nevertheless, some segments of the community have called for the destruction of the Israeli state. As reported by The Dallas Express, crowds of Palestinian supporters chanted, “There is only one solution, intifada revolution,” at a rally around the corner from the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

The Dallas Express reached out to the University of Texas at Dallas for comment regarding the incident but did not receive a response prior to publication.

The university’s newspaper reported that students can paint the Spirit Rocks at any time, noting that administrators will only get involved if the students violate the law or the Student Code of Conduct.

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