Posters that targeted pro-divestment activists as being affiliated with “Hamas terrorists” are being removed from University buildings as they are discovered, a University spokesperson confirmed today.
“While the University of Chicago encourages the free exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives concerning a wide range of issues, these flyers are defamatory and inconsistent with our values and policies,” University spokeswoman Marielle Sainvillus said.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center has claimed responsibility for hanging the posters, and sent out a press release Thursday morning. “Virtually every major university campus in America is host to student organizations dedicated to spreading the propaganda lies of the Hamas terrorists which are designed to weaken and delegitimize the Israeli state,” Center founder David Horowitz said in the release.
One poster listed 20 students and alumni involved with either Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Muslim Students Association, or U of C Divest and claimed they were affiliated with anti-Semitism and terrorism. All three groups supported a resolution that came before College Council last fall quarter that called on the University to divest from ten companies that proponents of the resolution said provide support for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. One poster design included a caricature of a student at the University above the hashtag #jewhatred.
According to a University spokeswoman, the University is removing the posters as it discovers them and is investigating any reports of individuals responsible. The University’s student manual allows the administration to restrict defamatory content that targets specific individuals.
The Maroon has reached out to several groups and individuals involved in the debate over divestment on campus and the postings. A full article will be published online later tonight and in print tomorrow morning.
Correction on Oct. 20, 2016, 10:16 p.m. CDT:
An earlier version of this article failed to mention that students affiliated with the Muslim Students Association were also targeted on a poster.
Correction on Oct. 21, 2016, 12:22 a.m. CDT:
The original headline of this article stated that anti-divestment activists were linked to "Hamas terrorists." An anti-divestment group linked divestment activists to "Hamas terrorists." The Maroon regrets this error.
Correction on Oct. 23, 2016, 5:13 p.m. CDT:
This article’s headline was edited to clarify that the posters did not definitively establish a link between any of the people referred to and Hamas.
Correction on Nov. 1, 2016, 10:17 a.m. CDT:
This article misstated that faculty members were targeted by the posters. Students and alumni were targeted.