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Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found At Sussex University Claiming The Holocaust Was 'An Inside Job'

It comes weeks after Israel Apartheid Week events on campus.

13/03/2017 11:57 GMT | Updated 14/03/2017 12:00 GMT

Anti-Semitic graffiti claiming the Holocaust was an “inside job” was discovered at the University of Sussex shortly after it hosted Israel Apartheid Week events. 

Outraged students tweeted pictures of the “disgusting” graffiti, which had been scribbled on a chalkboard art installation on campus. 

Asked what they wanted to do before they died, someone had written: “Jet fuel can’t melt Jews. Holocaust was an inside job”. 

According to student newspaper The Tab, once this message was removed it was quickly replaced with the phrase: “Make Königsberg German again (and Pomerania).”  

A spokesperson for the university said it is “working closely” with the police following the incident. 

Sussex vice-chancellor Adam Tickell responded rapidly to the “intolerable anti-Semitic graffiti” on Twitter, assuring students that he was working to stop hate crime on campus. 

A spokesperson from the Union of Jewish students said: ‘We strongly condemn the antisemitic messages written at the University of Sussex and are deeply concerned by the escalation of incidents on this campus in recent weeks.

“These comments reflect the range of antisemitism that exists on campuses and the need for universities to take urgent action to tackle it,” they continued. 

“We are reassured by the initial response by the university in removing the disgraceful messages on the chalkboard and we are grateful to the vice chancellor of the university, Adam Tickell, for his tweet condemning the incident.”

The phrase “Before I die I want to see end of Israel” was also found on the board. 

The messages, which were found on Friday, come two weeks after Sussex University hosted Israel Apartheid Week events, during which campaigners likened the treatment of Palestinians in Israel to racial discrimination in South Africa during Apartheid.  

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The University of Sussex hosted Israel Apartheid Week events in February 

Higher education minister Jo Johnson had warned universities to adopt a zero tolerance policy to anti-Semitism ahead of the annual events to prevent “discrimination, harassment or victimisation” of Jewish students on campus. 

His announcement followed a long string of incidents at UK universities.

Last month, Bristol University launched an investigation after one of its lecturers wrote it was time to stop “privileging the Holocaust”, while a swastika was found carved into a door at Exeter University. 

A spokesperson from the University of Sussex said the institution would “not tolerate any form of hate speech in our community”. 

Umezo KAMATA
Sussex Uni leaders are working with the police over the incident 

“As soon as we were made aware of the wording on the art installation, we took immediate action to have it removed,” the spokesperson said. 

“Where there is evidence that an individual or a group is inciting violence, causing a breach of the peace, or is transgressing the bounds of lawful free speech or assembly, we will always take the appropriate action.

They added: “As a truly international institution, we encourage all members of our community and visitors to our campus to express opinions freely, within the law.

“However, we must balance this commitment to freedom of speech with our commitment to equality and diversity, which is central to the ethos of our community.”