Content warning: antisemitism and strong language
Last week, antisemitic graffiti was found in the Christal McMillan Building toilets. The racial slur was photographed by fourth-year history student, Christopher Marland, who posted the photo on social media.
The graffiti comes after a tumultuous few weeks for British Jewry that has included the hounding of a Jewish MP out of the Labour Party, the suspension of Labour MP Chris Williamson for antisemitism, and increasing concern about antisemitic attacks across Europe. It seems that such circumstances could have given voice to antisemites within the University of Edinburgh.
The graffiti is an example of antisemitic culture, referencing the conspiracy theory that Jewish people ‘control’ the world. The initial student reaction has been outrage. Nathan Amran, a Jewish Masters student, created several posters in response to the charge that Jewish people ‘control’ the world, including one stating, “bro, I can’t even control my emotions. What the fuck are you talking about? #StopAntisemitism.”
The Student reached out to Christopher Marland, who commented that he was “disappointed but really surprised” when he saw the slur.
Marland worried when he posted the first photo of the graffiti on Facebook that he was falling into the ‘snowflake’ trap, but thought sharing the photo was important because “antisemitism is seen as this non-problem by so many people, a lot of them on my Facebook, and so I just wanted to show them that it’s real and it’s big.”
The university has aimed to ensure that antisemitism, and all forms of discrimination, are handled in the past. Georgie Harris, Vice President Community said that “this is abhorrent, and the Students’ Association will always stand against antisemitism in all its forms.”
Image: N Chadwick via geograph.org.uk