‘Draw a line in the sand, but don’t draw a swastika,’ the Kraft foundation told campus protesters

‘Draw a line in the sand, but don’t draw a swastika,’ the Kraft foundation told campus protesters

People watching Tuesday night’s NBA playoff game will see a new ad bought by Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism telling them, “Don’t bring hate to protests.”

“Screaming until red in the face. But don’t yell at Jewish kids walking to class,” said the 30-second ad, featuring photos from protests since October 7. “Draw a line in the sand, but don’t draw a swastika.”

The ad comes as antisemitism soars in America, particularly on college campuses where students protesting the Israel-Hamas war have, in some instances, harassed and physically attacked Jewish students and faculty.

Kraft, a billionaire businessman who owns the New England Patriots and graduated from Columbia University, the center of a wave of pro-Palestinian protests on campus, recently suggested that he may withhold donations to the university “until corrective action is taken.”

The ad is part of a new campaign he is launching through his foundation to fight “Semitism and all hate,” according to a statement he made last week.

“Political issues should be debated – peaceful protests are part of that. But there should be no hate speech or threats,” Tara Levine, president of the Kraft foundation said in a statement to CNN. “Our ads appear when protests create dialogue, but also when they cross the line into hate.”

Kraft also purchased a Super Bowl ad this year to highlight antisemitism, however, the ad did not specifically focus on campus protests.

University administrators have been in hot water over their response to encampments on campus. University of Chicago President Paul Alivisatos was the latest to authorize police to clear the encampment on Tuesday. Such actions have received considerable backlash over concerns of suppression of freedom of expression.

But administrators say the protests have disrupted life on campus, threatened student safety and violated school rules.

Biden to address antisemitism
Ahead of the ad airing Tuesday night, President Joe Biden was set to deliver a speech in Washington for the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony.

In the speech, he will discuss the long history of antisemitism and issue what a senior administration official familiar with the statement described as a “call to action” to combat antisemitism.

Campus protests, however, will not be a major part of the president’s remarks. Biden addressed campus unrest last week after Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall was broken into as students and outside rioters barricaded themselves inside.

“Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, closing campuses, forcing class cancellations and graduations – none of these are peaceful protests,” the president said last week. The police cleared the camp
As university administrators continue to grapple with ongoing protests on campus, some choose to call in local law enforcement to clear the encampment.

Charlotte Mecklenburg and University of North Carolina Charlotte campus police on Tuesday morning swept up a small encampment that had been on the UNC Charlotte campus since late April and one person was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to the university.

Police also began clearing a protest encampment at the University of Chicago Tuesday morning. As the operation continued, police cordoned off the main entrance to the quad as protesters chanted. All the protesters left without incident and police made no arrests, the university said.

“Security concerns have increased over the past few days, and the risk is rising too quickly for the status quo to hold,” university president Paul Alivisatos said in a statement Tuesday. “This morning, the University intervened to end the encampment.”

MIT students are given temporary suspension notices
Dozens of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will receive temporary suspensions from the school, according to the school’s Chancellor.

“As a result of the events that have occurred, dozens of temporary suspensions and referrals to the Disciplinary Committee are now in process,” MIT Chancellor Melissa Nobles wrote in a letter to students.

MIT’s actions were “necessary to ensure the safety of our community,” Nobles added.

MIT had previously ordered students to leave the camp yesterday afternoon, according to a letter from the MIT President.

Some disobeyed the order according to a camp spokesman.

On Monday evening after the deadline passed protesters tore down barriers surrounding the encampment, CNN affiliate WCVB reported.

MIT said that police were at the camp Monday but had not made any arrests, MIT spokeswoman Kimberly Allen told CNN in an email.

The camp remained on the university campus Tuesday evening, according to Francesca Riccio-Ackerman, an MIT student and Camp Media Liaison.

The tents remain, and the size of the encampment has increased since yesterday, Riccio-Ackerman told CNN.

CNN has reached out to MIT to find out the current status of the camp but has not heard back.

An Israel Day event, to celebrate the formation of the State of Israel, is scheduled to take place late Tuesday at the same location as the camp.

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