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Northwestern University Dean of Students Attends Protest Targeting Campus Jewish Community Centerr

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The dean of students at Northwestern University attended an anti-Israel protest this week targeting Hillel, the school’s Jewish student community center, to defend the demonstrators’ “right to free speech.”

Dean of Students Mona Dugo said she showed up at the rally on Monday to support anti-Israel activists’ “right to protest” and to “protect the right to free speech,” according to the Daily Northwestern.

Protest organizers demanded that the university end its relationship with Hillel, a 100-year-old nonprofit group that operates Jewish community centers on campuses around the world, including Northwestern. The protest took place during Northwestern’s Admitted Students Day, which seeks to introduce incoming students to campus life.

“[Hillel] is one of the many ways in which this university is complicit in infusing Jewishness with Zionism,” one protest organizer said in a speech at the rally.

A leaflet handed out by protesters accused Northwestern of “funneling Jewish students into Hillel, the Zionist ‘foundation for Jewish life.’” It also claimed the school “weaponizes claims of anti-Semitism on campus to silence pro-Palestinian activism.”

Protesters also accused Israel of “genocide” and called on Northwestern to end any relationships with “Zionist companies.”

The protest comes as alumni have accused Northwestern president Michael Schill of allowing anti-Semitism to proliferate on campus, where anti-Israel protesters have raised the Hamas flag at student demonstrations. During Northwestern’s Martin Luther King Jr. memorial ceremony in February, a speaker accused Israel of “genocide” as Schill sat silently in the audience, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education opened an investigation into alleged anti-Jewish incidents at the school. Last month, Jewish students also urged Congress to launch an inquiry into the university.

Northwestern did not respond to a request for comment. Hillel did not respond to a request for comment.

Dugo’s attendance at Monday’s protest drew criticism from alumni.

“Northwestern is actively supporting anti-Semitism on its campus. It’s not just about being silent or refusing to enforce its own rules,” said Richard Goldberg, a Northwestern alumnus and a senior adviser for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“We are talking about the dean of students openly standing in solidarity with students engaged in anti-Semitism and intimidation with zero accountability from the president or the board,” Goldberg said. “We should be seeing suspensions and terminations.”

Avi Gordon, the executive director of Alums for Campus Fairness, said the protesters’ attack on Jewish student life and pro-Israel students was “wildly inappropriate and unacceptable.”

He said the university leadership should “take a larger role in supporting the Jewish and Zionist students on campus. Because, obviously, many students there are feeling more alienated and more marginalized by the inaction of the administration.”

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