Do not punish for others’ lack of humor


I write to The Daily Targum to point out comments that columnist Aaron Marcus made in an interview to the online publication, The Blaze.

On the University’s history with Jewish students: “Rutgers has perpetually done nothing to protect Jewish students.”

On bias toward student groups: “If these types of things happened to other students on campus they would be taken care of immediately, but when they happen to Jewish students and particularly pro-Israeli students — they are ignored.”

On University policy on anti-Semitism: It is “made permissible to be anti-Semitic on campus.”

On diversity: The University is “only diverse if it’s not Jews.”

These are all statements made by a student who attends a university that has nine Jewish student organizations and a Jewish Studies major.

Rutgers Hillel and Chabad Jewish Student Organization each have a large building on the College Avenue campus.

Rosh Hashanah services are held in the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus. On holidays, my fellow Jews can be found freely and unabashedly dancing in the streets.

Mr. Marcus receives and uses the opportunity to espouse staunchly pro-Israel views in his column in the University student newspaper. Some would consider his views anti-Arab or anti-Muslim.

Yet he maintains that it is hard to be the kind of Jew he seeks to be on campus.

With that, I must say that it is revolting that Mr. Marcus is the face of Judaism at the University — a place where diversity isn’t an old wooden ship but a pillar of our education.

Mr. Marcus’s suggestion that The Daily Medium column was “meant to promote anti-Semitism on his behalf” is just that — a suggestion. There is no anti-Semitism espoused in the writing. Poking fun at Mr. Marcus does not automatically make one an anti-Semite, and making fun of the Holocaust may be tasteless, but Jews weren’t the only targets of Adolf Hitler’s hatred.

Furthermore, who is Mr. Marcus to be such a serious person that we, the student population, have no right to parody or mock him? How dare he immediately apply the label of anti-Semite on a satirist that hurt his feelings?

It is unfortunate that Mr. Marcus’s self-importance finds its way to the headlines of The Targum and media organizations outside of University life.

As a University student, I ask University President Richard L. McCormick to not punish The Medium for others’ lack of a sense of humor.

As a Jew, I ask Aaron Marcus to save his allegations of anti-Semitism for when we might actually need it. If you’re always crying wolf, one day, if the wolf comes, no one will listen to your cries.

Simon Galperin is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science and journalism and media studies with a minor in cultural anthropology.

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