Chabad at Indiana University addresses ongoing Gaza protests on campus



BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — After a weekend of protests and arrests in Dunn Meadow, Chabad at Indiana University released a statement on Instagram and Facebook Sunday, saying the ongoing protests will not intimidate the Jewish community.

“These abhorrent people are few in number and are always lurking, waiting for an opportunity to show their ugly faces,” part of the statement read.

The Chabad House at IU is located on 7th Street, directly across from Dunn Meadow. Since the beginning of the protests, Chabad has played music on loud speakers outside the house, with occasional gatherings. Those who have gathered at Chabad have displayed Israeli and American flags, along with “bring them home” signs referencing Israelis being held hostage by Hamas.

The statement, written by Rabbi Levi Cunin and Sheina Cunin, co-directors of Chabad at IU, claims that the encampment has not remained peaceful, and has led to more antisemitism against the Jewish community.

Chabad accuses that the encampment has brought more violence, including people spitting at a Jewish student, and a man following students home from Chabad. IUSTV News is working to verify whether these claims are true.

Additionally, the statement says, “the past four days, a hateful group of Hamas sympathizers encamped on Dunn Meadow across the street from Chabad, promoting hate and fear,” they wrote. “Their actions have been deeply dangerous, including chanting phrases that incite violence against the Jewish community and engaging in violent behavior.”

The Gaza encampment began Thursday, and in the days since, police arrested over 50 people in two separate clashes with protesters. Officers donned riot gear and carried crowd-control weapons while encircling protesters and forcing them to take down their tents.

In the statement, Chabad said they support how the university has responded to the protests, saying, “We applaud and appreciate the act of the IU Administration, IUPD and State police removing the individuals violating the law and setting order to ensure the safety of our Jewish community and we trust they will continue to do so.”

Chabad said that since the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, the Jewish community has not been afraid to show their faith. “More Jewish students are identifying and joining the community,” Chabad said. “More Jewish students are walking around with pride and courage.”

IU sophomore Allie Udler was among those dancing and singing outside Chabad on Thursday. Udler said that many of the students have made their voices heard in an effort to encourage peace.

“We knew that we couldn’t stay silent,” Udler said. “The only reason we are here is to promote a shared idea of peace. Peace in the Middle East. We want people to be able to co-exist.”


The full statement from Chabad at Indiana University can be read below:

“The past four days a hateful group of Hamas sympathizers encamped on Dunn meadow across the street from Chabad promoting hate and fear. Their actions have been deeply dangerous, including chanting phrases that incite violence against the Jewish community and engaging in violent behavior. Some instances including calling for an intifada, spitting at a Jewish Student, following Students home from Chabad and trying to break into their home, and trespassing onto Chabad property multiple times.

These abhorrent people are few in number and are always lurking, waiting for an opportunity to show their ugly faces. Amidst the current wave of worldwide antisemitism including on our IU Campus, these haters don’t want to miss out a chance to join the hate and to spread their version of antisemitism. We applaud and appreciate the act of the IU Administration, IUPD and State police removing the individuals violating the law and setting order to ensure the safety of our Jewish community and we trust they will continue to do so.

There is nothing new about Jew-hatred being so self contradictory. With groups on opposite ends of the spectrum only agreeing on one thing, their dislike for Jews.

What is new since October 7th is how the I Jewish community has responded to all this hatred. More heads adorned with Kippahs More Jewish identifying jewelry is being worn out. More Mezuzahs on doors throughout campus. More jews donning tefillin on the street. More Jewish students are identifying and joining the community. More Jewish students are walking around with pride and courage.

Of course at this time we 24/7 IUPD security and are in constant communication with the IUPD. We do need to be vigilant of our surroundings.

But we cannot allow hate to win. Our Chabad I community is not letting hate win and we will not be intimidated. We continue this legacy of our forbearers as we turn to each other for support and confidence holding our Jewishness high and proud. We’ve been quite literally dancing and celebrating our LOVE FOR BEING JEWISH. There has never been a more important time to not hide our Jewishness.

Jewish History is a tale of courage, perseverance and community.

BE PROUD. AM YISROEL CHAI.

Chabad at Indiana University statement on the ongoing Gaza encampment in Dunn Meadow