Students assaulted, Israeli flags vandalized in reported anti-semitic acts at Ohio State
Ohio State University reported two incidents in which the school's Jewish community was targeted.
Acting Ohio State President Peter Mohler said in a statement that two students were assaulted at 15th and High Street early Friday morning and one was treated at Wexner Medical Center and then released.
On Thursday, OSU Hillel reported that surveillance cameras caught two people in the Hillel Wexner Jewish Student Center on campus taking photos, vandalizing Israeli flags in the lobby, and shouting anti-Israel statements and threats.
Hillel is a Jewish student organization. Hillel International has about 850 chapters at colleges and universities around the world.
Columbus police are investigating both incidents with assistance from OSU police.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Friday said that he told Ohio State Highway Patrol to provide extra patrols for the area around campus, starting immediately.
"We will not tolerate hate and violence on our college campuses or anywhere in Ohio," DeWine wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. His cover photo on the social media platform was set as the Israeli flag.
Mohler noted in his statement that the university has many cameras where the reported incidents happened, but it was unclear whether OSU students are responsible for either act.
"I want to be direct and clear — the university has no tolerance for acts of hatred or violence. Antisemitism is despicable and has no place in our community," Mohler said, adding that the university would "pursue all action possible" against anyone committing hate crimes.
Two antisemitic incidents have occurred in the past 24 hours against Ohio State students. We will not tolerate hate and violence on our college campuses or anywhere in Ohio. These are despicable acts, and as Governor, I will ensure that the State continues our efforts to protect…— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) November 10, 2023
Mohler's office had already sent an email on Monday to students, faculty and staff which said the university “condemned the Hamas terrorist attacks that occurred on October 7,” and that it was focused on ensuring the campus community felt safe.
That statement came after a student reported being spit on and the university categorized the act as a hate crime. Ohio State did not provide more specific details on that incident.
“We have both spoken and acted, encouraging an environment of respect and compassion,” the statement, attributed to Mohler, read.
"The university has no tolerance for acts of hatred or violence. Antisemitism is despicable and has no place in our community."Acting OSU President Peter Mohler
The statement went on to say the university does not tolerate violations of law or university policy, including antisemitism, bigotry, Islamophobia, racism, sexism and violence, but that it upholds freedom of speech.
“Although conflicting views have been strongly expressed on our campuses, freedom of speech and freedom of expression will continue to be supported and are fundamental to our shared values,” reads the statement. “We will support such freedoms even when the views expressed may be highly objectionable and do not align with the university’s values.”
In another area instance of apparent antisemitism, a Clintonville-area man was arrested in October after allegedly making anti-semitic remarks to two Bexley households flying Israeli flags. One resident caught a man police identified as Jacoby Reidy, 39, making the remarks on a doorbell camera.
Reidy plead not guilty to two charges of criminal trespassing in Franklin County Municipal Court, where his case remains open.