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Jewish student punched by other student during demonstration at UMass Amherst


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Published: Nov. 05, 2023


A student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst was arrested after punching a Jewish student and spitting on an Israeli flag at a demonstration on campus Friday, the university’s center for Jewish life said.


UMass Hillel organized a peace walk and gathering on campus on Nov. 3, the group said in a statement posted to their website Sunday.

The purpose of the gathering was to call for a return of hostages being held by the Palestinian militant group Hamas and foster a safe campus climate for all students, including Jewish ones.

Toward the end of the event, one student walked through the crowd “aggressively giving people the middle finger,” UMass Hillel wrote.

After the event ended, the same student came back and punched a Jewish student holding an Israeli flag before grabbing and spitting on it, the group said. The student was later arrested by campus police.

“We know this incident is disturbing to many of us, particularly during a time when tensions, emotion and concern are heightened on our campus. But we must not let the most extreme voices and actions create undue fear or dominate the campus climate,” UMass Hillel wrote. “While there is no indication of any ongoing security threat, Hillel will continue to maintain increased security out of an abundance of caution.”


The group also encouraged students to report any incident they believe to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct to the Dean of Students Office. UMass Hillel said they will provide additional resources for students in need of support in the wake of the incident.



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