SWC: Open Letter to Sanford University to Adopt a Zero-Tolerance Policy on Anti-Semitism

March 14, 2023

Open letter to Marc Trevor Tessier-Lavigne, the current president of Stanford University:


The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges Stanford University to take all necessary steps to hold accountable the perpetrators of anti-Semitic acts on campus deigned to denigrate and intimidate Jewish students. There was a time in the 1950s, when Stanford had a strict quota system limiting the number of Jewish students. 


In 2023, it is long overdue for Stanford to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on anti-Semitism. Any student caught should be thrown out and any faculty or employee of the University should be dismissed. The current status quo, left unaddressed, will signal Jewish students to pursue their education elsewhere.


Here is a partial list of incidents.

  • Earlier this month, a student reported a swastika with the words "KKK" surrounding it carved into the wall of a men's disabled restroom stall. The vandalized damage was reported to the school's building manager and was eventually painted over.
  • In February, a student discovered hateful language and symbols scratched into a metal panel on a bathroom wall in a men's bathroom on the campus' Main Quad. University officials said this vandalism was in the form of multiple swastikas, the n-word, and the letters "KKK". Both incidents were classified as hate crimes, officials said.
  • In September, a mezuzah was torn off a door frame of the dorm room door of two Jewish graduate students in a residence hall. The incident occurred on the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.


In findings released in 2022, a task force you appointed President Lavigne, reported that Stanford administrators limited admissions of Jewish students in the 1950s and “regularly misled parents and friends of applicants, alumni, outside investigators, and trustees” who asked about such admissions practices. In other words, the leaders of one America’s elite schools had no compunction about lying when it came to covering over Stanford’s illegal and immoral anti-Semitic policies…


In 2019, The SWC called on Muslims to join in the denunciation of cartoons and flyers depicting Jews as inhuman monsters in the lead-up to the Anti-Zionism is Not Antisemitism ‘Teach-in’ at Stanford’s Markaz Center, timed for Israel’s Independence Day and coinciding with Ramadan. 


In 2018, The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed outrage over threats of violence towards pro-Israel students made by Stanford University junior, Hamzeh Daoud. Daoud posted in Facebook “I’m gonna physically fight Zionists on campus next year if someone comes at me with their ‘Israel is a democracy’ bullsh*t. And after I abolish you’re a** I’ll go ahead and work every day for the rest of my life to abolish your petty a** ethno-supremacist, settler-colonial state.” 

In 2015, The Simon Wiesenthal Center called the discovery of swastikas painted outside the Stanford chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity ‘of grave concern’ in light of growing hostility against Jewish students at Stanford and other universities across North America. At the same time, Molly Horwitz, a candidate for the Stanford Senate, faced scrutiny about her Jewish background while seeking endorsement from a campus group.


And just last week, on March 9, a federal judge shouted down by protesters at Stanford Law School. Judge Kyle Duncan was invited to speak at Stanford University by the school's Federalist Society chapter. However, he was heckled by hundreds of students, who made it impossible for him to deliver his speech. Shades of Soviet Union and Mao’s China.


We urge Stanford to reclaim its position as an elite American University, by treating all its students fairly and equally and restoring an environment where opposing views can be aired without fear of mob rule.






Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software