Education

In Leaked Conversations, Director Of Rutgers Hillel Engages in Shocking Islamophobia

Andrew Getraer retweeted a series of hateful messages defaming Muslims and Palestinians.

A growing movement of young Jewish American college students have formed what they call “Open Hillel,” an activist campaign to get the Jewish Hillel organization to stop freezing out critics of Israeli foreign policy.

One reason this movement has grown is because much of the younger Jewish community does not agree with the right-wing views traditionally espoused by Hillel. For example, Rutgers Hillel notoriously allied itself with extremist Pamela Gellar, who runs the anti-Muslim hate site Atlas Shrugs, when its president invited her to speak at its campus.

Rutgers Hillel director Andrew Getraer is very vocal on social media about his views, not only on Jewish faith topics but also his support for the Israeli government. Although as a matter of principle, retweets are not endorsements, Getraer in recent months retweeted a series of hateful messages defaming Muslims and Palestinians. Here are a few examples:

Recently, a Twitter user, Ido Shapiro (@IdoAmChai) began tweeting with Getraer about various Middle East topics but also the Palestinian issue and Muslims in general. The user running the account agreed to share their tweets and Direct Messages with AlterNet. The results were shocking.

The two started to converse in December. Shapiro began openly defaming Muslims, and Getraer engaged in the public conversations. Getraer warned about the threat of Muslim terrorists, though he did not associate all Muslims with terror:

In private conversations via DM, the conversation eventually unearthed Getraer's more personal views. Shapiro broached the topic of Open Hillel and J Street, the centrist anti-occupation lobby:

Getraer seemed to take issue with the idea that J Street advocates for ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories (which he calls the disputed territories) and equates evacuating settlers with removing any Jewish presence there:

He also comes out to the right of the Israeli government and the Israeli lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Commitee (AIPAC), which claim the settlements will be removed eventually:

Shapiro asks him if he supports a one-state solution that involves the Palestinians simply leaving and going to Jordan. Getraer says he'd agree to that but the Palestinians won't because they won't agree to anything, and agrees to the idea Palestinians didn't even exist before 1967:

 

As the conversation goes along, Getraer takes aim at Islam, saying he's thankful to be a Jew because 25% of Muslims follow Islam closely enough to want to kill infidels and Jews:

He then turns to Muslim students at Rutgers, who he claims are cheering on the murders of Jews:

 

Getraer's comments stand in marked contrast to what Hillel International promotes itself to be. Its website's Israel policy says Hillel believes in Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders as a member of the family of nations.” It is this very policy that Hillel has cited to disallow certain critics of Israel who may advocate for a one-state solution where Palestinians and Israelis live together in one country. These comments by Getraer indicate he is indeed in favor of a one-state solution – just one where Jewish Israelis control all the land between the river and the sea and the Palestinians simply leave what's left of their homes to live in Jordan.

Getraer is also going further in violation of Hillel's historic legacy by engaging in Islamophobia, suggesting that true Islam means murdering non-beleivers and that 375 million Muslims, including numerous Muslim students at Rutgers, believe in this ideology. Hillel chapters nationwide have worked alongside Muslim faith organizations to promote interfaith harmony, and the statements Getraer made to a person he believed was a friendly Israeli Twitter user are hostile, bigoted and polarizing.

It remains to be seen whether Hillel International will sanction Getraer for his comments that stand in opposition not only to the growing Open Hillel movement but to mainstream Jewish American college student tolerance.

Zaid Jilani is an AlterNet staff writer. Follow @zaidjilani on Twitter.

Stay Ahead of the Rest
Sign Up for AlterNet's Daily Newsletter
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Rights & Liberties
Education
Drugs
Economy
Environment
Labor
Food
World
Politics
Investigation
Personal Health
Water
Media