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Multiple antisemitic incidents reported around Santa Barbara area

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Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 02, 2023

Multiple incidents of antisemitism have been reported this week on and around the UC Santa Barbara campus.

Rabbi Evan Goodman, Santa Barbara Hillel Executive Director, says students entering a political science classroom on Monday were met with hate speech.

“They found anti-Israel and antisemitic writing all over the board designed to intimate those students,” he explained.

The following day, hundreds of residents in the Isla Vista area woke up to antisemitic flyers left on their doorsteps.

“In the beginning, a lot of us were really shocked even though this happens to us almost every year. Every time it happens, it is still really scary and shocking and disturbing for the Jewish community at UCSB,” said student Lian Benasuly.

This isn’t the first time flyers like those have shown up in the Santa Barbara area. Back in December, the Santa Barbara Police Department reported receiving multiple calls regarding antisemitic flyers left on people's front yards.

UCSB also isn't the only school to recently be affected.

“The principal at Dos Pueblos High School informed us that last week at the athletic stadium they found a swastika at one of the poles and immediately removed it,” said Hilda Maldonado, Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent.

The Jewish community, including UCSB students, say they will not be intimated by the hateful acts.

“The students are both hurt and resilient," said Rabbi Goodman. "They're committed to not letting this get them down.”

They're asking for the community's support.

“How I feel is just really fed up with how it’s been dealt with at school, by other people at our school, by other students who aren’t Jewish," Benasuly said. "I feel like a lot of people don’t understand what we go through and don’t want to understand and don’t include us in conversations about injustice.”

“This can’t be just the Jews or the Jewish students standing up for ourselves," Goodman added. "We need others to stand up with us.”

“We definitely stand with the Jewish community and are saddened and completely stand against any type of hate or discrimination against any group of people,” Maldonado said.

Santa Barbara Hillel is working closely with university adminstration and local law enforcement to investigate these incidents.