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To the Editor:

This past Monday's riot at U.C. Berkeley, where a mob violently disrupted an Israeli speaker's event ("Israeli Speaker Canceled, Event Evacuated at UC Berkeley," Feb. 29) is a chilling reminder that antisemitism is surging in our nation, and college campuses are proving to be dangerous breeding grounds. Jewish students were subjected to threats, insults, and physical violence. Officials canceled the event after protesters smashed two windows and a door. 

Our nation’s university presidents publicly wring their hands and say they are committed to “doing the work” to reduce antisemitism on their campuses but that it is slow and difficult work. It is not. 

When a speaker, in this case, Mr. Bar-Yoshafat, is silenced by an antisemitic mob, the university president simply immediately reschedules the talk, this time at the president’s invitation. The office of the president hosts the talk. And the university president attends the talk. This demonstrates the university’s values and draws an unambiguous line against antisemitic hate.

University presidents: will you tolerate antisemitism, or will you lead?

—Todd L. Pittinsky

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