Rutgers University student newspaper The Daily Targum has retracted and apologized for publishing an offensive opinion column about the school’s Hillel — a campus center for Jewish student life.
The column — written by Rutgers student Colleen Jolly and titled “Can Hillel’s funding be put to better use elsewhere?” — quickly recieved criticism last week for including claims that many commenters felt were “blatantly hateful” and “ridiculous.”
“If you know anything about Israel, you can conclude that pro-Israel parties are good at getting money into funds, i.e. the purchases of Jewish National Fund and modern-day Palestine,” Jolly wrote in one contentious section.
In an editor’s note in Monday’s newspaper, Targum editor-in-chief Enrico Cabredo explained the paper’s decisions for publishing and removing the column:
The piece was originally published it for a number reasons — The Daily Targum does not practice censorship and hopes to create conversation about issues on campus. Looking back, elements in this piece relay discriminatory undertones that do not reflect the values and goals of our organisation. These elements, which I personally find distasteful and irrelevant, greatly overshadow any sort of argument the author was trying to make.
Further, many of the statements that were presented as facts were entirely unfounded. For example, Jolly implies that Rutgers Hillel is a University-affiliated organisation — when in fact, they are independent, privately own the new property and paid rent for the old one. She fails to mention that the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County paid for its use of the Douglass Campus Center just as any organisation that is not affiliated with the University would. The commentary should not have been published, and I apologise to everyone it offended.
We captured a screenshot of the original opinion column before it was removed from The Targum’s website (click on the image to enlarge):
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