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Palestinian protester at UNLV (Photo provided)

NSHE Regent’s Comments Against Jewish People Fuel Outrage And Safety Concerns

Regent Donald Sylvantee McMichael remarked jewish students should ‘get in line’ and equated Hitler’s concentration camps to Native American Indian reservations

By Megan Barth, June 18, 2024 2:00 pm

The Globe has received numerous emails from concerned jewish UNLV students and from concerned members of the jewish community in response to the remarks made by Regent Donald Sylvantee McMichael Sr. during a NSHE (Nevada System of Higher Education) board meeting on June 7. McMichael also serves as the Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. At that meeting, the Board of Regents narrowly passed (7-6) a policy amendment to define antisemitism in NSHE’s handbook. McMichael’s dissented.

“We have a small group of people — because they were set upon in World War II — have the notion that they can set themselves up in a higher position than anyone else in the United States…Some Jewish students are frightful to come to campus. Get in line,” McMichael’s said in the recorded audio. “There’s others who have been here a lot longer and who have been treated more poorly, and for you to come and say that, ‘Oh my gosh, just remember, it had been World War II, we had the Holocaust and they were in concentration camps. We still have concentration camps here in the United States,” he said, and then remarkably equated Native American Indian reservations to Hitler’s concentration camps.

To date, McMichael has not publicly apologized for his statements and did not respond to The Globe’s request for comment.

Despite his loss for reelection on June 11, his comments continue to spark outrage and his video recording posted on X has gained national attention.

“This sadly is just one of the countless examples of the rampant antisemitism on college campuses, which  permeates not only among students, but also amongst educators and administrators. The Nevada Board of Regents should immediately put in place safeguards to ensure individuals with such hateful views cannot be in positions of such power ever again,” Liora Rez, Founder and Executive Director of StopAntisemitism told The Globe, adding, “Is it any wonder America’s college campuses have been turned into indoctrination factories churning out antisemitic, anti-American activists when these are the people in charge?“

To address the growing backlash, NSHE said the approved amendment allows the NSHE and its institutions to consult the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, extending equality to individuals who experience discrimination based on shared ancestry or distinct religious identity.

“The amended policy equips NSHE institutions with tools to fight all forms of discrimination, including antisemitism, without taking away from the core values of freedom of speech or academic freedom” the statement read.

The emails received by The Globe will remain anonymous for the safety and privacy of those involved, but confirm the growing concern and outrage of the jewish community, particularly students who fear for their safety due to recent Palestinian protests on campus which occurred during Passover. Palestinian activists also silenced a jewish physicist invited to speak on black holes. Campus police wrongly determined the activists were protected by the First Amendment despite violating campus policy.

In response to the protests, a lawsuit filed by Attorneys Sigal Chattah and Joey Gilbert names UNLV President Keith Whitfield, NSHE, UNLV, and various student groups as defendants with exhibits of four pro-Palestinian student groups on the UNLV campus that have coordinated campus protests since the October 7, 2023 Hamas attacks against Israel.

Plaintiff Cory Gerwaski, an observant jewish student at UNLV alleges that the ‘”unchecked spread of antisemitism” has caused him pain and suffering.

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Megan Barth
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