A Yale dance group made headlines this past weekend after promoting pro-anarchy Palestinian fundraisers during their performances. Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Yale displayed a QR code labeled “Support Palestine” on their on-stage projection screen, directing audience members to an Instagram post by @desolasol.colectiva.
The post contained information and resources to aid Palestine, including donation information for several organizations. The controversy arose when the post also included a slide that read “Support Palestinian anarchist fighters” and included a Venmo handle. It should be noted that the Venmo handle no longer exists, according to Yale Daily News.
The Instagram post was also tagged with @abolishtheusa, a page that supports Fauda, an “anarchist movement in Palestine” that is associated with Hamas. Fauda describes themselves as one of several anti-Zionist resistance groups in Palestine.
They emphasize the importance of unity among all resistance groups and denounce any attempts to divide them. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas is mentioned in relation to the infiltrations and casualties that have occurred.
In response to the controversy, the co-presidents of Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Yale sent an email to group members, acknowledging that the decision to include the QR code was made without proper consultation.
They referred to it as a “substantial oversight” and apologized for any unintended alignment with the statements made in the post. The email also condemned antisemitism and violence against any community, acknowledging that their decision did not reflect the values they aimed to embody.
In light of the situation, the group’s leaders suggested measures for members’ safety, such as making social media accounts private and untagging the group from any posts. A Yale student who attended one of the performances mentioned that before the show, an individual promoted “direct relief to Palestinian families” and discussed the post linked in the QR code.
The intention was to provide information and support to those in a humanitarian crisis, without any direct malicious intent.
This incident is just one example of the ongoing debate surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict on college campuses. Antisemitism has been on the rise, leading to concerns from donors, the Biden administration, and Israeli officials. Recently, Columbia University and Brandeis University suspended their chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) due to their actions and statements in support of Hamas.
SJP has been involved in pro-Palestinian demonstrations on college campuses, often using controversial phrases in their chants.
Unfortunately, instances of antisemitism continue to occur on campuses, such as the tearing down of posters at New York University and violent online threats against Cornell University’s Jewish population. These incidents have prompted investigations and calls for action to address the rhetoric directed towards the Jewish community.