Crime

After Jewish studies books vandalized, WWU will do this to 'stand up to hate and bigotry'

This is one of seven books in the Jewish Studies section of the Wilson Library that have been damaged in incidents of anti-Jewish vandalism at Western Washington University this month.
This is one of seven books in the Jewish Studies section of the Wilson Library that have been damaged in incidents of anti-Jewish vandalism at Western Washington University this month. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Another incident of vandalism of Jewish studies books at Western Washington University has occurred, bringing to seven the number that have been damaged.

University police have increased foot patrols in and around Wilson Library — the books were in its Jewish Studies section — as their investigation into the anti-Semitic vandalism continues, WWU reported earlier this week.

"In the most recent incident, one book was severely damaged, with pages ripped out and the book spine broken. The other books sustained severe damage, including cut, torn or defaced pages, to the point they will need to be replaced," WWU spokesman Paul Cocke said.

No suspect in the vandalism has been identified, Cocke said.

In another incident, a swastika was drawn in ink or marker on a poster outside a faculty member's office in the Communications Building.

The university is continuing its efforts to replace the damaged books and plans to add to the collection.

Donations already have started to come from the community, according to Mark Greenberg, dean of libraries at WWU.

The new additions can be seen at a Reshelving Ceremony on April 10.

"It is intended as a show of community solidarity and support for the right of every person to access information about Jewish studies and other topics despite the villainous efforts of one or more people to destroy that information," Greenberg said.

"The event will demonstrate the Western community’s resolve to stand up to hate and bigotry by defiantly, publicly putting replacement copies back on the shelves and even adding several new books on Jewish studies topics to the collection," Greenberg added.

WWU officials said the Reshelving Ceremony was set so that it would precede Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, which begins at sunset the next day and runs through April 12.

As for the damaged books, four of them focused specifically on anti-Semitism in America.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

Related stories from Bellingham Herald

  Comments