Boycott Watch  
August 31, 2012
Anti-Semitic Cover-Up at Michigan State University?
Summary: The Michigan State Police or the FBI needs to investigate conflicting reports that may indicate false reports to police or even a culture of anti-Semitism at a major U.S. university.
    The August 28, 2012 edition of Algemeiner newspaper posted the story of Zachary Tennen who was brutally beating in an anti-Semitic attack. The article states, in part: "Tennen, a sophomore at Michigan State University, was approached by the men at a party early on Sunday and asked if he was Jewish, his mother said. The men proceeded to raise their right arms in a Nazi salute and said "Heil Hitler", before beating Tennen unconscious."

   This horrible attack has made the national news, partly because it stated "Tennen was beaten unconscious and then had his mouth stapled by two men, according to his family." In a follow-up article posted August 30, 2012, the Algemeiner reported: "The East Lansing Police on the other hand disagree. As they investigate the assault on Zachary the Police are treating the crime like a regular assault because apparently the witnesses didn't hear anything anti-Semitic." The photo in this report showed no bandages over the victim's mouth, bringing the stapling and other details of the report into question.

   The first article stated the attackers asked if Zachary Tennen is Jewish, to which he said yes, then came the Heil Hitler calls. The second article claims there is no hate crime here because the attackers did not say Heil Hitler, but fails to address the initial contact which was to confirm the student is Jewish prior to, and therefore the basis for the attack.

   There are many questions which need to be answered, many of which stem from poor reporting in the Algemeiner. Meanwhile, the police and university appear to be masking the key questions of the story, including if Zachary Tennen was actually asked to identify himself as Jewish for the basis of the attack, of if his mother embellished the entire story.

   Boycott Watch President Fred Taub stated: "I believe the Michigan State Police or the FBI needs to investigate the story and first determine what the facts are. If Zachary Tennen was in fact asked if he is Jewish prior to the attack, that clearly indicates a hate crime targeting Jews; if there is a cover-up, that too needs to be investigated because it would be obstruction of justice, thus furthering the hate crime; then there is the other possibility of a fabricated story to law enforcement or the media which may also rise to obstruction of justice. Regardless, the public deserves to learn the truth."

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