Robert Barchi says anti-Semitism at Rutgers is protected

Robert Barchi (pictured), the president of Rutgers University, argued that the recent rash of anti-Semitism on campus is protected by the First Amendment.

The president of Rutgers University argued that the recent rash of anti-Semitism on campus is protected by the First Amendment. 

Speaking during a student government town hall last week, Robert Barchi said: 'If I'm a Ku Klux Klan member, and I'm going to burn a cross on a vacant lot, that's a constitutionally protected right.'

'You put that cross on my front yard, and you light it, that is not constitutionally protected, that's harassment,' Barchi said, according to Tap Into New Brunswick. 'It's an exception to the First Amendment.​'​ 

Robert Barchi (pictured in 2013), the president of Rutgers University, argued that the recent rash of anti-Semitism on campus is protected by the First Amendment

Robert Barchi (pictured in 2013), the president of Rutgers University, argued that the recent rash of anti-Semitism on campus is protected by the First Amendment

Last month, a swastika (pictured) was found graffitied on the corner wall of Stonier Hall on the campus. When addressing that incident during the November 16 town hall, Barchi said: 'It is free speech, it's not hate speech'

Last month, a swastika (pictured) was found graffitied on the corner wall of Stonier Hall on the campus. When addressing that incident during the November 16 town hall, Barchi said: 'It is free speech, it's not hate speech'

Barchi, who has been the president of Rutgers since 2012, spoke about the recent incidents including anti-Semitic posts allegedly shared on the Facebook of a food science professor and the swastika graffiti on a Rutgers dorm.

Last month, a swastika was found graffitied on the corner wall of Stonier Hall on the campus. 

When addressing that incident during the November 16 town hall, Barchi said: 'It is free speech, it's not hate speech.'

'If it's a general building on the university, that's First Amendment rights,' Barchi said.

However, Barchi said such action would violate the university's vandalism policy.

Barchi went on to defend microbiology professor, Michael Chikandas, and adjunct professor of international law, Mazen Adi.

Adi came under fire after he allegedly accused Israel of trafficking human organs
Chikandas allegedly shared dozens of anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook

Barchi defended microbiology professor, Michael Chikandas (right), and law professor, Mazen Adi (left). Chikandas allegedly shared dozens of anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook and Adi came under fire after he allegedly accused Israel of trafficking human organs

UN Watch has petitioned the university (pictured) ​in an effort to​ terminate its employment with Adi. That petition had more than 4,500 signatures on Friday

UN Watch has petitioned the university (pictured) ​in an effort to​ terminate its employment with Adi. That petition had more than 4,500 signatures on Friday

Chikandas allegedly shared dozens of anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook. 

Since the incident thousands of students have called for his resignation with a petition that has garnered more than 5,000 signatures.  

'But the question is, does having posted that created an environment in his work that would compromise his ability to teach or to do research?​' Barchi ​asked. 

'That's an employment issue, so we are actually investigating him,' Barchi said, according to the Tap Into New Brunswick. 

Adi came under fire after he allegedly accused Israel of trafficking human organs. Adi previously worked ​as ​a diplomat for the ​regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad when he reportedly made the allegations. 

'We're fully aware of his past, having vetted his employment credentials,' Barch said. 'Everything is absolutely in order.' 

UN Watch has petitioned the university ​in an effort to​ terminate its employment with Adi. That petition had more than 4,500 signatures on Friday.