After protesting a panel supporting economic warfare on Israel was held at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Louis Shenker was arrested during Shabbat prayer services on November 23.
Beth Peller, a professor at Amherst called the police and obtained a harassment prevention order against Shenker. The order demands that Shenker stay away from the Amherst campus, where he is a student.
Shenker told Loomered that Peller is a member of the domestic terrorist group Antifa. Peller attended the anti-Israel panel that Shenker protested where Linda Sarsour was glorified as a guest speaker.
The panel was the second event at Amherst promoting the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement against Israel in the last six months.
Many students and members of the UMass community feel deeply upset by the scale, tenor and dogmatic messages of the anti-Israel events,” said Rabbi Aaron Fine, executive director of Hillel at UMass Amherst.
Read more here: https://loomered.com/2019/11/13/exclusive-jewish-student-harassed-at-linda-sarsour-event-at-amherst-for-protesting-anti-semitism/
“Louis was arrested during Shabbat prayer,” said Omer Milstein, who lives next to the Chabad synagogue at Amherst. “The officers arresting him did not tell him what he was being arrested for. He was kept in solitary confinement with only a small packet of Cheerios and a small carton of milk for Saturday and Sunday during his time in jail.”
Shenker is scheduled for a court hearing today on the harassment prevention order obtained by Peller.
“If it is not outright dismissed, it will be extended to the next hearing which is already scheduled for 12/11,” said Shenker’s mother Beatrice Fabian. “If Louis loses that, he faces 6-12 months in jail.”
Shenker was first served the harassment prevention order at the Chabad House where he lives. After Shenker posted a copy of the order online, “Peller went to the Northampton police at about 9:30 at night claiming to be in fear of her life,” said Fabian.
Peller was Shenker’s sophomore English teacher, and gave out assignments requiring Shenker to write about his ‘male white privilege’ and watch left-wing activist films.
While Shenker was in jail for two nights, a poster was created proclaiming Shenker to be a “white supremacist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, groyper, American-nationalist, Trump supporter.”
Over 100 “alert” posters calling Shenker a white supremacist went up around the Amherst campus, and various groups have threatened Louis because of this defamation.
After becoming a target of anti-Israel and radical left-wing groups due to these flyers, Shenker has had to withdraw from his classes in fear for his personal safety.
Shenker’s mother Beatrice Fabian said Shenker has been “persecuted for his beliefs…It’s just not right.” She added, “I feel the harassment order was issued without the required standard of issuing the harassment order.”
Fabian told Loomered that Louis is under a gag order from speaking about the case until after the hearing, and as a result has been forced to suspend his Minuteman Broadcast podcast.
Meanwhile, a town hall is being held today on the Amherst campus to drum up opposition to Shenker, hosted by United Auto Workers Local 2322, a union which claims to represent graduate employees at UMass Amherst.
The town hall claims to “discuss and share viewpoints and experiences related to the white supremacist undergraduate student targeting, harassing and threatening graduate student workers and faculty.”
Here is the full event description:
“All GEO members are welcome and encouraged to join a town-hall meeting in Campus Center 917 to discuss and share viewpoints and experiences related to the white supremacist undergraduate student targeting, harassing and threatening graduate student workers and faculty, and to make a plan for safety and security in response to this particular threat and future threats like this, as well as discuss what the union has been doing and can do together. We did try to figure out a place off campus to have this meeting (given how many people feel unsafe at UMass right now), but had difficulty procuring a private space to accommodate a large group of people on a short timeline. “