Melody Dias and Benjamin ZeBrack, University of Chicago

From February 2022 to April 2022
University of Chicago (Private college or university)
Chicago, IL, United States

Identity of Speakers

  • Melody Dias

    Melody Dias is a student at the University of Chicago

  • Benjamin ZeBrack

    Benjamin ZeBrack is a student at the University of Chicago

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Student publication
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Not Clear
  • Incident Responses:
    Publication retraction
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


On February 17, 2022, the Chicago Maroon, the University of Chicago’s student newspaper, published an op-ed titled “We Must Condemn SJP’s Online Anti-Semitism.” The article took aim at a January 26 Instagram post by the Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Palestinian student group, calling for students to boycott “shitty Zionist classes”—classes “on Israel or those taught by Israeli fellows.” According to the op-ed, the post was anti-Semitic because it was deliberately timed to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day based on the lunar calendar used by some Jewish people. In addition, the op-ed argued that the post was “xenophobic” because it singled out classes taught by Israeli fellows for the boycott. Finally, the op-ed alleged that the post constituted “harassment” of and “discrimination” against Israeli faculty and Jewish students.

On April 2, the editors of the op-ed section of the Chicago Maroon retracted the op-ed, writing in a note titled “An Apology From the Viewpoints Editors Regarding Recent Op-Ed” that it contained “factual inaccuracies” that “flattened dialogue and perpetuated hate toward UChicago’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP UChicago), Palestinian students, and those on campus who support the Palestinian liberation struggle.” They listed three factual inaccuracies: that the op-ed’s subheading identified the courses targeted by the SJP boycott as “Jewish-taught and -related” classes, that the SJP post was not published on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and that SJP members did not approach students on the quad and attempt to demonize those enrolled in the classes at issue.