Targeted Twice: Attorney and Regent Confronts Rampant Antisemitism

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Antisemitic Attacks Target Prominent Michigan Attorney and Regent

Jordan Acker’s Law Firm and Family Targeted Twice

Jordan Acker, a prominent Michigan attorney and University of Michigan regent, has spoken out after being targeted twice by anti-Israel agitators. According to Acker, his Michigan law firm was vandalized Monday morning with disturbing antisemitic messages spray-painted on the building.

“I saw just absolutely horrendous, over-the-top, criminal behavior essentially having been left on our building,” said Acker, a partner at Goodman Acker Law Firm. “And since then, it’s just been… we met with our staff to help them try to understand what’s going on.”

This incident marks the second time Acker has been targeted in what he characterized as hate crimes. Last month, a masked individual approached his home, allegedly presenting a list of demands related to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In response to the vandalism, Acker denounced the perpetrators’ actions, stating: “In the same way that businesses in Germany were targeted for being Jewish businesses. These things happen in Third World countries. And it’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable.”

University and Community Concerns

As a University of Michigan regent, Acker noted that the vandalism and threats were not only personal but also targeted the entire University. “About two weeks ago, every University of Michigan regent was targeted,” he explained. “Today was a completely different thing. This was just me. No other regent was targeted.”

Moreover, Acker expressed concern about the broader implications of these antisemitic attacks, particularly on the Orthodox Jewish community in Southfield, Michigan, where his law firm is located. “I think it was meant not just to intimidate me but also to intimidate the community that lives here,” he said.

Challenges in American Academia

Acker also addressed the rise of antisemitism on college campuses, acknowledging the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, he asserted: “It comes out of some of our elite institutions. And it’s unacceptable and wrong. And it’s important for those of us who sit on the center left… to get up and say, not acceptable. It’s un-American in this country.”

In Acker’s view, the way these issues are being discussed on campuses and the attacks on his firm and family are not constructive or effective. “As a Democrat, as a liberal, it’s very concerning to me that this is the way things are going,” he said. “If the academy does not fix these problems… then there will be groups on the far right that would be happy to silence it in a way that our faculty will not like.”

Consequences of Harassment and Intimidation

Acker emphasized the importance of civil discourse and respectful dialogue, even on controversial topics such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We don’t harass and intimidate,” he said. “It’s un-American, and it’s unacceptable from any group – period.”

According to Acker, those engaging in such behavior need to recognize the consequences of their actions. “If you can’t convince elected officials, you vote them out. That’s a part of the American system,” he stated.

A Call for Reflection and Understanding

Acker urged students and individuals in academia to consider the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “This conflict did not start the morning that Israel was founded,” he said. “Anyone who simplifies it down to Palestinians good, Israelis bad is not thinking deeply about what a challenge and conflict this is.”

For Acker, this moment represents an opportunity for growth and learning. “For our students, I think this is an important moment, to not just listen to your own echo chamber but to really go out and hear what the other side is thinking,” he said.

Law Firm Vandalism Investigated as Hate Crime

In a press conference, Acker was joined by his law firm partners. They emphasized that the vandalism was a targeted attack motivated by anti-Semitism. “This is an enormously difficult moment for me personally and this community,” Acker said.

“Make no mistake, targeting individual Jewish elected officials is antisemitism. This has nothing to do with Palestine, the war in Gaza, or anything else. This is done as a message to scare Jews,” he reiterated.

The incident is currently being investigated as a hate crime. Surveillance video is being reviewed to identify the individuals responsible for the vandalism.