“And then this kid just rocks me in the face as hard as he can,” the victim, Daniel Vessal, told Truth Revolt, a site by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. “My glasses flew off. After a two-second blur I had no clue what had happened. I couldn’t believe the kid actually hit me.”
The assault happened near the table for the Temple chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. That group released a statement saying a former student unaffiliated with SJP slapped the pro-Israel student.
“Temple SJP condemns this act of physical violence, just as we condemn the violence that is committed against Palestinians by the state of Israel on a daily basis. While the former student who slapped Vessal is an acquaintance of SJP members, he has not been involved with the group in the past and is not a member.”
SJP denies the use of racial slurs before the incident. It quotes the former student who slapped Vessal, but does not name him: “I’m sorry for what I did. I admit that I lost my temper, because he kept saying ‘you’re protesting for terrorists, your whole table is pro-terrorist information.'”
Meanwhile, Temple released a statement on the incident:
Temple University is investigating a report of an attack against a student late Wednesday afternoon on main campus. The attack is alleged to have included physical violence and anti-Semitic statements and religious slurs. As part of its investigation, Temple asks that anyone with information about the incident contact Campus Safety Services immediately at 215-204-1234.
Temple University unequivocally condemns the disparagement or assault of any person based on religion or nationality. The university will not tolerate violence of any kind directed against members of the Temple community.
Vessal told Truth Revolt that police arrived, but did not detain the assailant. “I don’t understand why after physical assault he just got sent home,” he said. “This was not anti-Israel at all, it was completely anti-Semitic.”