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Jewish Student Volunteer With McCormick Campaign Attacked at Pitt Encampment

A University of Pittsburgh student who is a volunteer for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick was attacked at an anti-Israel encampment at his university.

According to the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Reuben Rochkind visited the encampment with friends. He was wearing his McCormick hat and brought an American flag. He was standing near a fence that the protesters had put up around their tent encampment when one of grabbed him from behind, causing him to fall to the ground.

The new anti-Israel demonstration encampment was set up on Sunday outside the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt’s campus in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. KDKA-TV reported at least one person was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and obstruction.

McCormick told DVJournal he is both angry and concerned about the incident involving his volunteer.

“We’re so thankful Reuben is okay. Let’s be clear about what’s happening here. These efforts by pro-Hamas agitators to take over campuses and go after Jewish students are blatantly antisemitic and un-American,” McCormick said.

And he noted what he says is a key difference between himself and his opponent, three-term Senate Democrat Bob Casey Jr.

“Bob Casey has never visited one of these encampments and only called for the one at UPenn to be disbanded after the fact. Is he going to remain silent on this, too?”

McCormick, who made a high-profile visit to the encampment at Penn when antisemitic rhetoric was at its peak, also posted on X about the Pitt incident. “One of my great volunteers was attacked by pro-Hamas supporters on Pitt’s campus. He’s a Jewish student who was wearing a McCormick hat and proudly waving the American flag. This antisemitism is disgusting. Bob Casey needs to stand up and defend his Jewish constituents.”

Anti-Israel protest encampments have spread to colleges and universities nationwide, including some in the Philadelphia area, notably the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College, although those have been disbanded.

Eyal Yakoby, who graduated from Penn last month, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Free Beacon about his experiences with antisemitism on campus and the administration’s lack of leadership.

“The modifications may appear small, and maybe we should shrug them off. But they marred the spirit of what should have been purely celebratory events. These are not just formalities but collective experiences that connect the present to the past, and the university leadership’s unwillingness to enforce rules and regulations deprived the law-abiding members of the class of 2024 of the opportunity to participate in shared Penn traditions,” Yakoby wrote.

Yakoby also sued the university for a refund of his tuition over his experience with antisemitism on campus.

According to Politico, the pro-Palestinian protestors who have disrupted campuses around the country are funded by some of the most prominent Democratic donors: Soros, Pritzker, and Rockefeller. The demonstrators also make similar demands, telling the universities to divest from Israel.