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Left-leaning attorney speaks out against DEI after he’s targeted twice by anti-Israel agitators

A prominent Michigan attorney and University of Michigan regent is speaking out after he was targeted twice by anti-Israel agitators.

Jordan Acker told Fox News Digital his Michigan law firm was vandalized Monday morning with antisemitic messages spray-painted on the building, including “Free Palestine, divest now,” and other vulgar language. 

I saw just absolutely horrendous, over-the-top, criminal behavior essentially having been left on our building. And since then, it’s just been, you know, we met with our staff to help them try to understand what’s going on,” Acker, attorney and partner at Goodman Acker Law Firm, told Fox News Digital. 

This is now the second time Acker has been targeted by what he called hate crimes, as a masked man showed up to his home with a list of demands last month. 

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Attorney and University of Michigan regent Jordan Acker

“I have three young kids. It’s terrifying. My girls were sleeping upstairs when that happened a couple of weeks ago. This, you could make an argument that that activity is not antisemitic. This however, there is no mistaking this was an antisemitic attack. 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.”

Acker, who is also a University of Michigan regent, added that the vandalism and the threats are a direct attack on him and his beliefs.

“So about two weeks ago, every University of Michigan regent was targeted. Didn’t matter Jewish, not Jewish, Democrat, Republican. We were all targeted. Today was a completely different thing. This was just me. No other regent was targeted,” Acker explained.

Acker continued saying that he also felt like he was specifically targeted for two reasons. 

“First of all, because I am Jewish. And second of all, because my office here in Southfield, Michigan, is in a neighborhood that’s full of Orthodox Jews. And I think it was meant not just to intimidate me, but to also intimidate the community that lives here,” Acker said.

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When asked about the unrest on college campuses, Acker said this is a lesson to Americans that antisemitism in this country can come from both sides.

“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, like I do, to get up and say, not acceptable. It’s un-American in this country,” Acker said.

Acker said what we see happening on some campuses and the attacks on his firm and family are not an effective or productive way to make your voice heard. 

“It’s very concerning to me as a Democrat, as a liberal, that this is the way things are going. Because, and I’ve said this before, and I would say it again, if the academy does not fix these problems, especially the problems involving antisemitism, 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,” Acker continued.  

Acker continued saying that DEI programs are also to blame for the rise in issues at universities and colleges across the country.

“I think that part of the reason why universities are having this issue is because, over the last decade, a lot of these schools have used DEI. They’ve used other things to center student feelings and not actual diversity, equity and inclusion. And what has happened here is that you have a situation where Jews are not desired or Jews desire their feelings to be centered, just like every other group has seemingly over the last decade,” Acker said. 

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Graffiti on Goodman Acker Law Firm in Michigan

Acker added that in order to change the viewpoints of elected officials, you have to change your strategies and help convince them, but ultimately, if you can’t convince them to change, you vote them out.

“We don’t harass and intimidate. It’s un-American, and it’s unacceptable from any group – period,” Acker continued. 

Acker believes what we are seeing on college campuses is a complicated situation, as he says the conflict in the Middle East is nothing new and has been going on for well over 75 years. 

“When you have a conflict that is this old and this complicated, I think it’s really easy to see one guy as a good guy, and one guy as a bad guy. And part of the thing about youth and being young and seeing this is this current conflict is enormously complicated,” Acker said. “This conflict did not start the morning that Israel was founded. And anyone who simplifies it down to Palestinians good, Israelis bad is not thinking deeply about what a challenge and conflict this is.” 

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Anti-Israel graffiti at Goodman Acker Law Firm

Acker added that this is a crucial moment in history for students in higher education to learn and understand what is actually going on. He is hopeful that students, especially those at the University of Michigan, can all grow from this conflict.

“For our students, I think this is an important moment, to not just listen to your own echo chamber, to really go out and hear what the other side is thinking. It’s what I do. I spent a lot of time today, and in the last few weeks meeting with and understanding, groups from the Arab American community right here in Southeast Michigan. And I find that we don’t have that big a difference on so many different things. But when it comes to the things that we do disagree on, we have to do so in a way that’s productive, it’s respectful, and it’s meaningful, and this is not that,” Acker said. 

But when it comes to intellectual students, especially at our elite campuses, Acker says they need to be challenged on their views and that’s not what we’re seeing right now.

In a press conference Monday morning, Acker was joined by other partners and members of his law firm and emphasized that this attack was a malicious and targeted move. 

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Anti-Israel graffiti on Michigan law firm

“This is an enormously difficult moment for me, personally, and this community. Make no mistake, that 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,” Acker said. 

The law firm said it is a Muslim and Jewish-owned business that has served the community for 30 years with a long history of supporting civil rights and fighting against discrimination.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from the law firm and said three people could be seen defacing the property as another served as a lookout. 

Officials are also investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.

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