The Brandeis Class of 2019 was urged to fight hate and prejudice in all forms during the university's 68th Commencement — even if that means breaking from political alignments or disrupting social gatherings.

“The Jew in the kippah, the Muslim woman in the hijab, the African American student walking across campus, the Latino kids gathered celebrating or just enjoying themselves in a park must feel as safe as anyone else,” keynote speaker Deborah Lipstadt, MA’72, PhD’76, told the graduates. “And if you see them harassed or mistreated, you must feel outraged, even if it is not a member of your own group suffering the insult. In the fight against evil, there are no bystanders. On-lookers are not neutral. They are complicit.”

Lipstadt is a leading authority on Holocaust denial and antisemitism. A professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University for more than 20 years, she has written eight books. “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier," published in 2005, is her first-person account of her successful six-year legal battle with Holocaust denier David Irving.

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