Vandals desecrate American, Israeli flags at Northwestern University

Northwestern University is one of over a hundred schools where anti-Zionist student groups took over sections of campus in recent weeks.

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

Northwestern University in Illinois has condemned the vandalizing of American and Israeli flags on campus amid an explosion of pro-Hamas demonstrations at universities around the world.

More than a dozen Northwestern students put up 1,200 Israeli and American flags on Sunday to show solidarity with the two allied countries and remember the 1,200 people murdered by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel on Oct 7. When the students returned hours later, the flags were torn and stained with red paint, left in ruins.

“Northwestern’s commitment to freedom of expression does not include vandalism,” university president Michael Schill said in a statement issued on Monday. “The university will investigate these incidents thoroughly, and if individuals from Northwestern can be identified, we will pursue disciplinary action.”

Schill added that the vandals “tore down” the flags and graffitied them with red paint, actions he described as “unacceptable.”

Northwestern University is one of over a hundred schools where anti-Zionist student groups took over sections of campus in recent weeks and refused to leave unless administrators agreed to condemn and boycott Israel.

Earlier this month, the school acceded to key demands put forth by the protesters, agreeing to establish a new scholarship for Palestinian undergraduates, contact potential employers of students who caused recent campus disruptions to insist on they’re being hired, and create a segregated dormitory hall to be occupied exclusively by Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) and Muslim students.

The school — where a mob of protesters shouted “Kill the Jews!” during the nearly three-week long demonstration — also agreed to form a new investment committee in which anti-Zionists students and faculty may wield an outsized voice.

Schill defended the agreement in a column published in The Chicago Tribune, arguing that it precludes the possibility of boycotting Israel.

“This resolution — fragile though it might be — was possible because we chose to see our students not as a mob but as young people who are in the process of learning,” Schill wrote. “It was possible because we tried respectful dialogue rather than force. And it was possible because we sought to follow a set of principles, many of which I would argue are core to the tenets of Judaism.”

Schill added that the university already offers several residence halls which are segregated by race, ethnicity, gender, and religion.

Northwestern University is not the only school that was targeted by vandals directing their ire at the Israeli flag.

On Monday, a local Fox affiliate reported that University of Delaware student Jenna Kandeel, 23, went on what police called an “antisemitic tirade” in which she screamed antisemitic epithets while spitting on Israeli flags that formed part of a memorial commemorating the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

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Kandeel now faces two criminal charges with a hate crime enhancement and, the report added, is barred from being on school property.

“We need to be lucid enough to recognize the daylight — miles of it, in this case — between protest and hate,” Delaware attorney general Kathy Jennings said in a statement.

“The Holocaust is not ancient history. Eighty years later, the world’s Jewish population still has not recovered; its survivors are still with us; and I fear that we still have not learned its lessons. Seeing this ignorance on display, particularly in an increasingly antisemitic climate, should be a wake up call. We still have work to do.”

On Tuesday, a group that calls itself “The Resistance” claimed responsibility for vandalizing the University of California Office of the President — located in the city of Oakland — and infesting it with insects.

“Using a fire extinguisher filled with red paint, we covered the facade and smashed seven windows. Then, with access to the building, we released 500 cockroaches inside and emptied a second fire extinguisher onto the interior,” the group said in a statement. “As anti-colonial anarchists and communists we offer this act of material and spiritual solidarity with the hopes of shattering the illusion that resistance is limited to a single site.”

Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, college campuses across the West have become hatcheries of antisemitism.

Both students and faculty have demonized Israel and rationalized Hamas’ atrocities — which included numerous sexual assaults of Israeli women — and incidents of harassment and even violence against Jewish students have increased dramatically.

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Earlier this year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) measured the rise of antisemitism on college campuses, finding a 321 percent surge in antisemitic incidents.

The onslaught of hate has caused Jewish college students to feel distracted and unsafe, according to a new Hillel International Survey.

An astounding 61 percent of Jewish students reported that “antisemitic, threatening, or derogatory language” about Jews was uttered during demonstrations at their schools, while 58 percent said that “Gaza Solidarity Encampments” made them feel “less safe.” Others reported being unable to focus or sleep well.

The survey — conducted by Benenson Strategy Group on behalf of Hillel International, and to which 310 Jewish college students responded — also found that 40 percent of Jewish students have resorted to concealing their Jewish identity to avoid discrimination.

“Jewish students, and all students, deserve to pursue their education and celebrate their graduations free from disruption, antisemitism, and hate,” Hillel International chief executive officer Adam Lehman said on Monday in a statement announcing the survey results.

“Our findings demonstrate that a majority of Jewish students surveyed have experienced bias and discrimination in their classroom and academic experiences based on faculty and staff abusing their authority in support of the rule-breaking and unlawful anti-Israel encampments and protests.”