LAWRENCE (KSNT) – For over three weeks, an Israeli flag flew high and proud outside of Alpha Epsilon Pi at the University of Kansas. Then, Sunday night at around 10:20 p.m. that very flag, along with an American flag, were torn down from its flag post.
While the American flag laid untouched on the ground, the Israeli flag was nowhere to be seen.
“We started just looking around and about a block back behind some apartments we found the Israeli flag that we’ve been flying for over three weeks without a problem, proudly,” AEPI Brother Spencer Gibbs said. “Just torn to shreds, which was completely devastating. It was just a horrible horrific site to see.”
There has been a recent uptick of anti-Semitic acts happening on college campuses around the country following the war in the Middle East with Israel and the terrorist group Hamas. Now that a similar incident has apparently happened close to home, AEPI President Addie Brand said they can only hope others react appropriately.
“Now that it happened here on our lawn at KU, my only hope is that the community can react appropriately, and KU will react appropriately and condemn a hate crime when it happens and not give any kind of validity to the people that did that and let anyone think they can do that and that that’s an OK thing to do,” KU AEPI President Addie Brand said.
This alleged act of hate didn’t occur at night. Instead, it happened while many of the brothers were away from the house, in the heart of KU’s campus, starting their annual philanthropy event “Rock-A-Thon.” The event this year is to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in honor of one of their brothers who took his life back in May.
“We would like to be thinking about that and doing everything we can to make that go well, and then in the middle of that on night one we come back and find out that people vandalized and stole and ripped apart the flag,” Brand said.
27 News reached out to the Lawrence Kansas Police Department. It issued a written statement: “LKPD is concerned enough to forward the report from the patrol unit to our investigations division. A detective visited the house today and we’re working to secure additional evidence.”
“The Jewish people have always been uplifting and positive in our darkest times for centuries and thousands of years,” Gibbs said. “Just as it is today, we have to be stronger and show that we’re resilient and we’re not going to go out and be hateful towards the people who may have done this. It is what it is and we can only become stronger and move forward.”
27 News reached out to the University of Kansas and is still waiting to hear back.