Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Someone destroyed our pro-Israel display in five hours. It will not silence us.


OPINION: In contrast, pro-Palestinian students are able to have displays for weeks without interference

EVANSTON, Ill. — One or more people attacked the Northwestern University Young Americans for Freedom and College Republicans’ pro-Israel display after it was up for just five hours this weekend – but it will not change our support.

On Sunday, students representing the two conservative groups gathered on Deering Meadow, in front of Deering Library, to put up an Israel and American flag display in solidarity with Israel and Jewish students.

We decided to show our support of Israel directly in response to the pro-Palestinian encampment previously on the same lawn. Remnants of the encampment — including trash, tents, and other camping equipment — are still there.

In fact, the university had allowed the anti-Israel display to stay up for weeks now, only recently ordering the tents to be removed. This happened after numerous concessions to the activists, including full-ride scholarships to Palestinian students.

Our flag display was put up around 7 p.m. Not even five hours later, at midnight, we noticed the display had been vandalized. Most of the flags were torn down or covered, then replaced with Palestinian flags and posters. The remaining Israel and USA flags were smeared with what looks like blood.

I find the depiction of blood on the Israel and American flags especially disturbing. Flags are not simply objects; they are symbols of their countries’ soil – wars fought, freedoms earned, and economic successes, among other things.

A few dedicated students from the College Republicans cleaned up the flag display yesterday morning. Though most of the flags were not recovered, part of the display was able to be salvaged.

Due to the symbolism behind the flags, we decided to refrain from touching the Palestinian flags at all and instead took down the posters and replaced some of the Israel and USA flags.

College Republicans submitted a complaint to Northwestern University through the Associated Student Government regarding the vandalism.

Northwestern University has a responsibility to protect free speech for all, not just those who are pro-Hamas, and they should be protecting Jewish students against hate.

Unlike those involved in the encampment, my group complied with the bounds of the university’s rules and policies. We presented a peaceful demonstration of our solidarity with Israel.

President Michael Schill’s agreement with the Palestinian encampment included the “immediate removal of tents on Deering Meadow, cessation of non-approved use of amplified sound and a commitment that all conduct on Deering and across campus will comply with all University rules and policies.” Under the condition that this agreement is followed, Schill allows them to stay at the encampment until June 1.

Not only did those at the encampment not abide by the agreement, but they also assumably (with good reason) vandalized the flag display in support of their enemy in blatant disregard and disrespect of the First Amendment.

Since those at the encampment did not remove tents or stop with the amplified sound like they agreed to, someone on this campus had to step up and voice the platform for Israel and Jewish students.

That someone was the group of College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom.

Even if vandals attack our free speech, we will not waver in our support for Israel.

Editor’s note: Minor edits on the wording of each group’s involvement have been made.

MORE: U. Wisconsin student groups suspended after antisemitic chalkings

IMAGES: Jeanine Yuen for The College Fix

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
College Fix contributor Jeanine Yuen is a student at Northwestern University studying cognitive science on the pre-law track. She is on the executive board for the Northwestern University College Republicans and was the executive writer for a political discussion podcast. She is a member of Northwestern's YAF chapter and the acting manager of the TPUSA chapter.