On Wednesday, May 9, vandals threw an object through the window of the Hillel House at the University of California Davis and set on fire an Israeli flag. The fire spread to the roof until it was extinguished by the fire department.
Hillel professionals had heard that an attack from Palestinian activists might be imminent and alerted local police. The police did not take prompt action.
Hillel believes that in the context of today's hypercharged and violent Middle East, such threats must be taken seriously. Hillel calls on law enforcement officials to find and prosecute the perpetrators. In the United States violence and criminal acts have consequences.
Hillel has a long record of promoting tolerance, dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflict at home and abroad. Through our constant commitment to tzedek and tikkun olam we are trying to bring about a world free of violence. We must redouble our efforts in the wake of this hate crime. At the same time, we will not be discouraged from forthrightly expressing our support for Israel and our right to celebrate Jewishness proudly and publicly.
The students, lay leaders and professionals at the Hillel at UC Davis are to be praised for their efforts to promote Middle East understanding without compromising their commitment to Zionism and Jewish beliefs. They have the support and encouragement of their colleagues as they work to repair the physical and emotional damage wrought by this attack. Hillel will continue to support Israel and foster peaceful dialogue through our network of 500 Foundations and affiliates around the world.