The outside of a Jewish campus organization’s building at Boston University was defaced with graffiti reading, “Free Palestine,” in the latest incident of rising antisemitism on campuses across America.
The Boston University Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the vandalism at the Boston, Massachusetts university after graffiti was found written on the window of a Jewish student organization, authorities confirmed.
According to the organization’s website, the Florence & Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University is a place of worship and a community center for the campus’ Jewish population.
Robert Lowe, chief of the BU Police Department, confirmed to BU Today, the university’s official online news publication, that officers received a call about the vandalism on Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
When authorities arrived, Hillel staff members said that “an unknown person had tagged an exterior window of the building.”
Police said that the words, “Free Palestine” were written over a preexisting blue and white sign that read, “We Stand with Israel.“
In a campus-wide letter, Executive Director and University Chaplain Rabbi Jevin Eagle says the act of vandalism has left the Jewish community “shaken” and “disheartened.”
“We are grateful for the swift response from BU, BU Police, and the Suffolk County District Attorney,” he wrote. “This horrific act is being investigated as a religious hate crime.”
In a statement, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said that the graffiti was a “targeted act” and that they are working on finding the person responsible.
“This defacement was a targeted act, and we will work closely with BU police to identify, arrest, and prosecute the person responsible,” a Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson said in a statement. “Our message is clear: hate crimes in any form are intolerable and anyone charged with committing them will pay the consequences.”