Jewish Student’s Israeli Flag Targeted in Egging Incident at University of Illinois
February 10, 2021
Multiple eggs were thrown at an Israeli flag hanging from the apartment balcony of a Jewish student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) early Monday morning.
Local media outlet WCIA reported that the student, Jeremy Zelner, had been working on a paper when he heard something hit his window, prompting him to go check what was going on.
“But by that time, the egging stopped and I looked outside and nobody was there,” Zelner recalled. “So, it was a pretty relatively quick thing, but there was probably like 10, 15, 20 eggs that were just all over the balcony.”
In a Facebook post, Zelner wrote, “This was a hateful and Anti-Semitic act aimed at Jews. This is disgusting and unacceptable. There is no room for hate crimes in the United States against anyone, regardless of skin color, opinions, religion etc.”
Zelner informed police and university officials about the incident. The Champaign Police Department said on Tuesday it was still gathering information to begin an investigation.
UIUC Hillel Executive Director Erez Cohen told WCIA, “I think that to target and vandalize an apartment based on it having an Israeli flag is clearly targeting someone for their national origin or for their ancestral identity. It’s basically hateful and it’s targeted. It’s a form of discrimination that we should not have on our campus or in our town. There is no room for hateful vandalism anywhere, especially in a town that really tries to be as diverse and as welcoming as possible.”
Last fall, the U.S. Education Department opened a probe into allegations of anti-Semitism at UIUC.
The school subsequently issued a statement saying, “We deplore anti-Semitic incidents on campus, including those that demonize or delegitimize Jewish and pro-Israel students or compare them to Nazis.”
It also vowed to create an “Advisory Council on Jewish and Campus Life”; institute “focused and regularly recurring educational programming regarding anti-Semitism”; and “review, evaluate and, when necessary, revise procedures and practices so they are appropriately aligned with shared values opposing discrimination and harassment on campus, including anti-Semitic actions.”