Anti-Semetic Act Occurred Just Hours After End of Yom Kippur

First Reported by The Emory Wheel

 

The Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) Fraternity at Emory University was vandalized Sunday just hours after the end of Yom Kippur. “Crude, offensive graffiti, including swastikas,” were spray painted on the house according to an Oct. 5 University press release.

As reported by The Emory Wheel, University PresidentJames Wagnercondemned the act in an email to the Emory community as “a repugnant, flagrant emblem of anti-Semitism.” The graffiti was painted over on Monday but the messages of prejudice weren’t so easily forgotten. University leaders have vowed to find the responsible party and to convey the message that offensive vandalism will not be tolerated.

Swastika Painted on the AEPi House

“Among the many pernicious things the swastika symbolizes, in the last century it represented the most egregious and determined undermining of intellectual freedom and truth-seeking,” Wagner wrote in his email. “In short, its appearance on our campus is an attack against everything for which Emory stands.”

The AEPi fraternity at Emory issued a statement thanking the community for its support and outrage at what it calls an “insensitive display of prejudice.”

“We are working alongside Emory to ensure that intolerable acts of hate, such as this, will never occur again,” the statement read. “We are thankful for the community around us that has shown tremendous support throughout this time.”

Twenty-six students live in the fraternity house, not all of them are Jewish. Prior to Sunday’s incident they had not been subject to any other anti-Semitic threats or acts, according to the president of the fraternity.

“One of the biggest things we’ve gotten out of this event is that this is not a prejudiced community,” the president told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “There has been a tremendous amount of support from everyone in the community regardless of creed or ethnic background. The hate incident came from an individual that does not embody Emory morals.”

According to The Emory Wheel, Many Emory students and organizations have taken to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to express their take on the situation.

In a Facebook post, College junior Katie Fishbein wrote that seeing the image of swastikas on the AEPi house was terrifying and not in line with the openness and tolerance she experienced on Emory’s campus.

“In my heart of hearts, I know that most Emory students stand for peace and acceptance,” Fishbein wrote. “Make it your personal duty to ensure that ALL students can feel welcomed and loved at Emory.”

The Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta also decried the vandalism, with both groups issuing statements praising Emory for its quick response and intolerance of the acts.

A statement from the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) offered a steadfast rejection of what it calls an anti-Semitic message.

“SJP at Emory condemns the recent and abhorrent act of vandalism… [and] categorically rejects all forms of racism and bigotry,” the statement read. “All of these forms of hate dehumanize people, and as advocates for justice and human rights we are committed to speaking out against injustice wherever it appears.”

As reported by The Wheel, The Student Government Association (SGA), sent an email Sunday night inviting the Emory community to wear blue on Monday to support Emory’s Jewish community and in condemnation of the act that was carried out.

Additional campus officers patrolled the area around the fraternity house Monday. Anyone with information about those responsible is asked to contact Emory police at 404-727-6111.