Jewish fraternity house at Temple University vandalized with 'Free Palestine' spray painted on roof

Corey Davis Image
Thursday, May 9, 2024
Jewish fraternity at Temple University vandalized
Police are investigating vandalism at Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Temple University

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- An investigation is underway at Temple University after the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi house was vandalized.

Photos of the vandalism are circulating on social media showing the words, "Free Palestine" spray painted on the roof of the fraternity house.

Zachary Fajge is a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi at Temple. He says they're hoping to find out who is responsible.

"I don't care what people's political views are on the whole conflict, but when you're going onto someone else's property vandalizing it, trespassing onto someone else's property that's when it becomes a whole nother issue," Fajge said.

The differing of opinions on the Israel-Hamas war can be seen right on the corner at North 19th and West Berks streets in North Philadelphia.

There's an American flag and an Israeli flag in the window of the fraternity house. And right across the street is a "Free Palestine" flag, representing the other side of the conflict that continues to invoke strong opinions around the world.

"It has been a little uneasy since October 7, and this definitely doesn't help. But we're here," Fajge added.

Fajge says they initially discovered the vandalism when they went to the roof after noticing the Israeli flag they had up there was gone.

"It seemed that someone went onto our roof, through potentially an adjacent house, and did that," Fajge said. "I personally, as a Jewish person, it's not the first thing I want to see."

Many have said the hope is that supporters on both sides can express their views freely.

This comes as the "Gaza Solidarity" encampment at nearby University of Pennsylvania marks its second week. Protesters at Penn are demanding that the university disclose its investments and cut ties with businesses that support Israel.

At Temple University, officials tell Action News that campus police are investigating the vandalism and say the university emphasizes the value of respect for all people.

"With everything going on recently, we think it's more important than ever to stand proud in our Jewish heritage," Fajge said.

Members of Alpha Epsilon Pi says they're now putting up cameras after speaking with university police about the matter.