WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — After a brick crashed through a window of the historic President’s House on the William & Mary campus carrying an anti-Semitic message, the leader of the Hillel community said it is causing Jews on campus to re-examine bigotry.
“Hate unifies,” said Rabbi Gershon Litt in a Thursday morning interview. “People come and they want to harm others, or they want to intimidate others and harass others, and that makes a Jewish student say, ‘Hey, why do they hate me? What did I do to you?'”
It happened last week, less than a month after Hamas militants attacked Jews in Southern Israel, sparking the ongoing war in the Middle East.
Campus police have not released any suspect information. A surveillance camera mounted near the roof line would seem to have caught the vandalism. There are no roads or parking spaces near the residence, so it was likely someone either on foot or a bike.
The husband of University President Katherine Rowe is Jewish. Authorities won’t release what exactly the hate message said — even to Litt.
“We don’t know exactly the intent, we don’t know what was written on that letter,” he said.
Interim Police Chief Don Butler say the vandalism is an outlie.
“This is definitely a unique situation,” Butler said. “Being on a public college campus, we’ve had protests in the past, so we have seen some of that activity,”
He added that that activity has been peaceful until now.
Across campus, students and staff are outraged.
“I personally think that’s crazy. Very disrespectful,” said freshman Charlotte Troy.
“This is something that doesn’t happen very frequently at a school like William & Mary, so when you hear something like that it’s definitely shocking,” said William & Mary lacrosse coach Colleen Dawson. “(Usually) people have a very good safe space to talk about what they want to talk about.”
Police say they welcome tips and they can be anonymous. Just contact the William & Mary Police Department at 757-221-4596.