Students at the University of California, Riverside are reacting to the placement of several dozen Palestinian flags on campus Wednesday as the war between Israel and Hamas rages on.
The flags mysteriously appeared overnight on a main campus lawn area with no other messages.
Some students who belong to UCR’s student Jewish group, Hillel, told KTLA that the flags made them feel uneasy. They did not want to speak on camera.
One student who did, however, said he did not find them threatening.
“Seeing those flags out isn’t a big deal … if they want to [project] a message of pro-Palestine,” he told us. “But if it’s a message of pro-Hamas, it could be totally different.”
The war has claimed 2,300 lives on both sides and counting, including civilians and children.
Many people locally are feeling the effects of what is occurring overseas. Families have lost loved ones and others are desperate for answers after learning that Hamas has taken hostages.
At UCR, some students are also feeling the impact.
One student of Palestinian descent condemned Hamas’s attack on Israeli civilians but also called for empathy.
“It’s very bad for both sides,” Adrian Adi told us. “What Western media fails to portray is that my people have been oppressed for a very long time. I don’t condone violence, but it’s semi-understandable what’s going on.”
Administrators at UC Riverside declined to directly comment on the flags, instead, deferring to a statement the university issued on Tuesday.
“At times like this, we must remain steadfast in aligning our behavior with the Principles of Community, sent just last week, which state our shared commitment to a respectful, cooperative, professional, and courteous environment. Anyone who experiences discrimination or harassment should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action,” the statement read.