When they woke up on the Jewish Sabbath, students at a Jewish fraternity at UC Davis found two red swastikas spray painted on their house and on the ground behind a door nearby.
Nathaniel Bernhard, vice president of Alpha Epsilon Pi's Davis chapter, told the Sacramento Bee the vandalism took place between 3 and 9 a.m. Saturday. The fraternity house is located off campus.
One swastika was spray painted on the wall of the yellow two-story building, and the other was on the ground outside a back door. After the swastikas were found, NBC affiliate KCRA spotted students waving Israeli flags to combat the hateful icons.
U.S. & World
Davis Police Sgt. Trevor Edens told KCRA that police will be monitoring social media to see if anyone starts bragging about what they did.
In a written statement, UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi called the behavior “repugnant and a gross violation of the values our university holds dear.”
“Nothing rivals a swastika as a more potent or offensive symbol of hatred and violence toward our Jewish community members,” Katehi said.
The Jewish Federation, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Relations Council condemned the graffiti.
ADL Central Pacific Regional Director Seth Brysk, Pacific regional director for the ADL said in a statement that his orgnanization "denounces this heinous expression of hatred. It is deeply shocking and thoroughly repugnant any time a swastika is employed against the Jewish community. It is even more offensive that this act of anti-Semitism was committed during the same week the world commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz from the Nazis."
The vandalism comes after the Associated Students of UC Davis passed an advisory resolution asking the UC regents to divest from businesses with connections to Israel, the Bee reported.
Brysk noted the timing of the swastikas, as well.
"We are extremely concerned that this hate crime occurred directly on the heels of a UC Davis student senate vote supporting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement," he said "BDS activists have been known to employ Holocaust imagery and themes in an attempt to garner support for their cause."
As of Monday, no arrests have been made.