UW-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library vandalized

Free Palestine' was spray-painted on exterior of building

uw-milwaukee campus
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Gretchen Brown/WPR

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police are investigating vandalism at the Golda Meir Library.

Two people allegedly broke a first-floor window early Saturday and spray painted the words “Free Palestine” on the exterior of the building.

The library has been a focal point of protests during the war in Gaza. Some students have called for the building to be renamed.  

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Meir grew up in Milwaukee. She graduated from the Milwaukee State Normal School, which later became UW-Milwaukee. She went on to serve as prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974.

A statement from UW-Milwaukee condemned the acts.

“Neither antisemitism or Islamophobia has any place on our campus or in our community,” the statement said. “While UWM respects the right of free speech, this is neither speech nor peaceful protest, and UWM will not tolerate vandalism or other illegal acts. UWM also recognizes that the Middle East conflict has left many students and employees experiencing heightened concerns for their safety and well-being, particularly our Jewish, Muslim and Arab American community members.”

College campuses around the country have been a focus of protest since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October.

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed 1,139 Israelis, more than 27,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 66,000 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza, according to reporting from Al Jazeera.

There have been a string of antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents reported on college campuses since the start of the war in October.

On Jan. 21, a swastika was projected on the outside of a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater dorm. In that incident, footage posted on Facebook showed four people dressed in red and black, bellowing “We are everywhere. There will be blood, blood, blood.”