Jewish and Muslim students clashed Thursday at an event at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, according to the local paper Journal Sentinel. The clash left one Jewish student wounded and a Muslim student under arrest. University officials plan to investigate the incident.
The story began as Jewish students held a celebration in honor of Israel's recent Independence Day outside the student union offices. A group of students from the Muslim Student Association came to the event and began yelling at those present, accusing Israel of mistreating Arabs.
"We didn't go there intending to cause trouble, we just wanted to have a conversation,” Muslim Student Association president Yamin Masalkhi claimed said.
Masalkhi said “hotheads” in his group were responsible for escalating the argument by flying a Palestinian Liberation Organization flag from a structure the Jewish students were using for their event. A Jewish student attempted to throw the flag in the trashbin , and was struck by one of the Muslim students.
Jewish students were also upset over graffiti written on the campus plaza the day before the event. The graffiti included a swastika and obscene remarks.
Masalkhi admitted that the Muslim Student Association had written anti-Israel comments on the plaza pavement, but said the association was not involved in writing anti-Semitic slurs. Martin Luther King was known to have said that anti-Israelism is another word for anti-Semitism.
A small group of Jewish and Muslim students met the day after the incident to discuss what had happened and how to move forward, the Sentinel reported. Some Jewish students said they planned to meet with university officials to ensure that future events would not be marred by violence.