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‘I hope you die a slow and painful death’--Student 'triggered' by Israeli flags at UH Manoa
By Selected News Articles @ 9:32 PM :: 1723 Views :: First Amendment, Higher Education

‘I hope you die a slow and painful death’--Hawaii student triggered by Israeli flags on campus

An Instagram account of a person claiming to be a University of Hawaiʻi at Mãnoa student wished harm on those who planted Israeli flags at the campus.

A Leadership Institute Field Representative told Campus Reform that ‘[e]ach flag we put up has been torn down.’

by Emma Arns '26, Campus Reform, March 26, 2024

In response to Israeli flags being planted at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mãnoa’s (UHM) campus this March, Instagram user “jasperr209,” who identifies herself as a member of the school’s class of 2027, posted a story to her Instagram stating: “Who ever did this I hope u die a slow and painful death #freepalestine.”

Pro-Israel supporters at UHM planted Israeli flags in a common space to express their support for Israeli Jews following the Oct. 7 massacre committed by the terrorist organization Hamas.

University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner explained in a school Board of Regents meeting last November that he refused to condemn either the Oct. 7 massacre or Israel’s counterattack, saying: “I have variously faced calls to condemn the actions of Hamas on October 7 or the Israeli response. You see this in testimony to the Board of Regents this morning. I again choose not to do so,” as seen on UH’s website.

“I am not a professional politician or an international political influencer. Rather, I lead a complicated educational institution with an array of internal and external stakeholders who seldom agree about much of anything,” he continued.

“We have had multiple reports of situations in which students and others have felt unsafe as the direct result of the words and sometimes actions of others. This pains me and many others greatly. But lawful free speech is not always kind,” he said.

Rocklin Youngstrom, a Leadership Institute Field Representative in Hawaii who helped place the Israeli flags around campus, told Campus Reform that “[e]ach flag we put up has been torn down.”

“Wishing death upon someone simply for exercising their first amendment right really just shows how broken our country is right now,” she said.

“I think the irony of this entire situation is that while we were putting up these flags, we saw hundreds of signs for Palestine, abortion, and anti-gun clubs, and instead of taking the signs down, we prayed for those that put them up. I think that speaks volumes on the difference between the left and the right,” Rocklin continued.

Campus Reform has contacted UHM, “jasperr209,” and President Lassner for comment. This article will be updated accordingly

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