(NationalUSNews.com) — Tara Tarawneh turned herself in and was arrested on charges of stealing an Israeli flag from the University of Pennsylvania Campus Apartments near the university campus on October 28th. Tarawneh received internet fame through the speech she gave at a pro-Palestinian Philadelphia rally that went viral, causing people from all over the world to hear for themselves what exactly the crowds at these rallies are cheering for.
Addressing the protesters, she said that the October 7th attack on a peaceful concert by Hamas terrorists made her feel “empowered and happy. She described the attack as glorious and the gruesome images that were shared from the attacks as “joyful and powerful images.”
Tarawneh is a student at the University of Pennsylvania and a graduate of King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan, which is a boarding and day school in Jordan. Tarawneh considers herself to be a human rights activist and has written for Taleed Magazine, which is a publication for Arab teens, and The Daily Pennsylvanian, which is an independent student media organization. In her piece about the Palestine Writes Literature Festival in The Daily Pennsylvanian in September, she denounced the “violence of settler colonialism” and warned of “extremely dangerous rhetoric” coming from those who would shut down the festival. She also flatly rejected the idea that Jewish students might feel afraid or unsafe, saying that she wouldn’t “dignify with a response” such objections.
The Municipal Court of Philadelphia County set her bail at zero dollars. Under Pennsylvania law, theft cannot be prosecuted as a hate crime, although the university’s Division of Public Safety has reportedly filed the crime as a “bias incident.” In recent weeks, several members of the university staff have said they’ve received anti-Semitic emails, some of which threatened the Jewish student population of the school.
In a November 3 meeting of university trustees, University President Liz Magil commented on the rise of antisemitism on campus and that there have been “swastikas and hateful graffiti” seen on the campus. She added that she personally condemns the inhumane acts and words and gave assurances that any act of hate on campus will be investigated and addressed.
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