19 Apr, 2024

VOICES: I’ll Tell You What Side of History We Are On (Arizona, 2026)

19 Apr, 2024

(Editor’s Note: Two weeks ago, the AEPi house in Tucson, Arizona was vandalized while the chapter was away for a formal weekend. You can read about the incident in this article. Coincidentally (but probably not), on the day after the chapter returned from their trip, the Tucson City Council was slated to consider a “Cease Fire” resolution. Brother Yehonathan Kleinerman (Arizona, 2026), who is the current chapter president, led a group of Brothers to the City Council and spoke. By the end of the night, and with the help of Past Supreme Master Jeff Jacobson and others in the Jewish community, the resolution was tabled. Following are Brother Kleinerman’s words to the City Council that day. We are proud of our Upsilon Alpha Brothers for stepping up and look forward to reporting soon on the positive programs they are bringing to their fellow students. As always, we are #ProudtobeaPi)

Brother Kleinerman (far left) with his Upsilon Alpha Brothers following his speech to the City Council. The old guy is Past Supreme Master Jeff Jacobson.

Thank you for having me speak here today.

My name is Yona Kleinerman. I am an honors, pre-med, biomedical engineering student, and the president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a predominantly Jewish fraternity at the University of Arizona. I am an American and an Israeli, and I hold both of these nationalities dear to me.

While our brothers were out of town this weekend, our house was defaced with the words: “What side of history will you be on?” in bold, black, handwritten graffiti.

This vandalism occurred just as we mark six months since the October 7th massacre by Hamas on Israel. To remind everyone what this was: It was a clearly organized killing spree on a Jewish holiday, where Hamas terrorists breached the border from Gaza into Israel, outright murdered Jewish civilians in point blank, raped our woman, burned our babies, and took hundreds hostage, many of whom have still not been returned to their homes to this day. What happened is undeniable, for it was not only witnessed by survivors but filmed and shared by the terrorists themselves.

Nevertheless, our house is a Jewish house. Putting the pieces together, this act cannot be a coincidence; it must be a targeted, antisemitic harassment.

There are a few points that must be noted before deciding to call for a ceasefire in Israel.

—  The City of Tucson should have absolutely no say in how Israel is to secure its people

—  There have been these same acts of antisemitic vandalism in other AEPi’s across the nation; we are simply the most recent victim.

—  There has been a question posed by the offender this weekend. Maybe it was aimed at our fraternity, but it was definitely directed toward you, the city council of Tucson. “What side of history will you be on?” While Hamas is asking for hundreds of murderers to be released in exchange for each innocent civilian, Israel is doing its moral right to eliminate terrorism and secure its population. The exact same way that the U.S. did not rest until eliminating Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda post-9/11, so should Israel with Hamas.

I please ask for you all to make this decision both with logic and morality. A ceasefire will benefit a group of terror.

I ask the Tucson City Council: “What side of history will you be on?”