A Florida mother says her family was the victim of a hate crime.
Randy and her 15-year-old daughter, Madison, hung an Israeli flag in front of their Oviedo home on Oct. 21 to show their solidarity with the “Flags 4 Israel” movement, Fox 35 reported.
“There's a Facebook group that was started by a rabbi down in the Miami area called ‘Flags 4 Israel,’” Randy told Fox 35. “He was encouraging everyone to fly Israel flags for October 22, to show our solidarity for our Israeli brothers and sisters."
Ten Israelis were recently killed in Palestinian attacks, according to the Associated Press. Forty-eight Palestinians were also reportedly killed by Israeli fire, 27 of which were said by Israel to be attackers.
“I felt like we were taking part in world issues,” Randy said. “We weren’t just being that family that sits idle and does nothing.”
“This is our heritage, our religion,” Madison added.
But on Oct. 23, Randy pulled into her driveway after dropping Madison off at school and noticed a big red “X” spray-painted across their Israeli flag.
“I wanted to cry. I felt violated,” Randy said. “I felt that I was being attacked for my beliefs, and I didn't think that really went on here.”
“I was really angry, angry to the point I could almost scream, because I couldn't believe someone could do something like this,” Madison said. “And then after being angry, I felt scared. I still kind of am.”
Randy told the news station that she called the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and filed a report, and they told her they would increase patrols in the neighborhood. She added that she won’t be taking the flag down.
“This is anti-Semitic behavior,” said Randy.
“To me it says ‘We don't like the Jews,’ and they're saying ‘We don't like anything that has to do with these people,’” Madison added.
Those who commented on the article on Holly Bristow Fox 35's Facebook page voiced their disgust over the vandalism.
"This kind of story makes me sick," one user commented. "I think it is a hate crime, and those responsible need to be punished."
"People are just sick," another user added.