On April 14 at approximately 4:27 p.m., multiple students were involved in a physical altercation on Chapel’s Field during Springfest, the University’s annual spring concert. Video footage shared with The Justice on April 15 shows that the students were fighting over an Israeli flag. 

Students first reported seeing people taking photos with the flag during Modsfest, a widely attended pre-concert gathering, throughout Foster Mods. At Springfest, a student first brandished the flag during Isabella Lovestory’s set. In response, multiple audience members began arguing with the individual, asking them to put the flag down. Noticing the tension in the audience, Lovestory asked students to get along with each other and have a good time at the concert. 

The individual put the flag down in response to Lovestory’s request but soon waved it again. Another student attempted to seize the flag from the individual’s hands at around 4:27 p.m. Neither one let go of the flag, resulting in a physical altercation. While the exact number of students involved is unclear at this time, video footage shows multiple students being pushed as a result of the fight and multiple concerned onlookers shouting. Spectators also reported that Lovestory said “Free Palestine” as she walked off the stage.

At 4:37 p.m., a police officer approached the individual with the flag. The dialogue is undecipherable from the video, but the individual soon raised the flag again. A different student came up behind them, snatched the flag and ran away from the stage. The flag owner chased after them. The student from the initial altercation and another student followed closely behind. 

The flag owner grabbed the person who stole the flag. The student from the initial altercation went to their aid, and all three fell to the ground. All four students involved in the chase attempted to pull the flag. As police approached the situation, one student backed away. An officer grabbed the student who snatched the flag the second time and asked them to leave while the student from the initial altercation and the flag owner continued to fight over the flag. 

The same officer then told the remaining two students to disperse. Four other officers provided backup, spoke with the involved parties and escorted them off of Chapel’s Field. As of press time, no formal charges have been made against any of the students involved in the altercation. Brandeis Chief of Police Matthew Rushton did not respond to The Justice’s request for comment.

Multiple users on Sidechat debated the situation. While some argued that people often bring flags of where they’re from to wave at concerts as a symbol of national pride, others argued that the flag had no place at Springfest. 

One user wrote in disapproval of the flag display, “As someone who supports israel i agree like this is a school concert and none of the artists are israeli???”

Another commented, “Remember when terrorists ruined an innocent dance festival on October 7? Let us dance for our people.”

Since Oct. 7, 2023, tensions have been high on Brandeis’ campus regarding the war in Gaza. Last November, the University derecognized the University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, sparking a protest that culminated in the arrests of seven individuals

Editor’s Note: Staff Writer River Simard ’26 contributed to the reporting of this article.