Hostage posters ripped off the wall outside Brad Schneider’s office a week after his house is picketed after midnight
Representative Brad Schneider speaks about his experiences during a trip to Israel and Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of a bipartisan delegation from the House of Representatives. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

By Ron Kampeas
July 5, 2024

(JTA) — WASHINGTON — Vandals tore down Israeli hostage posters hanging outside the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Brad Schneider, an Illinois Democrat, a week after pro-Palestinian activists used megaphones and drums to protest outside his home in the middle of the night.

“My Capitol office was vandalized yesterday in a vile act of hate in which the posters of the more than 100 people still held hostage in Gaza (including 8 Americans) were ripped from the wall, shredded and tossed across the hallway,” Schneider, who is Jewish, posted Friday on X, attaching a photo of the posters scattered on the floor.

A spokeswoman for Schneider said the vandalism had been reported to the Capitol Police.

The vandalism comes a week after an Illinois-based group called Direct Actions for Palestine staged a rally of about 40 people shouting slogans through megaphones and banging on drums outside his home at 2:30 a.m. in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago with a large Jewish population. “If we don’t get no justice then you don’t get no sleep,” the crowd chanted.

The group posted the video on Instagram with the caption, “If Gaza can’t rest, neither will you.”

The group accused Schneider of being complicit in “genocide” because he has voted for emergency defense assistance for Israel and to defund UNRWA, the U.N. agency that administers relief to Palestinian refugees and their descendants, and whose employees Israel has accused of working with Hamas.

Schneider in an interview said the timing of the protest outside his home, early Saturday morning during Shabbat, and the Jewish neighborhood gave it antisemitic overtones.

“The level of antisemitism we see growing is truly concerning,” he said. “A majority of the residents in my neighborhood are Jewish. The demonstrators who came in the middle of the night passed a couple of houses that have signs, ‘We stand with Israel,’ ‘Bring the hostages home now,’ with mezuzahs on most of the doors.”

The same group also protested outside the home of Illinois’ Jewish governor, J.B. Pritzker.

Schneider is one of the highest profile Jewish Democrats in Congress, and is known as an outspoken supporter of Israel. Before his election, he had lay leadership roles in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Jewish Committee.

Police in Highland Park dispersed the crowd and did not make arrests.

The vandalism outside his office comes after a number of pro-Palestinian groups held protests on the Fourth of July in a number of cities, including New York and Washington.

“This was a shameful act on any day, but especially on July 4, our country’s Independence Day,” Schneider said on X.  “Sadly, it was but one of many hateful, un-American actions that took place across the country on the day we celebrate freedom and democracy.

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