Mendelsohn targeted at home
City Council Member Cara Mendelsohn’s home was defaced with antisemitic graffiti Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.
(Photo: Courtesy Cara Mendelsohn)

By Sharon Wisch-Ray
February 13, 2024

For the second time in two months, Dallas City Council member Cara Mendelsohn, who represents District 12 in Far North Dallas, has been targeted at her home.

Early on Feb. 10, a neighbor alerted Mendelsohn that her wood privacy fence had been defaced with antisemitic graffiti.

The fence was painted with red inverted triangles and the words “Baby Killer” in large letters along the fence. On the sidewalk a pile of bricks was left with “dolls” wrapped in red painted rags.

This is one in a series of events that have targeted Mendelsohn since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel and the war with Hamas that followed.

On Dec. 13, protesters wrote antisemitic and hateful messages about Mendelsohn on the plaza at Dallas City Hall.

The harassment continued at the council member’s home Jan. 9, when seven protestors gathered at her home for about 90 minutes. The seven protesters had faces obscured by masks and hoodies. They held signs and one had a megaphone.

The group scrawled on the street in yellow chalk with several arrows pointing toward the Mendelsohn home, “This house supports genocide.” One protester was covered in fake blood and lay in the street.

“The protesters were at my house to bully me and intimidate the Jewish community, but we won’t be intimidated,” said Mendelsohn. “We can’t allow the loudest, most disruptive voices to prevail or dominate the media, undermining the civility and democratic process of our country.”

At the next City Council meeting, Mendelsohn wore an IDF T-shirt under her blazer and many in the gallery of anti-Israel protesters became enraged.

Mendelsohn distinguishes between those events and the most recent one. “One is lawful protest, the other is a criminal act,” she said.

Mendelsohn, who is one of two Jewish council members, is the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. She told reporters on Monday that the first thing she thought of when she saw the graffiti was her grandparents. “They always told their grandchildren, ‘This could happen to you.’ And we would say No, this can’t happen here. America is a great country, everybody is safe. And when I saw it, my heart sank and I thought, maybe they were right. Maybe I was too naïve.”

On Sunday, Mendelsohn referenced the Stand Up Against Jewish Hate commercial that was scheduled and ran during the Super Bowl in a post on X.

In recent weeks, the harassment toward Mendelsohn has grown to include a death threat, threatening messages to staff members, harassment on social media and people wearing T-shirts to a Dallas City Council meeting with her face with horns and a pig nose.

The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum issued a statement Monday afternoon.

“The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum strongly condemns the harassment of Dallas City Council member, Cara Mendelsohn, which has been ongoing for months and culminated in the vandalism of her home with vile antisemitic graffiti on Saturday,” the statement signed by Mary Pat Higgins, Museum CEO and president, and Lee Michaels, board chair, reads. “This is part of a horrendous worldwide surge in antisemitism which has particularly and cruelly targeted Jewish students in our secondary schools and colleges in the U.S.

“Democracy depends on the peaceful engagement of all its citizens. We must safeguard our democracy and ensure that no one is targeted for their religious or political beliefs or for fulfilling their duties as elected officials.”

What is the Inverted Red Triangle?

The ADL’s Center for Extremism has a glossary of hate terms online. The website explains the origins of the inverted red triangle and its prominence in recent months (https://extremismterms.adl.org/glossary/inverted-red-triangle).

“In early November 2023, the inverted red triangle emerged as a symbol that in certain cases can signify support for violent Palestinian resistance against Israel. It is used both offline and online, sometimes in the form of an emoji. The symbol first appeared in propaganda videos promoted by the al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, which showed footage of Hamas terrorists attacking Israeli military targets. In these videos, Hamas would point out the target using the inverted red triangle. Though it can be used innocuously in general pro-Palestine social media posts, the inverted red triangle is now used to represent Hamas itself and glorify its use of violence in many popular anti-Zionist memes and political cartoons. For example, individuals will place the symbol over an image of Israeli soldiers or overlaid on a Star of David as a way to call for further violent resistance.”

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