‘A vile act of hate’: Display of hostages outside U.S. Rep. Schneider’s office vandalized

Flyers about hostages held by terrorists in Gaza were ripped from a wall outside U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider's office in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2024, he reported.

In what U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider called “a vile act of hate,” flyers about hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza were torn from a wall outside his Capitol office, shredded and left on the floor.

It was the second time in a week the Jewish congressman from Highland Park was the target of antisemitism. The first incident occurred outside his house.

The display – featuring more than 100 people abducted and Israel and held hostage in Gaza, including eight Americans – was vandalized Thursday, Schneider said in a news release. The Capitol complex was closed to the public Thursday because of Independence Day, but it was open to congressional staff and their guests.

Schneider posted a photo of the vandalism on social media.

“This was a shameful act on any day, but especially on July 4, our country’s Independence Day,” said Schneider, a Democrat who serves parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties as the representative for the 10th District.

Capitol police are aware of the vandalism and are investigating, according to an email from the agency. Police declined to comment further.

About 40 protesters – many reportedly masked – gathered outside Schneider’s home about 2:45 a.m. June 29 and shouted what police called antisemitic and pro-Palestinian chants using loudspeakers. They also banged drums and waved banners before police broke up the protest. No one was arrested.

Neighborhood police patrols were increased after the demonstration, Highland Park officials said, and houses of worship were guarded.

In a statement on its website, Highland Park officials called the demonstration “frightening and offensive.”

“The city unequivocally condemns antisemitism and all acts of hate, standing in solidarity with our Jewish community,” according to the city’s statement.

Other anti-Israel and anti-American demonstrations occurred in the U.S. on Thursday, including one in Philadelphia – the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 – in which U.S. flags reportedly were burned and Palestinian flags were flown.

“These actions don’t advance peace,” said Schneider, an outspoken supporter of Israel but also a proponent of a two-state solution to the conflict in the region. “Instead, they play directly into the hands of Hamas terrorists, enabling them to continue to hold hostage not only those they kidnapped from Israel, but all civilians in Gaza as well.”

Schneider’s 10th Congressional District includes most of Lake County and a large part of northeastern McHenry County, including all or Spring Grove, Richmond, Hebron, Wonder Lake, and Johnsburg.

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