Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said his home in Bellevue, Wash., was vandalized Thursday night by people advocating for a cease-fire in Gaza, and a spokesman for the Bellevue Police said Friday the department was working with U.S. Capitol Police to investigate the incident that included graffiti spray painted on the home’s garage door.
Seth Tyler, the public information officer for the police department in Bellevue, said it was contacted Friday morning about the incident. According to a statement from Smith’s office, red spray paint was used to write a pro-cease-fire message on the garage door. Tyler said no arrests have been made and no similar acts of vandalism have occurred in the area.
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Smith has previously spoken about the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza that was spurred by the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state. In an Oct. 28 statement, Smith said he supports Israel’s fight against Hamas militants and urged for “much more” to be done to improve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. And he’s given more than a dozen interviews and released several statements since the fighting began, according to his congressional website.
Smith, who was elected to Congress in 1996, said Friday that he has met with people across the ideological spectrum, “including Pro-Palestinian and left-wing activists, and I remain open” to such meetings, and he urged people to “reject the rise in political violence that we have witnessed over the past several years.”
Lawmakers and other politicians have faced growing tension over U.S. support for Israel and the Palestinian civilians killed in the fighting.
President Biden has faced a backlash from young voters, and even from some younger staffers, over his handling of the war.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — the only Palestinian American member of Congress — was censured in the House in early November over her comments related to the war.
In late October, about 300 people were arrested after a protest organized by Jewish Voice for Peace happened inside the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building, demanding Congress pass a cease-fire resolution. And last month, at least one person was arrested after advocates for a cease-fire “illegally and violently” protested outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, U.S. Capitol Police said.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is Jewish, gave a 40-minute speech on the senate floor about violence aimed at Jewish people and said antisemites are “taking advantage of the pro-Palestinian movement to espouse hatred and bigotry toward Jewish people.”
Smith echoed Schumer’s concern about extremism in his Friday statement.
“The extremism on both the left and right side of our political spectrum is a threat to a healthy, functioning democracy and has been condoned for far too long,” he said.