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Politics

California Congressman Claims Anti-Israel Protesters Vandalized His Office

Rep. David Valadao, a Republican from Hanford (Kings County), seen speaking in May, said his office had been vandalized by anti-Israel protesters.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Republican Rep. David Valadao said his Hanford (Kings County) district office was vandalized by “anti-Israel protesters.” job Monday.

Valadao shared a photo from outside his office in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. The photo showed red liquid splattered on the front doors and facade of the building and flyers that read “MURDERED BY ISRAEL” along with photos of children and what appeared to be information about each child.

“I strongly support the right to peacefully protest, but violence and vandalism are never acceptable. In a democracy, harassment and intimidation do not allow one’s voice to be heard,” Valadao wrote.

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Valadao represents a swing district in California and won his last election by just 2 percentage points. His challenger in 2022, Rep. Rudy Salas, is running against him again in 2024. Valadao will be fighting for his life in Congress over the next year. His district is one of the most competitive in the country and is considered a key seat for Democrats to gain a majority in the House.

Hanford police responded to the vandalism reported Monday morning, they said in a statement to the Chronicle, and found that “a red substance had been splashed and smeared on the walls and windows of the business and Flyers from strangers had been stuck on the window. » Detectives discovered video surveillance of four people taping the flyers and throwing red syrup on the walls. Police believe the incident happened between 11 p.m. and midnight on Sunday.

The future of Israel and Palestine is an issue that cuts across traditional partisan lines, with Democrats and Republicans having internal disagreements over how best to handle the war between Israel and Hamas.

In a recent vote on whether the House should censure Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan (whose parents are Palestinian immigrants) for her rhetoric on the war between Israel and Hamas, two other California Republicans spoke out. opposed their party and voted against it – Rep. John. Duarte of Turlock (Stanislaus County) and Tom McClintock of Modesto. Duarte is in a similar competitive position; This is not the case with McClintock.

Valadao supported both a measure to put this censorship to a vote and the censorship itself.

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The division among Democrats highlights long-standing tensions between progressives and moderates. Some progressives believe that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza is a form of systemic oppression and see parallels with injustices in the United States. For the first time since it began tracking the issue, Gallup found in March that Democrats sympathized more with Palestinians than Israelis.

A few hundred pro-ceasefire demonstrators at a nearby march breached security at the California Democratic Party convention on November 18, leading party officials to cancel the rest of the convention’s schedule. this evening and lock down the center.

Valadao said his district office was still open after the incident. The U.S. Capitol Police did not respond to a request for comment.

Contact Shira Stein: shira.stein@sfchronicle.com; Twitter: @shiramstein

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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