Anti-Zionists-Not-Antisemites Strike Illinois Jewish Deli

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A Jewish deli in Naperville, Illinois has been vandalized – with ‘Free Gaza’ graffiti.

Someone vandalized the sidewalk outside a popular Jewish deli in Naperville after the business closed for the day Sunday, and the owner is calling it a hate crime.

The phrase “Free Gaza” was spray painted in black on the sidewalk near the front door at Schmaltz Deli, 1512 N. Naper Blvd., about 3 p.m. Sunday.

Restaurant owner Howard Bender said he was angry and surprised by the vandalism.

“It’s a hate crime,” he told the Daily Herald during a break from trying to remove the paint. “We’re all shocked.”

Bender said the restaurant has operated for nearly 13 years and called Naperville “a wonderful community.” His staff and customers are a mix of Jews and gentiles.

Clearly, this is the work of anti-Zionists, not antisemites, targeting a business because it is Jewish. And to suggest otherwise would just be a ploy to silence legitimate criticism of Israel, right?

Yeah, anyone who claims that can stick a kosher dill where the sun don’t shine.



Meanwhile, I am glad the restaurant owner addressed this in a Facebook post.

Today sadly, our Father’s Day at Schmaltz Deli ended with a shocking crime when vandals spray painted a message intended to be anti-Semitic just outside our front door. The Naperville police department is investigating the crime now.

If anyone knows my family, they would know that we are proud members of this community. We are active participants in multiple organizations that seek to improve the lives of everyone who lives in our neighborhood.

Schmaltz is one of the only Jewish restaurants in the area, and we are proud to support the local Jewish community and all members of our community. The Jewish community holds endless opinions and ideas and does not exist as a monolith. When an American Jewish business is targeted for the actions of another country and when Jews are lumped together when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is not productive, it is anti-Semitism.

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A lawyer by education, David Lange - founder and managing editor of Israellycool - found his calling in advocating for Israel and the Jewish people. He is available for public speaking engagements.