An anti-Semitic House staffer on Wednesday confronted Jewish congressman Max Miller in the halls of the Cannon Office Building to say: "Free Palestine." For the Ohio Republican, a staunch Israel supporter, it's the sort of exchange that happens "every day."
In an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, Miller said he was speaking with NBC News's Ali Vitali outside of a coffee shop when the staffer approached him.
"We're just having a casual conversation, and out of nowhere, this guy beelines up to me visibly shaking—he's very upset in my presence because he's a snowflake," Miller told the Free Beacon." And he just comes right back up to me and was like, ‘Free Palestine.’ And I was like, ‘Okay.’ … I'm not going to give him a reaction because that's what he wants."
Miller said Vitali was shocked by the exchange. "She was like, ‘Wow, that was blatant anti-Semitism from a staffer, and you're a member of Congress,’" he continued. "And I said, ‘Ali, this happens to me every day. … And I hope that you say something about it.’" Vitali, who did not return a request for comment, refrained from calling the exchange anti-Semitic in a social media post, writing instead that it was "stunning to see staff challenge members to their faces this way."
Snapshot from the halls of the Hill: a House staffer just passed by GOP Rep. Max Miller —who is Jewish and has been supportive of sending aide to Israel— and said 'free Palestine." Pretty rare and stunning to see staff challenge members to their faces this way.
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) December 13, 2023
The ordeal comes as scores of congressional staffers stage anonymous protests to demand that their bosses support an Israeli ceasefire and otherwise lower their support for the Jewish state.
On Nov. 8, for example, more than 100 congressional staffers walked out of their jobs to demand a ceasefire against Hamas. While the staffers wore masks to conceal their identities, the Free Beacon identified one participant—Yousof Omeish, who serves as a staff assistant to Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.). Weeks later, on Tuesday, more than 140 congressional interns and fellows anonymously signed an open letter calling on Congress to support a ceasefire.
Miller, who is one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress, introduced the January resolution to remove anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has since emerged as a leading proponent of sending additional military aid to Israel. Miller told the Free Beacon he has not been able to identify the staffer who confronted him Wednesday but plans to "make it my mission to find out."
"This is only going to make me work 10 times harder," Miller told the Free Beacon. "This is only going to make me more proud to be a Jew. … We're going to be fine."