A radical group that has railed against "colonizing Israeli scum" defaced the Washington, D.C.-area office of an Israeli defense company with graffiti reading "Free Palestine" and "War Criminals Work Here."
Palestine Action U.S. vandalized the Arlington, Va., offices of Elbit America late Sunday night, the group claimed on X, formerly Twitter. Members of the group smeared red paint on the doors to Elbit’s building and spray painted "Shut Elbit Down" and "We Will Be Back!" on the entrance. The group boasted on X that this was "the THIRD Elbit location hit in one night in the U.S.," part of a coordinated attack that also included offices in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Elbit America's parent company, Elbit Systems, is a frequent target of anti-Israel activism, thanks to its work providing the Jewish state with counterterrorism equipment.
The attack comes days after thousands of anti-Israel activists descended on the nation’s capital to protest the Biden administration’s support for the Jewish state as it battles Hamas terrorists. Members of Palestine Action U.S. were among the protesters, some of whom were heard shouting "Allahu Akbar" as they vandalized local businesses and attempted to scale the White House fence. Only one person has been arrested in conjunction with the protests, Fox News reported.
We’re out here in DC getting folks ready for action
— Palestine Action US (@Pal_ActionUS) November 4, 2023
On X, Palestine Action U.S. frequently hurls invective against Israel, calling Israelis "genocidal maniacs" and "colonizing Israeli scum" and calling for the eradication of the "Zionist beast." Such anti-Semitic rhetoric is hardly surprising, according to Foundation for Defense of Democracies founder and president Clifford May.
"Those shouting and scribbling ‘Free Palestine’ have never cared about freedom in Gaza, ruled by Hamas with an iron fist since 2007," May told the Washington Free Beacon. "What they mean is Jew-free—Judenfrei is the word the Nazis used. These people should be carrying tiki torches."
A spokesman for the Arlington County Police Department told the Free Beacon that the department had opened an investigation in response to an online report "alleging" that "between 2:15 a.m. and 2:35 a.m. on November 6, unknown suspects threw paint on a commercial building and wrote comments regarding Palestine and the company occupying the property." Elbit America told the Free Beacon that it is "dedicated to the mission of creating innovative solutions that protect and save lives" and that it "will continue to work closely with local officials to ensure safety for all."
Following an Oct. 12 protest outside its Cambridge, Mass., factory, Elbit Systems told Newsweek it "unequivocally condemns Hamas and its barbaric acts of terrorism" and "stand[s] with Israel and its people as they defend their country and citizens."
Palestine Action U.S. is an offshoot of Palestine Action, a British group that has targeted Elbit Systems offices across the United Kingdom and which has blamed Israel for the Hamas attacks that have left at least 1,400 Israelis dead.
"The violence began when Zionist militia, backed by Britain, began the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, destruction and theft of their land," the group wrote on X hours after Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7. "Despite the asymmetry in resources and military power, Palestinians are resisting and taking their land back!"
The violence began when Zionist militia, backed by Britain, began the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, destruction and theft of their land. Despite the asymmetry in resources and military power, Palestinians are resisting and taking their land back!
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) October 7, 2023
The group’s American offshoot has been quite busy since launching on Oct. 19. The group spray painted "Death to Israel" and "Glory to our Martyrs" outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4. Boasting about the graffiti on X, the group wrote, "Resistance will win. Israel will fall. Palestine will be free."
We’re glad the Israeli Embassy liked our graffiti. Resistance will win. Israel will fall. Palestine will be free. https://t.co/4So2hkhndv
— Palestine Action US (@Pal_ActionUS) November 5, 2023
The day prior, Palestinian Action U.S. vandalized the offices of the American Enterprise Institute, which it accused of "Zionist War Mongering" and "pushing hard for unconditional US support of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people."
🚨 Actionists in DC paid a visit to the American Enterprise Institute, a Zionist War Mongering "think tank" that was a big force behind the Iraq war and is today (20 Years Later) pushing hard for unconditional US support of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people pic.twitter.com/g4vxQjvVOK
— Palestine Action US (@Pal_ActionUS) November 3, 2023
Elbit Systems provides Israel with counterterrorism surveillance technology and precision missiles the Israel Defense Forces use to combat terrorists. The company’s work with Israel has made it a frequent target of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which wages economic war on Israel. Elbit was a major target of the financial giant Morningstar's anti-Israel corporate ratings system, the Free Beacon reported.
Update Nov. 7 10:00 a.m.: This piece has been updated with new information from the Arlington County Police Department.
Update Nov. 8 1:32 p.m.: This piece has been updated with comment from Elbit America.