SKOKIE, Ill. — Some Skokie residents posted ‘I stand with Israel’ signs in their front yards in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas. Those signs were vandalized Thursday night in what Skokie police are investigating as a hate crime.
“We are American citizens and we are Jewish and Israel is our home away from home, and we just put these signs up to show the world that we stand with Israel,” said Leah Graber, Skokie resident.
For the Graber family, they said the sign in their front yard is a symbol of love and peace. But it and others in their neighborhood were vandalized overnight — ripped out — some even torn to pieces. Leah’s kids noticed the damage when they left for school Friday morning.
“They saw it and they thought it was the wind and I knew, I knew it wasn’t the wind when I looked around and saw others had theirs taken away also,” Graber said. “The antisemitism hits home.”
One of Graber’s neighbors captured on their doorbell camera what appeared to be three vandals with signs in their hands overnight. Skokie police said they are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime, noting it happened at eight locations in the neighborhood from south of Church Street and east of Kostner Avenue, but neighbors said the crime was even more widespread.
“It’s a minimum of 100 houses this happened at, which is incredibly scary, highly problematic,” said Annie Warshaw. “We’re all terrified. I’m a granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. All of us, this is just in our bodies.”
The Grabers have already replaced their sign, vowing to stay resilient in the face of hate.
“And I’m going to get five more, ten more,” Leah Graber said.
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