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Rubio, Colleagues Urge Investigation Into Pro-Hamas, Anti-Veteran Vandals

Jan 17, 2024 | Press Releases

The men and women who serve in the U.S. military exemplify the best of America: sacrifice, determination, and bravery. Last week, pro-Hamas supporters vandalized the Los Angeles National Cemetery, disrespecting veterans and violating federal law. 

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging him to investigate the pro-Hamas criminals for their disgraceful and illegal actions. 

  • “Pro-Hamas radicals and terrorist sympathizers must immediately face consequences for their immoral and illegal tactics. Therefore, we urge the DOJ to prosecute the pro-Hamas activists responsible for defacing the Los Angeles National Cemetery, given their clear violation of federal law.”

Joining Rubio were Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jim Risch (R-ID), Ted Budd (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Susan Collins (R-ME).

The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Attorney General Garland:

We write to urge the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to immediately prosecute pro-Hamas activists defacing national cemeteries run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. On January 8, 2024, several media outlets reported that pro-Hamas extremists vandalized the Los Angeles National Cemetery, where more than 80,000 veterans are buried. The vandalism included the word “INTIFADA” spray-painted on the grounds of the cemetery. In addition, these activists also spray-painted the phrase “FREE GAZA,” as well as an upside-down red triangle – a symbol used by the Nazis in concentration camps to categorize and identify prisoners.

The defacement of the Los Angeles National Cemetery is disgusting, anti-American, and a testament as to how far pro-Hamas extremists will go to advocate on behalf of a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Federal law explicitly prohibits individuals from “willfully injur[ing] or destroy[ing]…any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.” The conduct by pro-Hamas extremists at the Los Angeles National Cemetery fits squarely into the conduct described by law.

Veterans represent the best of America. The men and women who serve in the U.S. military exemplify the sacrifice, determination, and bravery that all Americans should strive for. Like those currently serving in our military, the veterans buried at the Los Angeles National Cemetery fought to protect the fundamental rights of all Americans in countless wars, even the rights of Americans who lack the moral clarity to condemn terrorism.

Pro-Hamas radicals and terrorist sympathizers must immediately face consequences for their immoral and illegal tactics. Therefore, we urge the DOJ to prosecute the pro-Hamas activists responsible for defacing the Los Angeles National Cemetery, given their clear violation of federal law.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,