A video of pro-Palestinian protesters in Skokie, a suburb of Chicago, attacking a young man escorting a visibly Jewish couple outside of the Lincolnwood Town Center has drawn more attention to how the war between Hamas and Israel is being fought outside of the Middle East.
The white-bearded Jewish man, who wore a black hat and black suit, is seen in a video clip walking with a younger, bareheaded man, who is the attacked and beaten by men carrying Palestinian flags, some wearing kaffiyehs.
The couple reportedly were walking past the shopping center after leaving a local synagogue where a Solidarity with Israel rally was being held on Sunday. About 200 pro-Palestinian counter-demonstrators were marching near the event, according to local reports.
Peter Christos, a member of the Turning Point USA organization, in a post on the X social media platform on Monday identified himself as the victim in the attack.
“Yesterday in Skokie, myself & @TPUSA coworker were violently attacked by Pro-Hamas protestors while trying to escort a lost, elderly Jewish couple to the Pro-Israel event. I was punched repeatedly, kicked in the head, and hit with a flagpole. This is being Pro-Israel in 2023,” the post said.
Three people, including a Chicago police officer, were pepper sprayed during the rally and the organizer of the pro-Palestinian rally told local media he saw someone fire a gun. The pro-Palestinian protest has been scheduled to be held in downtown Chicago, but moved to Skokie after they learned of the support of Israel event.
Cook County state’s attorney’s office on Tuesday announced that it would not file charges against a man who fired a gun near the pro-Palestinian protest.
The incident comes a week after the murder of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy who was stabbed to death by his landlord in what is believed to be a hate crime sparked by the war between Israel and Hamas.
On Monday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is Jewish, called for calm during a meeting with the Arab American Bar Association.
"I realize there are things happening in the world away that affect people's reactions, emotional and otherwise. But, again, we live here. We are all neighbors with one another. Illinoisans stand up for one another," Pritzker said, according to local media.