Missouri Student Admits to Damaging Display in Support of Israeli Hostages

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, an MU student pled guilty to second degree property damage in Columbia Municipal Court for flipping a display Shabbat table with symbolic place settings for Israeli hostages in Speakers Circle in November 2023. [Students Ilay] Kielmanowicz [of Mizzou Students Supporting Israel] and [Daniel] Swindell had set up two tables — one of which was arranged like a Shabbat table to show support for Israeli hostages. The other had “books and pamphlets about Israel and Jews and Zionism and the Israeli Palestinian conflict, which students were able to take,” Kielmanowicz said. The Shabbat table included fliers with photos of Israeli hostages that read “KIDNAPPED” above them.

The police report states that the student approached Swindell because he was wearing a garment that said “Zionist.” Swindell confirmed this detail, and Adam Kruse, Assistant City Prosecutor, cited it in court.

The student stated they found the display “insensitive and offensive,” according to Kielmanowicz. The two engaged in a conversation about display and the Israel-Hamas war until the student reportedly flipped over the volunteers’ Shabbat table, breaking the place settings consisting of Swindell’s dishes.

“The university is committed to ensuring everyone on our campus continues to have the right to demonstrate in a peaceful manner,” Christian Basi of the MU News Bureau wrote in a statement to The Maneater. “We will not tolerate actions that disrupt others[‘] rights to demonstrate or exercise their free speech rights.”

UPDATE: I erroneously omitted the sentence: “a year of probation, 20 hours of community service and a court fee of $31.50.”

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