(LOS ANGELES) — Antisemitic flyers blaming Jewish people for health, environmental, racial and social issues were distributed in the Los Angeles city of Beverly Hills over the weekend, according to police.
Westwood resident Sam Yebri posted images of the flyers to Twitter on Sunday, saying he and his neighbors found them on their properties.
“You never expect something like that to be on the on the doorstep of your home,” Yebri, a Jewish refugee from Iran, told ABC News. “My family was forced to flee our homeland when I was a year old because of antisemitism and violence, so to see some of the same ideas, Jewish conspiracy theories, pop up at our home it’s really terrifying.”
Beverly Hills police said they collected the flyers and are investigating the incident. But residents like Yebri worry that the perpetrators will continue to go unpunished, making others feel more confident to do the same.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Major Crimes Division said it is also investigating similar flyers distributed in its jurisdiction. The flyers did not contain any specific threats to life or property, according to police.
On Saturday, a neo-Nazi hate group hung banners over the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, seemingly in support of antisemitic comments made by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, earlier this month.
It is unclear if the flyers distributed in Beverly Hills were directly connected to the freeway demonstrators.
According to the Anti-Defamation League’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents published in May, antisemitic incidents including assault, harassment and vandalism reached a record high in 2021, 42 years after the organization began tracking them in 1979.
“This is an outrageous effort to fan the flames of antisemitism gripping the nation,” Jeffrey Abrams, Anti-Defamation League’s Los Angeles regional director, said in a statement on Sunday.
This past weekend’s events were not the first of their kind. Similar fliers were also reported by Beverley Hills residents earlier this year on Passover and by Westwood, San Marino and Pasadena residents on Yom Kippur. Other attacks have not been so passive, however. Assaults and mass shootings targeted against Jews have left a devastating mark on California and the nation as a whole in recent years.
Rabbi Noah Farkas, president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, issued a statement to ABC News, calling out the banners and flyers and raising an alarm over the increasingly frequent antisemitic acts.
“Vicious and slanderous antisemitic attacks like this one are repugnant to who we are as Americans. Unfortunately, incidents like this are on the rise in the United States and globally,” he said, adding, “But the Jewish community is as vigilant as ever and together are standing up to antisemitism and all forms of hate.”
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Karen Bass called Ye and Adidas out for “enabling and financing his hate.” Mayoral candidate Rick Caruso expressed his solidary for the Jewish community and said the city “cannot tolerate hatred in any form.”
In a statement, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “This weekend’s public display of antisemitic hate is another wake-up call to all of us that we must remain vigilant to protect our values and freedoms as Californians.”
“Our state is committed to protecting our diverse communities and will continue to lead the fight against racial, ethnic, and religious hate wherever it rears its ugly head,” he added.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke Monday on behalf of President Joe Biden to address antisemitism in the U.S.
“When racism or antisemitism rears its ugly head, he [Biden] is going to call that out,” Jean-Pierre said during a briefing. “It is ugly, it is dangerous, it is despicable, and he believes that we should as leaders… we should be calling this out.”
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.