In the latest in a series of similar incidents, antisemitic flyers related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been distributed in Florida and California.
In both cases, the flyers espoused conspiracy theories holding Jews responsible for pandemic measures, and were weighted down in plastic bags with either rice or rocks — the modus operandi in previous such campaigns over the past year.
“This morning hundreds of homes in our community found plastic bags outside their homes filled with a hateful antisemitic flyer and small pebbles,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber tweeted Sunday. “As a precaution we’ve increased patrols in our neighborhoods and and at religious institutions.”
He called on residents who had received flyers and those who may have captured relevant images on surveillance cameras to contact the Miami Beach Police Department, which said it was investigating the incident.
“There is no place for this in our community and we will do all we can to make that point clear,” Gelber said.
Flyers were also found in Surfside, a heavily Jewish neighborhood in the Miami area, local outlet 7News reported.
One Miami Beach resident commented, “Now I have more fear in my heart, and I’m distrustful of more people.”
Those who sent the flyers, they told the network, are “accomplishing their mission.”
Also this weekend, dozens of similar flyers were placed outside homes in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, local Fox affiliate KTVU reported Monday.
“It instills a certain amount of fear in the community when you have people walking through your neighborhood distributing this kind of garbage and promoting a very extreme ideology,” Anti-Defamation League regional director Seth Brysk commented.
Proclaiming that “every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish” and labelling various medical and government officials as “Jewish,” the flyers appear to be largely identical to those that have previously been distributed across the US by a hate group called the “Goyim Defense League.” In one surge of apparently coordinated incidents over a weekend in December, communities in eight different states were targeted.
Carla Hill — associate director of the Center on Extremism of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — told The Algemeiner at the time that the founder of the “GDL,” Jon Minadeo Jr., used offers of $100 of merchandise to any supporters who engaged in propaganda distribution. Minadeo is also the founder of an online merchandise store called “Goyim Gear,” which deals in T-shirts glorifying Adolf Hitler, the Waffen SS and other individuals and groups lionized by white supremacists.
Hill explained that the group’s method was to tour the US staging high profile incidents, which are then filmed and shared with “GDL” supporters on the group’s video streaming channel and its channel on the Telegram app. The videos are accompanied by appeals for donations. The group has organized tours in California, Texas and other states involving small convoys of supporters bearing signs such as “The Jews Want a Race War,” “Vax the Jews” and similar epithets.
Despite the fact that the “GDL” is a “small network of individuals,” Hill said that the group’s voice is “much louder because it has thousands of supporters.”
Editor’s note: this article has been updated
1st published by The Algemeiner.