More anti-Semitic flyers found in South Jersey
LINDENWOLD — The anti-Semitic flyers that were left at random Brigantine on Sunday were also found on sidewalks and lawns in another South Jersey town.
Brigantine police said the flyers were thrown randomly onto properties in the early morning hours but did not contain a specific threat. Their distribution is being investigated as a bias incident.
Lindenwold police said the flyers were found in the area of W. Linden Avenue, Columbia Avenue and State Avenue in plastic sandwich baggies weighted down by dried corn.
"The organization that seems to do this is connected to poisonous anti-Semitism and extremism and white supremacy messages. Their objective is to spread anti-Semitic myths and conspiracy theories in a public manner," Marcia Bronstein, Philadelphia/Southern NJ director for the American Jewish Committee, told New Jersey 101.5.
Bringing fear to Jewish communities
Bronstein said even without a threat the flyers have a specific purpose.
"They wish to harm Jewish communities, they wish to instill fear and even if there's no direct threat in the flyers what this action does is make Jews feel unsafe, especially at a time when anti-Semitism and hate crimes all over New Jersey have increased," Bronstein said. "One concern is that they could inspire more acts of hate."
Sadly anti-Semitism has been around for thousands of years with the same messages and conspiracy theories, Bronstein said.
"Jews have too much power. Jews control the media. Jews control politics. These ideas have been used to create massacres and the expulsion of Jews from Europe from medieval times to the early 1900s and ultimately the Holocaust and the genocide of six million Jews. It's the same messaging," Bronstein said.
Brownstein said that even if the flyers seem simple, words have meaning and can lead to other hateful actions.
"History has shown again and again that hurtful words can kill and they can demand physical attacks. Right now the most important thing is that law enforcement is brought into the process, that people understand what is going on and that people can play an important role in combating anti-Semitism and hate."
Learning about hate
Education is key and she said the American Jewish Committee has a website called "Translate Hate" that defines 36 anti-Semitic tropes and their definitions and how they are used in a contemporary setting.
"With these tropes, it's important to understand what they mean, and speaking out against anti-Semitic tropes is crucial. The guide helps people to understand how to report a hate crime and how to flag hateful messages on social media. Speaking out against it is a really important step," Bronstein said.
Bronstein said the AJC will be meeting with the mayor of Brigantine and their interfaith partners in the belief that anti-Semitism is something that must be tackled as a community.
"Jews are the victims but it's really a threat to our democracy. We're going to be working hard on making sure we don't give air space to hate," Bronstein said.
Investigators are also looking for video of anyone walking or driving and leaving the flyers.
An image of the message posted by CBS Philadelphia showed one side of the flyer with a British flag and a message that read, “America did not break free from a small country across the sea." On the other side, it says, "Just to get controlled by another small country across the sea years later" with an Israeli flag.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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