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‘Goyim Defense League’ (GDL) Harasses Illinois Suburb with Anti-Jewish Flyers

Cardboard flyers displaying antisemitic messages and linked to a known hate group were found on cars in a residential area of Brookfield earlier this week.

According to the Brookfield Police Department, residents found the flyers Tuesday morning on “the windshields of most vehicles” that were parked on the street on the 3200 and 3300 blocks of Sunnyside Avenue and the 3100-3300 blocks of Vernon Avenue. Police received several calls from residents about the flyers as early as 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. One resident on the 3900 block of Sunnyside Avenue told police he found one flyer in a planter in front of his house and another in his backyard that morning. There was no damage done to any of the cars or proof that whoever left them “entered private property,” police said.

Brookfield Police Chief Michael Kuruvilla said in a phone call Wednesday he found the flyers “disturbing” and “abhorrent.”

“We want all people to feel safe and be safe in the community,” he said.

According to police, officers attempted to track down security footage from the neighborhood after residents called to complain about the flyers. They found 22 Ring cameras on the affected blocks, but only one house’s security camera had viewable material.

The footage showed a person of “average build” placing a flyer on a car parked on the east side of the road around 11:30 p.m. Monday before heading north on foot out of sight, police said. Two minutes later, the person was captured by the camera walking south and placing several flyers on cars on the west side of the road. According to police, the video was “foggy” and of low quality, rendering the person who placed the flyers “unidentifiable.”

While police did not include the content of any of the antisemitic messages in their reports, one user in the Brookfield Connections group on Facebook posted an image of a flyer left on a car Tuesday morning. The web address gtvflyers.com was written at the bottom. None of the flyers made specific threats to anyone who found one on their car, police said.

According to police, that web address was written on every flyer. It leads to a website called GoyimTV Flyers that displays several infographics and images promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories. The website says it was created by the Goyim Defense League.

The Jewish advocacy group StopAntisemitism has been tracking the activities of those responsible – the Goyim Defense League’ or ‘GDL’ for over five years and state they vilify Jews with their premeditated hate campaigns.

The website also links to GoyimTV, a video streaming website run by the GDL that publishes antisemitic content. In 2022, HuffPost reported the GDL was “likely behind” the distribution of antisemitic flyers in 19 states.

Kuruvilla said the police department is investigating the flyers and is taking them “very seriously,” but the case may not result in charges or a conviction because police have yet to identify whoever left the flyers. He also said the incident “would be considered under federal law a hate incident” rather than a hate crime because no direct victim was known yet, “regardless of ethnic or religious descent.”

“We don’t have enough for criminal charges yet,” Kuruvilla said. “We don’t want to overreach if we don’t have the elements of a criminal offense that we can prosecute.”