Residents of several Cedar Rapids neighborhoods discovered flyers advertising antisemitism, anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion rights ideologies scattered in lawns and streets Sunday and Monday.
The advocacy organization fighting antisemitism – StopAntisemitism – has attributed the antisemitic flyers to the Goyim Defense League. The league travels the country distributing these hateful flyers targeted Jewish communities. Earlier this week, GDL members were distributing similar flyers in neighboring towns.
Posts warning about the flyers have been posted on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Nextdoor. The Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association, for one, advised residents on Facebook who find the flyers to photograph them and then throw them away.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department has received multiple reports about the flyers and officers are investigating, according to department spokesperson.
“I think it’s horrible that this stuff keeps showing up even in today’s age. It’s sad more than anything else that we have to deal with it regularly,” said Rabbi Todd Thalblum of Temple Judah, a Jewish temple in southeast Cedar Rapids.
Similar flyers were distributed in December in Coralville, near the Agudas Achim synagogue at 401 E. Oakdale Blvd. Synagogue leaders said at the time that after the flyers were discovered, they received an outpouring of support from community members.
Rabbi Thalblum said that even though antisemitic views continue to be shared nationally, he doesn’t see it very often in Cedar Rapids.
“I think we’re relatively insulated here in Iowa. Most people are very friendly and nice. We’ve been in our part of the neighborhood for a long time and have a really nice relationship with all of our neighbors,” Thalblum said. “I feel very blessed to be here in Iowa, because I know it’s worse in a lot of other places.”