Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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White Supremacist Group ‘GDL’ Targets South Carolina Neighborhood

Antisemitic flyers in plastic sandwich bags were distributed to homes throughout Forest Acres earlier this month. The local police department is now investigating.

The material is thought to be part of a nationwide harassment campaign against Jewish residents, according to the police department. “We at the Forest Acres Police Department are very disturbed about these flyers and do not want them anywhere in our city,” reads a statement from the police department posted to Facebook Friday afternoon.

An image shared by the police department shows a flyer that reads, “Every single aspect of the media is Jewish” with logos of various national media companies. The police department blurred portions of the flyer where it showed images of a handful of media executives.

The police department became aware of the flyers June 18. A Forest Acres resident initially notified police of the flyers when she encountered them in people’s driveways while walking through a residential area. The material was left in plastic sandwich bags and seemingly weighed down with pet food.

Police have collected between 20-25 flyers, which are being processed for fingerprints.

The department spent the week investigating the source of the material and then determined it was not a local group, according to department spokesperson Lynnsey Baker. The department believes the material was left by a group of people traveling through the area.

“We are quite disturbed someone would come through our area and distribute these flyers,” said Forest Acres Police Chief Don Robinson. “We are not going to tolerate any antisemitic behavior. I find it extremely offensive and we are not going to tolerate it.”

The police department has been in contact with the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Forest Acres and is patrolling the area hourly. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is also monitoring Columbia’s Tree of Life Synagogue and the Chabad of South Carolina.

Rabbi Jonathan Case, who leads the Beth Shalom Synagogue, said he and his congregation are “painfully aware” of the rise of antisemitism both in the U.S. and globally.

While the flyers do not physically harm anyone, they foster hatred toward the Jewish community and signal the possibility for further discrimination, Case added.

He also raised the need for a hate crimes law in South Carolina that would give state officials teeth to fight against discriminatory actions like this one. Case acknowledged that the First Amendment affords people the freedom to express themselves, “but there’s a line crossed when those same rights and privileges are used as an axe” to attack minority groups, he said.

South Carolina is one of just three states without a state hate crimes law. Arkansas and Wyoming also lack such a law.

The Forest Acres police department notes that the flyers themselves are not criminal, but they are treating the investigation like a criminal matter.

Similar flyers have been found in major cities across the U.S. Identical flyers were found distributed on cars in downtown Atlanta in April, according to reporting by the Atlanta Jewish Times.

The flyers appear to be a coordinated effort by the antisemitic group “Goyim Defense League.” In 2021 that group was responsible for at least 74 antisemitic propaganda incidents, according to the nonprofit Stop Antisemitism.

That nonprofit has documented dozens of occasions when identical flyers were distributed in different parts of the country, as well as similar flyers that accuse Jewish residents of orchestrating everything from COVID-19 to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and other global events.

The nonprofit reported a rash of the propaganda in April, during the Jewish holiday Passover.

The antisemitic group associated with the flyers also runs a video platform with antisemitic content, including videos denying that the Holocaust occurred. The platform also contains many examples of white supremacist language.