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White Supremacist Group Targets Kansas Chabad Jewish Center

Within the past week, antisemitic flyers have been found in west Lawrence neighborhoods, distributed by the known white supremacist group ‘Goyim Defense League’ or GDL. GDL is headed up by known bigot Jon Minadeo II, featured as a former ‘Antisemite of the Week’ by watchdog group StopAntisemitism.

According to Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel of the KU Chabad Center, the flyers described antisemitic conspiracies relating to COVID-19 and listed names of Jewish individuals working in the CDC, blaming them for the pandemic.

“The content was conspiracies that the world’s problems, particularly as it relates to COVID, should be blamed on [those] who are of the Jewish faith.”

In response to the flyers, Tiechtel said that these flyers do not present an immediate threat to the community and that there is no sense of panic surrounding their appearance.

“We’ve been working closely with KU Public Safety as well as the Lawrence Police Department,” he said.

Additionally, Tiechtel noted that it is believed that this is an isolated incident and not local to Lawrence.

“Lawrence and KU are very diverse and welcoming communities, and we believe that this is not even a local thing,” Tiechtel said. “There’s been exact similar papers distributed in the same fashion across the country.”

The Chabad Center also sent out a statement relating to the appearance of these flyers.

“This shallow and foolish nonsense is a product of the dark ages when such accusations and blood libels were used to blame the Jewish community for all sorts of grievances,” the statement said. “We regret that such backward ideas have not been left on the ash-heap of history,”

Tiechtel asks that in response to this activity, individuals actively disavow hate and spread light instead.

“[The spreading of the flyers] becomes a mandate and a calling for citizens of this city, including the students, to be proactive in spreading light and acceptance,” he said. “We need to do our part […] when something like this appears in our community.”

The Lawrence Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

The Chabad Center encourages those feeling concerned about the flyers or seeking any kind of support to text “Help Me” to 785-264-4477, their 24-hour text line.