Palm Beach County Inundated With Antisemitic Leaflets in Latest Hate Campaign Against Jews, Authorities Say

Antisemitic Florida leaflets
Florida authorities say they are dealing with a deluge of antisemitic leaflets. Twitter

Florida has been the target of several antisemitic attacks, authorities say, from hate-filled leaflets to illuminating Nazi symbols on the sides of buildings.

Police in Florida's Palm Beach County spent the weekend gathering antisemitic leaflets encased in plastic bags, which were thrown from moving vehicles onto front lawns across the area, authorities said.

The state has been targeted by a series of hate-filled rhetoric against Jews including racist literature and a swastika being illuminated against the side of building, officials said.

Several littering citations were issued over the weekend to drivers and passengers who allegedly threw the bags, which were weighted down with pebbles and animal food, authorities said.

“Unfortunately the First Amendment does not discriminate against hatemongers, so they are entitled to their expression of their views, whether we agree or not,” West Palm Beach Police spokesman Mike Jachles said Sunday. “This is a welcome and diverse city. We don’t want it in our town.”

Jachles said residents flagged down a passing patrol car to report the offensive leaflets, which falsely claimed Jews were responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, police in the town of Palm Beach gathered similar fliers and issued littering citations.

The weekend's events followed like-minded packages being hurled onto people's propery last year in Miami Beach and Surfside.

"You can't sit idly by and assume it's just harmless stupidity. It's hate, let's call it what it is, it's hate," said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber at the time.

"We are a STRONG and PROUD people. There are Jews on all sides of the political spectrum, but TOGETHER we ALL rise arm-in-arm against you," Gelber posted on Twitter.

Earlier this month, swastikas were beamed onto the sides of buildings in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, according to antisemitic watchdog groups. Hate-filled leaflet campaigns were also conducted in Boca Raton.

“If anybody sees this, the best thing to do is not confront these people,” said Jachles, the West Palm Beach police spokesman. “They are looking for a confrontation. They are live-streaming this. They are looking to engage. So the best thing to do is not engage. Do not confront them.”

Palm Beach County Republican state Rep. Mike Caruso has introduced legislation to stiffen penalties for delivering hate speech.

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