Police across the United States urged Jewish communities to remain vigilant this weekend after a neo-Nazi group declared a national “Day of Hate” on Saturday (Feb. 25).
The nationwide antisemitic hate fest was organized by a small neo-Nazi group based in eastern Iowa, the ADL said. However, the effort attracted the admiration of several other hate groups who said they would participate in the event.
Among those was the Goyim Defense League (GDL), whose propaganda allegedly motivated the suspect in last week’s shooting attack on two Jewish men in Los Angeles as they were returning from synagogue.
GDL operates GoyimTV, a video platform that streams antisemitic content, and espouses its vitriolic antisemitism and white supremacist themes via the internet, through propaganda distributions and in street actions.
Neo-Nazi Call to Action
At least one domestic violent extremist (DVE) shared message on social media urged readers to join in “a day of MASS ANTI-SEMITIC ACTION.
BREAKING: New York Police issue dire warning to Jewish Communities of Nazi "Day of Hate".
No this is not 1933. Its America in 2023. But we are not afraid. We will fight back.
— Avi Abraham Benlolo (@AviBenlolo) February 24, 2023
“We are calling on all fighters of truth and justice to take a stand and expose the international clique of parasitic vermin that infest our nation today,” the post reads.
“Make your voices heard loud and clear, that the one true enemy of the American people is the Jews.
“We refuse to capitulate to the wishes of the anti-white establishment, that our race be subverted and controlled by the devil’s chosen few. The people demand White Power!” the post continues.
“Shock the masses with banner drops, stickers, fliers and graffiti. Inaction in unacceptable. The time to stand up for your people is today. Take pictures and videos of your activism.
New York City
The New York Police Department and others in the metro New York area announced they were stepping up their presence this weekend at locations like houses of worship in response to the threat.
The NYPD noted that there were no specific, identified threats in the city, but would add resources in an abundance of caution.
“We urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant, and if you see anything suspicious, please call 1-888-NYC-SAFE,” a police spokesperson said.
Police in Lakewood, New Jersey, likewise noted they had seen no “credible information to suggest that these threats will impact New Jersey,” but added there would be additional on-duty officers in marked and unmarked cars to ensure residents’ safety.
Lakewood is home to a sizeable Orthodox Jewish population.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to surge additional resources, calling on local law enforcement to be ready to respond to any “National Day of Hate” activities.
At the direction of @GovRonDeSantis, FDLE is surging additional resources and calling on local law enforcement agencies to address the coordinated “National Day of Hate” efforts seen across the nation. https://t.co/5pW7w5p1ee pic.twitter.com/0YY9X9fXQo
— FDLE (@fdlepio) February 24, 2023
“Any individual or group who criminally harasses or threatens violence against Florida’s faith-based community will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” FDLE wrote in a statewide law enforcement bulletin.
“While there are currently no known threats or protests planned in Florida over the weekend, there have been recent acts of violence toward the Jewish community, and we ask our citizens to be vigilant and report suspicious activity,” the bulletin said.
‘Do Not Let Terrorists Win’
The American Jewish Committee, while taking the threat seriously, nevertheless tweeted, “This is nothing more than an attempt to scare Jews and push them to hide their Jewish identities. We continue to monitor these threats and urge all to be safe and vigilant.”
Numerous synagogues sent out an email prior to Shabbat on Friday, urging their members to show up and come to services despite the threats.
“This is the best response to antisemitism – to be MORE Jewish,” the email read.
“Do not let terrorists win. We stand together as Jews. We stand with our Muslim friends who face harassment, we stand with those who are Black inside our Jewish community and outside who face racism every day. We must be visible, and we must SHOW UP,” the email concluded.
Neo-Nazis Harass Theatergoers and Others
This past Tuesday, a group of neo-Nazi protesters harassed theatergoers as they lined up to see the new Broadway revival of “Parade,” a show that tells the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish man lynched in 1915 after being wrongfully convicted for the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl. A subsequent legal review proved Frank was wrongfully charged.
“The irony should not be lost on anyone that these antisemitic extremists decided to protest a play that details the true story of the lynching of an innocent Jewish man by an antisemitic mob and used it as an opportunity to spread conspiracy theories and hate,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.
In the past week, the ADL has also tracked shooting attacks against Jewish people in the streets of Los Angeles, antisemitic demonstrations in front of a Chabad Jewish center in Florida and increases in the distribution of antisemitic propaganda in cities across the nation.
‘Have We Learned Nothing?’
“How can it be that less than a century after the Holocaust, a Neo-Nazi group in the US calls for a National Day of Hate against the Jews – and there’s no uproar?” Israel Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog wrote Friday in a tweet.
“Have we learned nothing? Have we forgotten that words lead to actions? I pray for a peaceful Shabbat for everyone.”