Multiple cities in Los Angeles County were hit by appalling displays of antisemitism over the past week, stoking fears of escalation and potential violence against the Jewish community.
On Saturday, a white supremacist group known as the Goyim Defense League draped signs over a 405 freeway overpass that said "Kanye is right about the Jews.” That’s a reference to the rapper’s recent antisemitic rants, including a warning that he would “go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Some of the freeway demonstrators raised their arms in Nazi salutes.
Over the weekend, residents in Beverly Hills received antisemitic flyers for the fourth time in a year. About 25 flyers were delivered to an area north of Sunset Boulevard and west of Benedict Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills police said.
"These disgusting and evil acts of blatant antisemitism and Jew hatred hits me to the very core and fiber of my being," Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse said in a statement to Patch. "As a daughter of a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp, I will always bear witness and speak loudly without fear. While this is being described as Free Speech this is Hate Speech that is meant to divide us and intimidate us. We must stand united and stronger than ever. This is about humanity. I believe every religion, every culture and every race must drown out this hate that is evil darkness. We are stronger than hate. We will never be silenced. Hate will never win."
Similar flyers were distributed in the City of Los Angeles. Sam Yebri, a candidate for City Council, says he received a flyer blaming the COVID-19 pandemic on Jews at his Westwood home. The Los Angeles flyers referenced the same group that hung the antisemitic banners over the 405.
Both the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments are investigating these incidents. Jewish advocates say more needs to be done.
“It’s not just words,” Yebri, who previously served as an Anti-Defamation League board member, told the Los Angeles Times. “There is clearly a connection to white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements.”
On Tuesday, athletic clothing brand Adidas severed ties with Kanye West, heeding calls from Congresswoman and LA mayoral candidate Karen Bass as well as State Sen. Scott Wiener, vice-chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.