Over the weekend, Jewish Americans from Long Island to Jacksonville, Florida, and other cities across the US received an unwelcome and disturbing delivery—antisemitic flyers in plastic bags (along with some gravel to weigh them down) from white supremacists on their driveways. The literature blamed Jewish people for COVID-19 and claimed they wanted a “race war.”
Some flyer headlines contained conspiracy theories like “Every single aspect of gun control is Jewish” and “COVID agenda is Jewish.” For me, I am only surprised it took this long to blame the Jews for COVID. Many Jews in Europe were killed in the 1300s, after being accused of causing the plague—even though it had already wreaked havoc in the Far East.
“We’re right across the street from a school,” Jacksonville resident Amber Wilson said. “Lots of kids live here. We don’t want this kind of stuff here. It feels really violating knowing that was even in this neighborhood.”
This weekend’s distribution is the most recent in a series of antisemitic flyer incidents around the US, most tied to the white nationalist group, Goyim Defamation League (GDL).
“Extremely disturbed to learn of another incident of antisemitic flyer distribution on Long Island, this time in Freeport,” reported the New York/New Jersey chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “We continue to speak out against this hate and antisemitism, which has no place in our community.”
Earlier this month, the GDL distributed similar antisemitic flyers to Jewish homes in Nashville, Tennessee. The flyers also claimed that the mass immigration crisis in the US was all a Jewish plot and featured several American politicians with a Star of David on their foreheads.
The GDL also apparently likes to bring up another old trope—that the Jewish people contain the media (and Hollywood). In late July, the GDL papered neighborhood driveways in Redding, California, with more of their propaganda—featuring headlines such as “Every single aspect of the media is Jewish” and “6 Jewish corporations own 96% of the media.”
At a conservative students’ event in Tampa last month as well, Neo-Nazis showed up, waving swastikas and SS flags. They also distributed similar antisemitic pamphlets as the GDL ones outside the Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit in Tampa.
At the start of the year, in late January, hundreds of antisemitic flyers (in plastic bags, filled with gravel) papered the driveways of the Jewish community in Miami, Florida. Again, the message was the same—conspiracy theories linking the Jewish people to COVID.
And the antisemitic flyers are not just showing up on driveways and venues in America—the white supremacists have international distributors as well. Last month, a similar flyer showed up on the doorstep at a synagogue in Melbourne, Australia—this one also featuring the claim that the coronavirus pandemic has been cooked up by the Jewish people.
According to Stop Antisemitism, an organization that tracks antisemitic groups, the GDL has been circulating these libels and distributing the flyers for at least the last four years. Goyim Defamation League is an obvious play on the Anti-Defamation League, and the GDL is believed to be headed by Jon Minadeo Jr. from Petaluma, California.
And the GDL doesn’t limit its attacks to the printed word. In May, a few members of the white supremacist group dressed like Nazi brownshirts (and a Hasidic Jew!) harassed Jewish guests at the Beverly Hills Hilton by shouting, “The Nazis are coming!”
Minadeo also gained notoriety for hanging a sign off a Los Angeles freeway overpass in 2020, inviting motorists to “Honk if you know the Jews want a race war.”