Beverly Hills police are investigating antisemitic flyers found around the southwest side of the city Saturday, City Council members said in a statement.
This is the second wave of antisemitic flyers found in the area, after similar flyers were found on Nov. 28, the first day of Hanukkah.
Around 11:43 p.m. Saturday, police received a call from a resident reporting the flyers, according to a statement from the City Council. Police collected around 200 flyers from sidewalks, driveways and front yards, said Lt. Giovanni Trejo, public information officer for the department.
The flyers, much like in November’s incident, were a single-page piece of paper in a plastic bag weighed down with rice. The paper included “propaganda style hate speech related to the COVID pandemic and the Jewish people,” according to City Council.
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Antisemitic flyers were also found in Pasadena on Sunday, similarly packaged with pebbles to weigh them down.
“As a City that is made up of a diverse population and being one of the only Jewish-majority cities outside of Israel, the City condemns this unwarranted hate speech that has been unsuccessfully used to disparage a community that has, and always will, stand strong together and fight hatred of any kind,” City Council members said in a statement.
In November, the flyers were found on a couple blocks in the northeast area of the city, Mayor Bob Wunderlich told the Patch after the first flyer incident.
Police have not yet made a connection between the two incidents but continue to collect video evidence through their investigation, Trejo said.
The city increased patrols in response to the first flyer incident, Wunderlich said, especially around religious institutions. The city will increase police patrols once again and increase private security, City Council said.
Though an incident such as the flyers is upsetting, it doesn’t come as a surprise, Wunderlich said. Beverly Hills has been the target of antisemitism before and likely will be again, he said. Wunderlich referenced the 2019 vandalism of Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills, which was investigated as a hate crime.
“Frankly, it’s not a surprise because there is antisemitism in the world and [this is] a city with a large Jewish population. … It’s happened before that Beverly Hills becomes a target for some of the antisemitism,” Wunderlich said. “It’s always very unsettling when it happens but also one can’t say it’s a total surprise.”
See Also: Beverly Hills Synagogue Ransacked By Vandal; Suspect Sought
The format of the incident was also particularly frustrating, Wunderlich said, given the flyers also took aim at the pandemic.
“At a time that it should be in the interest of all of us to try to prevent the persistence of the pandemic, at a time that the new variant is getting people concerned — the omicron variant — you would hope people would not propagate conspiracy theories and would try to follow the best scientific and medical advice,” Wunderlich said.