ADL issues security alert after anti-Semitic fliers found at East Bay synagogues

Updated on Sept. 11

The San Francisco-based chapter of the Anti-Defamation League issued a community security advisory after anti-Semitic fliers by a far-right group were found posted at or near five East Bay synagogues.

The fliers, which depict Infowars owner Alex Jones with a Jewish star covering his mouth and caricatures of two hook-nosed Jews laughing in the background, say at the bottom that they’re “brought to you by your local Stormer Book Club.”

The fliers proclaim, “The Jews came for the Daily Stormer, and I said nothing … they are coming for your free speech next!”

image001

At Temple Beth Sholom in San Leandro, a board member found one of the anti-Semitic fliers on the ground in front of the synagogue on Aug. 30. The synagogue has since issued a statement saying it was taking additional security measures during the High Holidays.

“These hate groups stand for the very opposite of our values of love and inclusivity,” the synagogue’s statement said. “We are fortunate to have a warm and close-knit community that will not be cowed by attempts to intimidate.”

The other targeted synagogues were not named because, per ADL policy, complainants’ names are not released without their permission.

“It is important to balance the value of shining a light on hate to inform the public and expose the prevalence of extremism with the right to privacy and denial of the attention this fringe group desperately craves,” said ADL regional director Seth Brysk.

The ADL said Daily Stormer Book Club chapters, or SBCs, are “small crews of young white men who follow and support Andrew Anglin and his neo-Nazi website, the Daily Stormer.”

Anglin, who launched the Daily Stormer in 2013, did not respond to an email from J. seeking comment.

Infowars promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including the claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a hoax. Jones and Infowars were permanently suspended last week by Twitter, following similar bans enacted last month by YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Spotify.

The warning from the ADL’s Central Pacific Region advises Jewish institutions to connect with local law enforcement to discuss security and review their own security arrangements.

“ADL is communicating with relevant law enforcement agencies and Secure Community Network about this situation, although it does not appear that any crime has been committed to this point,” the organization said yesterday in an email.

“We are unaware of any acts of violence committed by SBCs. Regardless, and keeping in mind that the High Holy Days are about to begin, we recommend that Jewish community organizations revisit and reassess their security plans, measures and procedures.”

The Secure Community Network is the national homeland security initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Rob Gloster

Rob Gloster is J.'s senior writer. He can be reached at rob@jweekly.com.