Nassau officials have expressed outrage over the distribution of antisemitic flyers in the Five Towns.
A sizable Jewish community lives in the Five Towns, an informal collection of hamlets and villages on Nassau County’s south shore. Similar hateful flyers appeared in Rockville Centre and Oceanside last month.
Authorities suspect that both incidents were conducted by the Goyim Defense League, a collection of antisemitic internet trolls and conspiracy theorists.
Once again, local officials are denouncing the incident. County Executive Bruce Blakeman said officials will investigate security footage from houses and businesses as well as license plate readers.
“It is a small group and we are monitoring them,” he said. “If they cross the line, they will feel the full brunt of the law.”
Hempstead authorities, including Supervisor Don Clavin, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and Councilwoman Melissa Miller, denounced the distribution of the flyers in a joint statement. They promised to assist the police in their investigation of the incident.
“Yet again a local community has been blanketed with hateful, antisemitic flyers that propagate lies and dangerous falsehoods targeting our Jewish neighbors,” it reads. “This disgusting display of prejudice has no place in our hometown or anywhere in this country. We are outraged that such vile conspiracists think they have a platform to spread their evil message. It will not be tolerated in the Town of Hempstead.”
Since the flyers were first discovered, the three Hempstead Town officials have been in constant communication with the local Jewish communities.
State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Carle Place), born to an Iranian Jewish family, said she will continue to speak out against antisemitism.
“This latest antisemitic trash is just another example of the rampant antisemitism and hate being peddled by far-right extremists on Long Island,” she said. “We must remain united as a community in standing against these shameful groups and their un-American beliefs.”
In May, a march led by the male-only, neo-fascist organization Proud Boys went through Rockville Centre. Last month, the flyers distributed linked Judaism to Joe Biden’s presidency. It also asserted that Jews were attempting to control the entire planet.
The new flyer claims Jews own the media. It also responds to the criticisms from government officials and media over last month’s incident.
“You don’t support free speech?” it reads. “YOU ARE NOT AN AMERICAN.”
The flyer states its sponsors are not targeting a particular community. The group claims its goal is to raise awareness of the “Jewish mafia that has hijacked our country.”
A recent Anti-Defamation League report said New York continues to lead American cities in recorded antisemitic incidents.
In 2021, the 416 occurrences reported made up a 24% increase over the 336 instances the organization recorded in 2020. It accounted for 15% of all reported antisemitic events nationwide.
To combat antisemitism, Nassau County officials established a special legislative task force in January. They promoted preventive measures like community cooperation and education along with the causes and prevalence of local antisemitism. Blakeman led the group’s first gathering in May.
Last month, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said county police and local authorities were working together to identify the flyer’s distributors. He said the ADL got in touch with the police and offered to help.