Georgia’s Jewish community needs support after antisemitic flyers found
Antisemitic flyers have been dropped on doorsteps in Athens. People in the Jewish community are begging lawmakers to give them more protection.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Antisemitic flyers have been dropped on doorsteps in Athens and other cities in Georgia. Now, many people in the Jewish community are begging lawmakers to give them more protection.
Mark Goldfeder with the National Jewish Advocacy Center said the Jewish community in Georgia is worried in ways they haven’t been in quite some time.
“In synagogues across the state and day schools across the state, they’re ramping up security. What’s really scary is that in some instances it escalated from flyers to violence and discrimination,” said Goldfeder.
Goldfeder supports House Bill 30, which would provide a definition for prosecutors and investigators to identify what is antisemitic speech.
The bill passed in the House and awaits a vote in the Senate.
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The bills sponsor Ester Panitch shook her head looking at the flyers. Panich said there is a fine line between hate speech and violence. Last month, police say a man in Los Angeles killed two Jewish men leaving synagogues. Investigators said Jaime Tran had a history of antisemitism and sent threatening messages to a Jewish classmate. A similar bill bolstered the prosecutor’s case for a hate crime
“The people putting out these flyers are taunting us,” said Panitch.
The Anti-Defamation League found roughly half of the people don’t know the definition of antisemitism and 85% of people believe an anti-Jewish trope. Goldfeder said this is why antisemitism often slips through the cracks within the legal system
“This bill draws a straight line no matter what you think about Jews or Israel and you can say whatever you want protest whatever you want, that’s fine, its speech. You can’t go and shoot an innocent Jewish person, that’s antisemitism,” said Goldfeder.
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