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Flyers Tying Jews to Anti-Vaxxers Found at Santa Monica Schools

The flyers were found at Grant Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School, Edison Language Academy, Will Rogers Academy, John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School; the schools took down all the flyers by the end of the day. Police are investigating the matter.
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January 17, 2022
Photo from Twitter

A slew of flyers that seem to be accusing Jews of being tied to the anti-vaccine movement were found at multiple schools in Santa Monica on January 13.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the flyers were emblazoned with a red-and-green Star of David and the word “anti-vaxxer” on them and urged people to report anti-vaxxers to a phone number with a Kentucky area code. The Times texted the number, and then received a text back saying the number is the Safer Tomorrow Organization’s “Anti Vax Reporting Headline.” 

The flyers were found at Grant Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School, Edison Language Academy, Will Rogers Academy, John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School; the schools took down all the flyers by the end of the day. Police are investigating the matter.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and the City of Santa Monica denounced the flyers in a joint statement. “Santa Monica rejects bigotry of any kind and antisemitic rhetoric, intolerance, harassment and violence have no place in our schools or in our community,” they said. “We are deeply offended by the antisemitic posters, falsely and nefariously representing pro-vaccine propaganda found at several of our schools.”

Various Jewish groups also condemned the flyers in statements to the Journal.

“We are appalled by the antisemitic fliers spread at Santa Monica schools,” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey I. Abrams said. “The dangerous rhetoric found in these fliers is reminiscent of age-old tropes and Nazi propaganda, alleging that Jews were responsible for myriad issues including the spread of disease. And this is not the first time we have seen this messaging on fliers distributed in Los Angeles County.” Abrams linked to an ADL Los Angeles tweet from December about how similar posters were found in West Hollywood at the time.

“The fact that these fliers were distributed at schools makes this doubly alarming,” Abrams added. “We stand ready to support the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to continue to stand against hate and ensure all students feel safe and respected at school.”

American Jewish Committee Los Angeles Assistant Director Brian Hertz also said, “The individuals posting these fliers are demonstrating social pathologies filled with hate. Whether through their eventual arrest and prosecution, or counseling, we hope they get the help they need to stop menacing the Jewish community and society at large. Thankfully, Santa Monica Unified and the [Santa Monica Police Department] know bigotry when they see it and have already taken steps to reassure the community.”

StandWithUs CEO and Co-Founder Roz Rothstein, who is also the daughter of Holocaust survivors, said: “This latest instance of scapegoating Jews as somehow responsible for issues related to Covid-19 should be recognized for exactly what it is: a cowardly attempt to find a reason to blame Jews at a time when many people are feeling worried and helpless. This group’s singling out of the Jewish people and leveling false accusations at them by invoking an ugly, ancient antisemitic stereotype should be sufficient basis to undermine its members credibility here. 

“The school district and the City of Santa Monica should be commended for swiftly removing and condemning these flyers and expressing support for the Jewish community. We stand together with them against anti-Jewish bigotry and call upon others to do the same as a demonstration of the failure and futility of such divisive and dangerous tactics.”

Stop Antisemitism Executive Director Liora Rez said, “The antisemitic cowards behind this group claim they care about others but in reality, their purpose is to do nothing but spread hatred and division.”

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