An investigation was continuing Thursday into the discovery of multiple anti-Semitic flyers near West Valley schools, and authorities urged anyone with information to contact police.
The posters plastered on and around at least two campuses were printed with swastikas and offensive messages equating Nazism with Zionism and the state of Israel. At least five of the flyers were found Monday morning around El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills, and another one along the perimeter of Nestle Avenue Charter Elementary School, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
The text asks if the swastika is “a hate symbol,” then asks “what about this?” above a Jewish Star of David.
“The murder of innocent women and children by a Rothschild-led Jewish Zionist armed militia to forcibly confiscate the Land of Palestine now known as Israel,” the flyers stated.
Another said, “What’s the difference between crackheads and Jews?”
There were earlier reports that the flyers were also found near Calabasas High School and the Westfield Topanga shopping center.
“LAPD is aware of several offensive posters that were found at different locations in the San Fernando Valley,” according to the police department. “Detectives from our West Valley and Topanga divisions are handling this as a hate incident and are encouraging anyone who may have information about this to contact investigators.”
Nestle Elementary Principal Cheryl Gray-Sortino informed parents Monday about “an incident that occurred today, when an anti-Semitic message was posted near the kindergarten gate,” adding that extra patrols were brought to the campus Tuesday.
“We are deeply disturbed by the recent incident at Nestle Elementary School,” LAUSD spokeswoman Barbara Jones said Thursday. “Los Angeles Unified condemns acts of anti-Semitism and any other symbols of hate. We remain committed to educating students about cultural and religious diversity and the important values tolerance and inclusion.”
City Councilman Paul Koretz condemned the flyers and urged anyone who spots them to contact police and his office.
“This is the latest in what has been a series of attacks against the Jewish community,” Koretz said. “This brazen hateful sentiment won’t stand and we will continue to be united in our fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of racism. I will continue to work closely with the Los Angeles Police Department and their command staff until the perpetrator(s) are brought to justice.”
The flyers also drew condemnation from Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.
“Anti-Semitism, xenophobia and bigotry in any forms are unacceptable,” said CAIR-LA executive director Hussam Ayloush. “We continue to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and all other targeted minorities and against the actions of bigots who violate our nation’s long-standing principles of religious tolerance and inclusion.
“The current trend of normalizing hate speech has emboldened bigots in their speech, as well as their actions — as evidenced by the massacre of 50 people at a mosque last week in New Zealand and the slaughter of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh less than five months ago. We commend the LAPD for investigating this incident as a hate crime.”
The flyers coincide with a national discussion of a rise in anti-Semitic incidents at schools and colleges around the country, nearly doubling in 2017 from 2016, according to data collected by the Anti-Defamation League.
ADL logged 457 anti-Semitic incidents in non-Jewish schools in 2017, up from 235 in 2016 and 114 in 2015. K-12 schools also surpassed public areas as the places with the most reported incidents, according to the Daily News.
Anyone with information was asked to call Topanga or West Valley LAPD divisions at (818) 756-4820 or (818) 374-7730.