As Beverly Hills police investigated the source of flyers filled with antisemitic theories regarding COVID-19 that were distributed in the city, an Islamic civil liberties group spoke out Monday against the hate speech.
The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it supports the Jewish community and looks forward to arrests in the case.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in hate and blame directed at marginalized communities. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, the Asian-American community and all minorities who have been unjustly targeted by irrational fear and bigotry,” said CAIR-LA Deputy Executive Director Masih Fouladi.
On Saturday, a resident reported finding hate-filled flyers. Officers surveyed the area and found single-sheet flyers distributed throughout the southwest side of the city similar to those used in a Nov. 28 incident.
The postings contained propaganda-style hate speech linking the COVID pandemic to the Jewish people. More than 200 flyers were collected from the neighborhood.
The Beverly Hills City Council warned that acts of hatred toward members of the community would be rejected outright, issuing a statement saying, “As a city that is made up of a diverse population and being one of the only Jewish-majority cities outside of Israel, the city condemns this unwarranted hate speech that has been unsuccessfully used to disparage a community that has, and always will, stand strong together and fight hatred of any kind.
“Senseless acts like this have no home here and will never be accepted. Our community is home to families of survivors of the Holocaust who have seen evil and will never give in to such attacks,” the statement continued.
The statement said the police department was investigating would provide additional patrols supplemented by private security throughout the city to ensure a safe holiday season.
A similar hate incident was being investigated in Pasadena, where antisemitic COVID-19-related flyers were stuffed in plastic bags and left on driveways in a four-block area of the city.
CAIR-LA recently launched the Center for the Prevention of Hate and Bullying to proactively address a growing number of hate incidents targeting people of faith as well as Black, Asian American Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and immigrant residents.