Antisemitic flyer incidents on the rise on Chicago's North, Northwest Sides, ADL says

Michelle Gallardo Image
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
Antisemitic crimes increase in Chicago area, ADL says
In Chicago alone, there were more antisemitic crimes in 2023 than in the previous two years combined, according to the Anti-defamation League.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Since November, there have been at least five separate instances of antisemitic flyers left on cars in Jefferson Park, Edgewater, and Lincoln Park.

In the last week, two separate instances have been reported along both Magnolia and Bissell streets.

"We're saying this is a hate incident," 43rd Ward Alderman Timmy Knudsen said. "This is an incident where the only intention was to instill fear in a very targeted group, in a very targeted area."

RELATED: Lincoln Park vehicles targeted by antisemitic flyers with outlandish claims about Jews

While antisemitic flyering is not new, cases started increasing after Hamas started attacks inside Israel in October, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Midwest Director David Goldenberg attributed the incident to a specific white supremacist group.

"Flyering becomes a gateway into their world," Goldenberg said. "You go to their website because you're curious, you start digging into it. And it's not obviously for the overwhelming majority of our community, but they become ways to promote their hateful views and also even recruit people."

Ring video from Monday night into Tuesday shows what appeared to be a man walking down 2200 block of Magnolia Street placing something on the windshield of a car. While it's not clear whether this was the person doing the flyering, it also is unclear, whether, even if caught, he or his accomplices would be punished.

"In our country hate speech is protected speech, right?" Goldenberg said. "Depending on where you put the flyer; is it on a building? Is it on someone's automobile? Did you throw it down in the public, in a public way? That does affect whether law enforcement can do something about it".

These latest incidents come as Chicago's City Council passed a controversial resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, which Knudsen voted against.

"We need to look at the impact of the things we do," Knudsen said. "It's easy to jump into these zero sum conversations. It's much easier to choose a side and lean into a divide than it is to communicate with one another."

SEE ALSO: Orland Park mayor suggests those opposing US interests 'go to another country'

In Chicago alone there were more antisemitic incidents in 2023 than in the previous two years combined, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Residents on the impacted blocks in Lincoln Park are asked to review their doorbell cameras in the hope of identifying the person or persons involved.

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