Jewish Journal

Flier with swastikas found in Westwood

by Ryan Torok

Posted on Aug. 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm

<em>Part of the flier that appeared in Westwood</em>

Part of the flier that appeared in Westwood

When a Jewish storeowner found a flier with swastikas on it underneath the door of his Westwood business on Aug. 12, it marked the third time this year that hateful fliers have found their way into public settings across Los Angeles, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

It was not clear if the creator of the latest flier, whose identity is unknown, was purposely targeting a Jew. No formal charges have been filed. 

“We just heard back from [the Los Angeles Police Department] that they weren’t aware of it,” Alison Mayersohn, ADL senior associate regional director, said on Aug. 18, nearly one week after the man discovered the flier. “They’ve now sent it to their senior lead officer for Westwood.”

The flier features two swastikas and the words “Warning” and “Wanted” but does not specifically call out Jews. Its text also mentions non-Jewish public personalities, including O.J. Simpson and Ronald Reagan. 

Mayersohn noted the flier’s ambiguity, saying it was filled with “gibberish ... but that does not change the [emotional] impact on the recipient.”

Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, director of Chabad-Lubavitch’s West Coast operations, which has headquarters based in Westwood, provided the Journal with a copy of the flier. He met with the victim, whom he declined to identify, in the aftermath of the man’s discovery of the flier.

Cunin said his focus was on helping a frightened man who had sought him out for support. The Chabad leader said he wrapped tefillin around the victim and joined him in reciting the Shema. 

Similar fliers were distributed in January around neighborhoods in Valley Village and North Hollywood, and in July in Santa Monica, Mayersohn said. She suggested that the same person was behind each of the three incidents. 

“They certainly appeared to have been created by the same person, and we have no reason to believe it is in connection with any organization or anything. But again, that would be for law enforcement to determine,” she said.

Mayersohn said that it is important for victims of hate incidents, such as one that took place last week, to follow up with the ADL, which combats bigotry and anti-Semitism. The victim, apparently, decided not to notify the ADL or the police.

“The ADL can serve as a clearinghouse,” she said. “If people get this [the flier] they should let us know and we can be watching and seeing if this is happening in different geographical locations and make sure law enforcement is notified.”

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