Police in O.C. investigate second spate of antisemitic fliers this month

Three Orange County police agencies are investigating antisemitic fliers distributed over the weekend, the second such incident this month.

“We have been made aware of antisemitic fliers distributed to a neighborhood in southeast Huntington Beach,” the Huntington Beach Police Department tweeted Sunday afternoon. “We have been in communication with area residents and are actively investigating the situation and source.”

Newport Beach police issued a similar statement on Twitter about such fliers found in a neighborhood on the city’s eastern side. “Our department is currently working with residents and actively investigating the incident.”

The Cypress Police Department is also investigating fliers distributed in that city.

Heather Rangel, a spokesperson for the Newport Beach Police Department, declined to share additional information, citing the ongoing investigation.

In Huntington Beach, it’s been about a week since residents woke up to find the hate fliers on their doorstep.

On Feb. 15, about 15 homes near Bushard Street and Hamilton Avenue found two-sided fliers with messages connecting Jewish members of the Biden administration to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that Jews are “celebrating their role in COVID.”

The same fliers were distributed in the most recent incident, said Jennifer Carey, a city spokesperson.

“We are not sure of exactly how many fliers were distributed, but based on the reports we received we would estimate between 100-200 fliers at various neighborhoods throughout southeast Huntington Beach,” Carey said in an email.

Peter Levi, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said these fliers are “doorways to drive people to websites where real radicalization and recruitment and indoctrination happens.”

“The Jewish people have many partners in the greater community that say no place for hate or antisemitism,” Levi said. “Nevertheless, these antisemites continue to target our community.”

In Orange County, hate crimes and incidents rose to historic levels during the pandemic, according to an annual report by the Orange County Human Relations Commission. The vast majority were motivated by race, ethnicity or national origin.

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