Vigilance Urged for Saturday’s Anti-Jewish ‘Day of Hate’
Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs is hosting a Sunday event entitled, "Georgia’s Fight Against Antisemitism."
Dave Schechter is a veteran journalist whose career includes writing and producing reports from Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Jewish communities in Atlanta and around the nation have been urged to remain vigilant, as antisemitic groups have declared that Saturday, Feb. 25, will be a day of “Day of Hate.”
Neil Rabinovitz, community security director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, told the AJT: “Federation’s community-wide security program has been monitoring this event since it was publicized, and we continue to coordinate with local and federal law enforcement. We have no indication at this time of any planned violence associated with this campaign in the greater Atlanta area. It’s possible that we may see additional flyer drops in the area. As we always stress, members of the community should be vigilant, aware of their surroundings and immediately notify law enforcement of any suspicious or concerning activity.”
According to the Secure Communities Network (an initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America, which includes JFGA): “Since early January 2023, a small neo-Nazi group began advertising on a Telegram channel a ‘day of MASS ANTI-SEMITIC ACTION’ referred to as the ‘National Day of Hate.'”
A congregation located on Lavista Road, in Atlanta’s Toco Hills neighborhood, sent a notice to its members that said: “These groups are calling for their followers to distribute hateful stickers and flyers, and to produce graffiti while videoing their actions for social media.” That congregation said that it was in touch with DeKalb County police and the SCN.
Temple Emanu-El, in Sandy Springs, already had planned an event entitled, “Georgia’s Fight Against Antisemitism,” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, with speakers including Georgia House Reps. Esther Panitch, from north Fulton County, and Long Tran, whose district includes most of Dunwoody and part of Chamblee. Also speaking will be local officials and the Anti-Defamation League.
The threat reportedly originated with a group in Iowa called “Crew-319,” 319 being the area code in eastern Iowa. Oren Segal, vice president of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Crew-319 is a “tiny Iowa-based neo-Nazi crew that distributes propaganda and engages in antisemitic stunts.”
Another of the groups behind the threat is the “Goyim Defense League,” whose followers recently distributed hundreds of plastic bags containing anti-Jewish messages in driveways in Fulton and DeKalb counties, as well as in other metro Atlanta counties and elsewhere in Georgia in recent months.
Also identified by authorities as behind the threat was the National Socialist Movement.
A bulletin sent by SCN said: “Historically, white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and other extremist groups have promoted these events online, encouraging mass participation in an effort to conflate and amplify their minimal reach and impact. It should be noted, online chatter surrounding the campaign has [remained] limited and we assess, as in the past, this will not likely be a widespread event. Given that this is not a centrally organized event, specific locations or times have not been advertised.
“SCN is coordinating with relevant Jewish communal security partners, including the ADL, regarding the content of this report. Based on previous campaigns, SCN assesses that the ‘Day of Hate’ will likely be limited to non-violent activity such as flyering and banner drops; these tactics are unlikely to impact any operations,” the bulletin said.
In addition to the vigilance already commonplace in Jewish communities, SCN urged that any incidents be reported to law enforcement and recommended: “DO NOT confront individuals engaged in any activities related to these events.”
The Anti-Defamation League posted on Twitter: “We are closely monitoring tomorrow’s anticipated National “Day of Hate” campaign and are in touch with local law enforcement agencies. As always, please report any bias or hate incidents to ADL at adl.org/incident and in a separate tweet ADL added, “When neo-Nazis threaten the Jewish community with a National “Day of Hate,” we respond with resolve & solidarity. Celebrate a #ShabbatOfPeaceNotHate this weekend & let everyone know we won’t be intimidated.”
- Dave Schechter
- antisemitic groups
- Day of Hate
- Neil Rabinovitz
- jewish federation of greater atlanta
- Secure Communities Network
- toco hills
- Temple Emamu-El
- Esther Panitch
- Long Tran
- Anti-Defamation League
- Oren Segal
- Center on Extremism
- Jewish Telegraphic Agency
- Goyim Defense Leagu
- National Socialist Movement