Local leaders gather at Museum of Tolerance to denounce antisemitic incidents and hate crimes

ByAnabel Munoz and Grace Manthey KABC logo
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Local leaders denounce antisemitic incidents, hate crimes
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Local leaders denounced antisemitic acts by a white supremacist, hate group believed to be behind the banner drop over the 405 Freeway last weekend.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- At a press conference Friday at the Museum of Tolerance, local leaders denounced antisemitic acts by a white supremacist, hate group believed to be behind the banner drop over the 405 Freeway last weekend.

"Activities that includes freeway banner drops, flyer distribution and driving trucks with antisemitic slogans in heavily Jewish areas," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center launched the Digital Terrorism and Hate Project three years ago, a platform to raise awareness of hate groups on social media platforms and report hate crimes and incidents.

Law enforcement called on community members to report these incidents.

"Crimes fueled by antisemitic hate cannot be tolerated, and the FBI is committed to preventing these crimes, including acts of terror and violations of civil liberties," said Brian Gilhooly of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office.

Most recently, antisemitic remarks by Kanye West, who has a massive platform fueled that hate and increased the threat Jewish communities face.

"What we've been experiencing and hearing from members of the Jewish community from coast to coast is they feel the threats. Their reaction is not so much fear, but pure anger, and a sense of helplessness -- 'What can we do to try to turn things around?'" Cooper said.

According an Eyewitness News analysis of published LAPD data through September of this year, there have been on average just under nine antisemitic hate crimes reported per month in 2022, more than double the monthly average in 2020, and about one incident more per month than in 2019.

Statewide data going back from 2001 to last year, shows antisemitic hate crimes peaked at 184 incidents in 2008. The next highest was 2001 and then 2021 at 153.

There was a message of solidarity at the news conference.

"We stand as two communities who have known attack, who have known being ostracized and criticized, often merely for who we are, and yet we come to stand together," said Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church.

While hate crimes are underreported, the California Department of Justice estimates that victims of antisemitic hate crimes make up about 10% of all hate crimes reported by law enforcement in California. But, the Jewish Virtual Library estimates that the Jewish population accounts for just 3% of the California population.