Anti-hate group speaks out against antisemitic incident in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills
Days after a group of people dressed in clothing reminiscent of Nazi brownshirts drove a rented box truck displaying hateful messages down Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, a watchdog group is speaking out against the incident and says it has identified the hate group and two of its members.
According to StopAntisemitism, an organization that works to expose people and groups that engage in antisemitic behavior, the group responsible for Saturday’s incident is the Goyim Defense League.
The organization also named two people who were captured on video participating in the hateful rally: Jon Minadeo II and Robert Frank Wilson.
“We are horrified that innocent bystanders in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, Jewish and otherwise, were subjected to such vile and atrocious hate,” Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism, told The Times on Monday. “When white supremacists like the Goyim Defense League are allowed to spread this type of vile bigotry without any pushback, then it normalizes Jew hatred and sends the message that this is tolerable.”
Videos show a rental box truck parked at a gas station on Saturday in the 7600 block of Santa Monica Boulevard covered with antisemitic messages.
Neither Beverly Hills police nor the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which responded to the incident, have identified the group or any participants.
StopAntisemitism said it identified the two men “based off of physical appearance.”
The group also said the antisemitic messaging on the truck has been noted in prior incidents involving the hate group, including in March when Wilson was seen driving in San Diego in a similar truck.
“The GDL has also been responsible for passing around antisemitic fliers as well as hanging signs with hate-filled rhetoric on freeway overpasses,” StopAntisemitism said.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Joana Warren told The Times on Sunday that investigators identified the truck’s license plate and were working to identify who rented it.
A Sheriff’s Department spokesperson told The Times on Monday that the incident remains under investigation and said she couldn’t share any more information.
“The Goyim Defense League is a loose network of individuals connected by their virulent antisemitism,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. “The group includes five or six primary organizers/public figures, dozens of supporters and thousands of online followers.”
It was responsible for at least 74 antisemitic propaganda incidents in 2021, the Anti-Defamation League said.
According to an account of Saturday’s incident by StopAntisemitism, the truck was parked in the driveway of the Beverly Hilton hotel, where Minadeo, Wilson and two other members of the hate group dressed in clothing resembling that of the brownshirts in Nazi Germany were seen parading and shouting “The Nazis are coming” and “here comes Jew boy ... we’re going to make you go extinct.”
Another video captures an encounter between the group and a law enforcement officer, StopAntisemitism said. A member of the hate group says “Holocaust denial ... 6 million, that’s an exaggeration.”
The person then thanks the officer, calling him a “good goy,” StopAntisemitism said.
Beverly Hills police are investigating antisemitic fliers that appeared the morning after Passover Seder.
The truck bore hate-filled messages such as “Ann Coulter was right about Jews” and “Resisting the Great Replacement = Greatest Threat?”
The so-called great replacement conspiracy theory is a racist philosophy espoused by white nationalists.
FBI statistics show that Jews continue to be the most targeted minority in the U.S. and that antisemitic crimes are on the rise, Rez said.
“Yet, Jews are often overlooked when discussing issues of civil rights and social justice because they are categorized as a ‘model class minority’ and are inaccurately portrayed as a privileged group,” she said. “Hateful individuals, both among fringe groups but also in the mainstream, then use this perception as an excuse to attack Jews.”
The privileged perception of Jewish people leads to antisemitism not drawing the same level of attention as discrimination against other groups, Rez said, adding that her organization is working to ensure that antisemitism is given equal attention and combatted with the same level of fervor.
“The lack of fear that white supremacists have should be frightening to everyone,” she said.
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