The arrest of the 19-year-old American-Israeli suspect behind scores of Jewish Community Center bomb threats appears to have triggered an anti-Semitic backlash. Fliers dropped in Scottsdale, Arizona this week accused Jews of perpetrating anti-Semitic hoaxes, according to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency report, and explicitly referenced the bomb threats and the suspect’s arrest.
— ADL Arizona (@ADLArizona) March 29, 2017
“Why do Jews feel the need to create fake anti-Semitism hoaxes?” the fliers asked, featuring links to the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer.
The incident is currently under investigation by local police, who have added that the fliers do not contain any specific threats or violate criminal statutes. The fliers feature an anti-Semitic caricature of a hook-nosed man spray-painting a swastika on the side a building labeled “Shalom Temple,” with the caption, “Hey Rabbi. Watcha’ Doin’?”
In a tweet, the Anti-Defamation League said it is “disgusted” by the flyers and is “reaching out 2 law enforcement.”
An NBC 26 report said the fliers cited a March 23 Tucson Sentinel headline reading “Teen in Israel linked to bomb threats against Jewish community centers. Threats in Tucson may be connected.”
“Though potentially disturbing to some residents, the content did not violate any criminal statutes,” a police spokesperson said. “The investigation is ongoing that this time.”
NBC 26 noted that the fliers follow several other recent anti-Semitic incidents, including vandalism featuring the phrases “white power” and “white supremacy” at Phoenix’s Pinnacle High School, along with swastikas, and an incident in Chandler, Arizona last year in which a menorah was bent into the shape of a swastika.
Words matter,” ADL spokesman Galindo-Elvira told ABC 15 following the Pinnacle High School incident. “Those that are painted in vandalism acts — those matter too. In this case in a very negative way.”