A surge of antisemitic posters, including the lone Jewish state legislator in Georgia, has targeted parts of suburban Atlanta.
Countless House members surrounded state representative Esther Panitch, a rookie Democrat from Sandy Springs, as she denounced the leaflets from the House floor on Monday.
Panitch stated, “This past weekend, it was my time to be the target. “Unfortunately, being terrified as a Jew in the United States is not new.”
On Sunday, the pamphlets were discovered wrapped in plastic baggies and loaded down with maize in the driveways of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody.
Police said they are looking into it in both places.
Similar flyers have been discovered in Acworth, Cartersville, Columbus, and Kennesaw, among other Georgian cities. People have also reported antisemitic flyers in other cities nationwide.
Panitch promised to act. She is a co-sponsor of House Bill 30, which would make Georgia’s laws reflect the “working definition of anti-Semitism” provided by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
It is essentially defined as the verbal or physical expression of anti-Jewish hostility. Although it also states that criticism of Israel that is identical to criticism of any other nation cannot be viewed as antisemitic, this includes “targeting the state of Israel.”
Under Georgia’s 2020 hate crimes statute, a classification like this might result in harsher punishments for offenses against Jews. Supporters assert that organizations don’t respond to antisemitic incidents strongly enough too often.
Panitch added, “We must kindly listen to the communities for the solutions they need. “Never discount them. Do not tell them it is unnecessary or won’t matter. Observe them. You must assist us. Enough is enough. We anticipate you have, too.
There is no proof that Panitch was the target of the fliers, nor that they have anything to do with the proposed law.
Some of the areas that are being attacked are close to a Jewish community center.
The fliers sparked a chorus of criticism, including that of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. The Republican indicated that if necessary, state investigators will assist local police.
Kemp stated on Sunday that “this kind of hate has no place in our state, and the perpetrators do not share Georgia’s beliefs.”
Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager convicted of killing a 13-year-old girl who worked in an Atlanta pencil factory, was mentioned in one of the Goyim Defense League’s flyers.
Researchers think Frank’s conviction was unjustified. After a governor commuted Frank’s death sentence to life in prison, he was abducted from a Georgia prison and killed in Marietta, Georgia, in 1915.
The University of Georgia freshman dorm room of Panitch’s daughter had swastikas scrawled on it, and two of her children attended the Georgia-Florida football game last year, where antisemitic messages were projected on the stadium walls.
“I become upset because it doesn’t finish there. Jews are still being hurt and killed,” Panitch stated.
Welcome to being a Jew in Georgia-my driveway this morning.@SandySprings_PD came & took for testing. Govern yourselves accordingly, GDL and Anti-Semites who seek to harm/intimidate Jews in Georgia. I’m coming for you with the weight of the State behind me. #gapol @ADL @GBI_GA 1/2
— Esther Panitch (@epanitch) February 5, 2023