This afternoon Cobb County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Cupid issued the following statement about the recent antisemitic incidents in Cobb County:
“Recently two Cobb County communities have been subjected to antisemitic messages.
“Antisemitic flyers have been left on driveways in one neighborhood in Kennesaw, and Neo-Nazi protestors have appeared outside of a synagogue in East Cobb.
“I recognize the constitutional right to Freedom of Speech may allow these expressions of beliefs. Still, we should also recognize that these actions impair our sense of community when all should feel safe and welcome here.
“While disheartened these messages were spread in our county, I appreciate that these events ended peacefully. Our public safety personnel have our complete support, as do members of the Jewish community and those in Cobb who find these displays reprehensible.
“My desire is for no one to perpetuate a heinous history that signifies hate in our county. Cobb is a community that is moving forward, together, and where we are all in, in establishing a county where all can safely live, work, and enjoy.”
Antisemitic incidents have seen a sharp increase nationally over the past few years with the rise of activity among extreme right-wing groups.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which tracks antisemitic incidents wrote the following in its 2022-2023 report:
In 2022, ADL tabulated 3,697 antisemitic incidents throughout the United States. This is a 36% increase from the 2,717 incidents tabulated in 2021 and the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. This is the third time in the past five years that the year-end total has been the highest number ever recorded.
The two incidents that occurred in Cobb County over the past week appear to have been organized by a neo-Nazi hate group called the Goyim Defense League, which has been highly visible in a number of states over the past few weeks.
Southern Poverty Law Center’s website identifies the group as having been founded in California, and reports that a group leader recently moved to Florida.
In the first incident on June 20, antisemitic flyers were dropped in yards in Kennesaw neighborhoods.
In the second incident, a small group of neo-Nazi protesters with swastika banners demonstrated in front of the Chabad of Cobb synagogue in East Cobb yesterday.