Antisemitic hatred inspired by recent statements from Kanye West hit nearby communities this weekend and drew strong rebukes from local lawmakers.
Sam Yebri, a lawyer and former Anti-Defamation League board member who lives in Westwood and is currently running for Los Angeles City Council to represent the 5th District, said his neighborhood was flyered with antisemitic literature.
“My neighbors and I woke up to this antisemitic flyer at our homes,” said Yebri in a Tweet on Sunday. “This antisemitic banner was on the 405. Antisemitic flyers were left on cars last week at the Grove and in Pico Robertson. The silence of the press and our elected officials and other candidates is deafening.”
Flyers were also left in area north of Sunset Boulevard and west of Benedict Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills.
The anti-Jewish group Goyim Defense League draped signs on an overpass of the San Diego (405) Freeway in Los Angeles that read, “Kanye is right about the Jews” and “Honk if you know.”
Several of the activists were photographed making “Heil Hitler” salutes on the overpass on Saturday. The sign is a reference to recent antisemitic statements made by West, also known as Ye.
West was recently blocked from posting on Twitter and Instagram over antisemitic posts that the social networks said violated their policies. He has also suggested slavery was a choice and called the COVID-19 vaccine the “mark of the beast.”
After getting locked out of the social media platforms, he’s offered to buy right-wing-friendly social network Parler.
West was also criticized that week for wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt to his Yeezy collection show in Paris and the shirt made an appearance on the runway itself. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, White Lives Matter is a neo-Nazi group.
In recent weeks, West has ended Yeezy’s association with Gap and has told Bloomberg that he plans to cut ties with his corporate suppliers. Adidas has placed its sneaker deal with West under review, and JPMorganChase and West have ended their business relationship — although the banking breakup was in the works even before West’s antisemitic comments. The Balenciaga fashion house has also cut ties with him.
The California Legislative Jewish Caucus, which features several local representatives including Richard Bloom, Ben Allen, Bob Hertzberg and Henry Stern, released a statement on Monday condemning recent actions.
“Words have consequences. Kanye West threatened Jews and now other extremists are openly threatening our Jewish community with hateful banners on the 405 freeway and distributing appalling antisemitic propaganda in our neighborhoods,” said the letter.
“We are proud to be Jewish and we will not remain silent when hatred and bigotry are openly directed at our Jewish community or any other community in California.”
The letter said any company that continues to do business with West is party to the attacks and the lawmakers said it was indefensible to put profits over the safety of individuals targeted by hate.
In May, antisemitic fliers were distributed in a Culver City neighborhood. Then in August, the Brentwood Community Council stated many residents in the northern portion of Brentwood Glen found disturbing anti-semitic flyers at their doorstep.
At the time, Representative Ted Lieu called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to do more to address the recurrent acts of antisemitism committed in and around Los Angeles County, noting that the incidents were not the first time members of the community have received such flyers.
The Westside Current and Associated Press contributed to this report.