HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Jewish communities in South Florida and across the U.S. are on alert as hate groups plan an antisemitic “Day of Hate.” They include messages of hate and graffiti, which continues to be a troubling trend in the area.
“People who are willing to say hateful things might be willing to do hateful things,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber via Zoom.
South Florida leaders are sending a united message that hate will not be tolerated in our area.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that the voices of hate are not welcomed here.
“And I want to be perfectly clear, there is no place for hate of any kind in Miami-Dade,” Levine Cava said.
Their response is in an effort to combat a different message from hate groups who are calling for a national day of hate on Saturday.
Security officials have been monitoring the activity since January.
“There’s no specific threat to any one Jewish community, any one Jewish organization or any individuals,” said Brad Orsini, of Secure Community Network.
Orsini, who works to keep Jewish organizations safe across the country, said to keep an eye out, but to not let the hate win.
“We want them to be aware, we want them to be aware that this may happen, but we don’t want them to be afraid,” Orsini said.
Antisemitic protesters shouted at theatergoers attending a Broadway show in New York, and similar scenes might play out across the country Saturday as the “Day of Hate” looms.
The Broadway show detailed the true story of the lynching of an innocent Jewish man in the early 1900s at the hands of an antisemitic mob.
The New York Police Department shared one of the group’s posts in their warning to residents where hate organizers said, “A national day of activism is set for Feb. 25. Make sure your voices are heard loud and clear.”
There have been several instances of antisemitism in South Florida.
A swastika was projected on a building in West Palm Beach, and hate flyers and pamphlets were tossed around in various neighborhoods.
Earlier this month, a Jewish man was punched while riding his bicycle along the sidewalk.
As some are calling for a day of hate, Orsini said to ignore them.
“Most importantly, we don’t want them to engage that group in any way, shape or form,” he said. “It’s going to do nobody any good to banter with their rhetoric.”
Regarding this weekend, the Anti-Defamation League writes, “To counter their message of hate, we encourage communities — Jewish and not Jewish– to take back Saturday, February 25th. Join us in a Shabbat of peace…”
And the Greater Miami Jewish Federation says, “Miami’s Jewish community will not be intimidated by hate! We encourage you to go about your normal day tomorrow and to be as loudly and proudly Jewish as you always are.”
Law enforcement agencies have been put on alert.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement put out a special statewide bulletin, telling law enforcement agencies to step up their patrols and keep a close eye on things.
There are also warnings to anyone who may commit violence towards religious groups.
A person who does will be arrested and prosecuted.
Friday evening, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony released a statement that reads in part, “We are very much aware of various hate groups calling for their followers to engage in vandalism and spreading antisemitic messages this weekend. We have been monitoring the situation along with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners and receiving updates from the [Anti-Defamation League]. While no threat has been identified in Broward County, we always remind everyone to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately.”
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.