Neo-Nazis cause outrage by waving swastika flags outside Georgia synagogue’ On Saturday, June 24, nearly a dozen of neo-Nazis from the Goyim Defense League, an antisemitic hate group which accuses Jews of making conspiracies to control the world, was seen protesting outside the Chabad of Cobb County synagogue, in East Cobb, north of Atlanta. The members were reportedly seen waving swastika flags outside the synagogue as well holding signs claiming “every single aspect” of abortion, the media, the US Federal Reserve Bank and elected officials were Jewish.
Neo-Nazis cause outrage by waving swastika flags outside Georgia synagogue
A web address leading to Goyim group’s YouTube page, that contains videos and streams a program called ‘Saturday White Live’, was also seen at the bottom of the signs. Police were reportedly called to the scene but could not stop the protest, the Daily Mail reported. Meanwhile, videos on social media showed Jewish members of the congregation berating the Neo-Nazis and asking them to leave the venue. The incident sparked outrage amid the Jewish community as well as on social media.
What is the Goyim Defense League?
The Goyim Defense League is an antisemitic conspiracy theory network and hate group consisting of individuals, mainly active social media users and operators of the online video platform called GoyimTV. The group also stage in-person protests against the Jews, especially in the states of California, Colorado, Florida and New York. The league first came to light in 2018 and is led by Jon Minadeo II, who launched GoyimTV with the help of Dominic Di Giorgio of Port St Lucie, Florida. The platform is used to livestream and share videos as well as to draw support towards GDL.
The term “Goyim” is reportedly a pejorative Yiddish and Hebrew term for non-Jews. Meanwhile, the name “Goyim Defense League” is a play on the names of Jewish Defense League, and Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The league’s official logo is also a parody of ADL’s logo. GDL’s GoyimTV was removed by its online provider in 2020 after consistent complaints. It was placed on hold by its domain provider and taken down for the second time in 2022 before being back online in January.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, GDL leader Minadeo travels across the US to spread his antisemitic views. The ADL describes the group as a “small network of virulently antisemitic provocateurs,” whose “most zealous and visible actors” include some in Georgia, the Daily Mail reported. “GDL’s overarching goal is to cast aspersions on Jews and spread antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories,” ADL says on its official website.
“This includes frequent references to Jews having undue power through their ‘control’ of major institutions such as media networks, the economy or the government, or disparaging Jews as degenerates who molest children and advocate for pornography, abortion and LGBTQ+ communities,” it mentions. ADL researcher Ben Popp told local press that GDL, also known as “OBS” was a white supremacist network that had been formed just a few months ago.
Popp mentioned that the group was “well known” to the ADL and said that it consisted of members have been “involved in other white supremacist groups and organizations in the state of Florida for the past couple of years.”
‘The most frightening thing I have seen’
In the wake of GDL’s latest stunt, Cobb County member Stewart Levy said that he was left frightened. “Antisemitism at my synagogue. The most frightening thing I have seen in my 65 years,” he wrote on Facebook, adding, “It’s very hard to believe that this is happening in Cobb County. The police are allowing it because it is ‘free speech.’”
Eytan Davidson, the southeast regional director of the ADL, told Channel 2 Action News that antisemitism was once again on the rise in the area. “This is part of a disturbing trend that we have seen on the rise for over five years now. From 2021 to 2022, we saw more than 60 percent increase in antisemitic incidents in the state of Georgia. Nationally, we are seeing antisemitic incidents at an all-time record high in 2022,” he told the network.
However, Minadeo II said that the group were “exercising our first amendment right” by protesting outside the synagogue. A similar protest was staged by the group Macon on Friday, June 23, leading to Minadeo’s arrest for disorderly conduct and public disturbance. He was later released on Saturday, June 24, on a $910 bond, 13WMAZ reported.
‘Flying a flag that stands for genocide’
The internet was quick to condemn the incident outside the Georgia synagogue. “This evening, literal Nazis dared to show their true colors in East Cobb outside a synagogue, showcasing their hate for the whole world to see. Flying a flag that stands for genocide. My God,” Sara Tindall Ghazal, GA State Election Board member and Policy Director for Georgia House Minority Caucus, wrote.
“This is disgusting,” one user commented. “That’s not free speech, it’s hate speech. It is intimidation, harassment. It must end,” added another. “There should be zero freedom of speech when it comes to this. None. There is nothing implicit in their message,” a third replied.
One said, “Nazi symbolism should be considered a hate crime especially as blatantly as this display. Yet I see a cop car just sitting there. Looks like FL is bleeding into Georgia. Let’s hope you all put a stop to this before it bleeds further north,” while another added, “To those who invoke the horrors of #Nazism or white nationalism, I say unto you “Shalom my brothers & sisters”. For it is not hatred that will mend your heart or give you peace; it is faith, hope, and love that triumphs over the darkness. And the greatest of these is love!”
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