Antisemitic flyers were found near Congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa last week. (Photo/File)
Antisemitic flyers were found near Congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa last week. (Photo/File)

Latest round of antisemitic Goyim TV flyers hits Santa Rosa and Novato

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Flyers accusing the Jewish community of controlling the Biden administration, immigration and gun control were distributed last week in two North Bay cities, worrying local leaders.

The flyers were left Sept. 22 in Santa Rosa’s Bennett Valley neighborhood, where they were tossed onto lawns and driveways not far from Conservative synagogue Congregation Beth Ami and the Joseph Weingarten Chabad Jewish Center. The same flyers were discovered in Novato on Sept. 19.

Marked with the logo of the antisemitic hate website Goyim TV, the flyers have been found this year around the country, including in Windsor, Berkeley and Palo Alto in the Bay Area. Goyim TV flyers were also dropped at the University of Michigan on Monday, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, drawing condemnation from local officials.

Petaluma resident Jon Minadeo Jr. has claimed responsibility for the incidents via his site, where Goyim TV sells and ships packs of 500 color-printed flyers for $50. Minadeo, who goes by the online moniker Handsome Truth, rewards distributors with free merchandise if the flyer incidents are covered on TV news.

Beth Ami’s Rabbi Mordecai Miller emailed his congregation on Sunday ahead of Rosh Hashanah services to inform them about the flyers and note that the police had already been contacted.

“Truthfully, it’s sad to think that there are people who have a need to display their hatred and bigotry against any minority,” he wrote.

Miller added that “we are not especially concerned about this incident,” but said Beth Ami increased its holiday security after the flyers were discovered.

In Novato, the distribution of the flyers was being treated as a “hate motivated incident,” the Novato Police Department said in a statement.

“A hate motivated incident is an action, or a behavior motivated by hate but legally protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression,” the statement noted.

In Santa Rosa, police are investigating the flyers as a hate crime, spokesperson Sgt. Christopher Mahurin said, due to a resident’s concern that they were targeted.

“We may not be able to determine if a hate crime occurred, because maybe no law was technically violated,” Mahurin added. Because the distribution appeared to be random and not directed solely at Jewish households, and the flyers avoided direct threats or images of swastikas, the incidents may not be considered a crime, Mahurin said.

To date, the only distribution of Goyim TV flyers to have incurred a penalty was in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when a local man was fined $4,300 for littering after flyers were found in yards across the city on at least a dozen occasions.

Santa Rosa police plan to hold community engagement events with Miller and other Jewish leaders in Santa Rosa to discuss the flyers and any additional issues of concern to Jewish residents. The meeting is expected to take place in mid-October, after the conclusion of the High Holidays.