WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Are events in the Middle East behind flyers with an anti-Jewish message that have surfaced near the UCLA campus?
CBS2’s Juan Fernandez reports a Jewish store owner said he found one of the handwritten flyers – which contain several swastikas along with the words “Wanted” and “Warning” – underneath the door of his business Tuesday morning.
The store’s owner, who did not want his identity revealed, said he experienced a range of emotions upon making the discovery.
“I was…deeply very sad, and I’m thinking, ‘Calm down, think about it’,” he said.
He then turned to Rabbi Boruch Cunin at Chabad House near UCLA for spiritual counseling and guidance, who said he was struggling to understand how such a thing could happen here in the Southland.
“In the center of Westwood to receive a leaflet with swastikas that says ‘Watch out’, ‘Be careful’, ‘You’ll see’, ‘Wanted’, and all of the rest of these threats,” said Cunin.
The flyers bore at least some resemblance to similar leaflets found in North Hollywood and Valley Village in June.
Some students at UCLA, meanwhile, were stunned to learn that anti-Semitic movements could be lurking so close to home.
“This is ridiculous,” said student Shannon Charrette. “My boyfriend’s Jewish, I have so many Jewish friends, there’s a Jewish frat down the street, and I cannot believe this is happening.”
Cunin said while it may be almost impossible to trace the flyers back to their source, he isn’t surprised by the campaign considering the recent conflict in Gaza between Israeli troops and Hamas.
A new report (PDF) from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released Wednesday found a “dramatic upsurge in violence and vitriol against Jews around the world” in response to Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s recent military effort to stop Hamas rockets and tunnels in Gaza.