antisemitic fliers

Antisemitic fliers distributed in Brookhaven on Sunday.

Credit: Rough Draft Atlanta

As Brookhaven celebrated a weekend-long international festival on the Peachtree Creek Greenway, antisemitic flyers were distributed in driveways in several neighborhoods.

On Sunday, Oct. 22, the Brookhaven Police Department received multiple calls from residents regarding antisemitic and other hate speech flyers being disseminated throughout the city, Sgt. Jacob Kissel said in a press release. 

The incidents occurred overnight in Brookhaven Heights and Brookhaven Fields, near Dresden Drive. Mayor John Ernst said upon notice, Brookhaven Police and city staff removed the flyers.

“I hate giving the attention to cowards that throw out hateful flyers in the middle of the night. I look forward to the Brookhaven Police tracking down people who are behind this,” said Ernst. 

“The Brookhaven Police Department along with city leadership are dedicated to investigating the matter to the fullest and passing along any/all information to the appropriate investigative authorities. We want our community to be assured that hate speech will not be tolerated in Brookhaven,” the statement said.

“We encourage our residents to embrace our diverse city, and to get out and enjoy our welcoming community where we celebrate diversity. In fact, our inaugural Brookhaven International Festival taking place this weekend along the Peachtree Creek Greenway reflects our values of inclusion, equity and diversity,” Kissel said.

The flyers were distributed two weeks after Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip launched a terrorist attack on Israel, killing more than 1,000 people and kidnapping 200 others. The ensuing war is entering a new phase as Israeli troops prepare a ground assault in Gaza

Antisemitic flyers have been distributed in other neighborhoods this year, including Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Kirkwood. Local police said there is currently no legal recourse to prevent the distribution of the flyers since it’s protected under free speech. 

Goyim Defense League (GDL) is believed to be responsible for similar acts. GDL representative Michael Weaver said in an emailed statement that the organization would sue for civil rights interference if the police tried to bring charges

“It would behoove the police to not violate their oath of office and uphold the constitutional rights they swore an oath to uphold,” Weaver wrote. 

Lauren Kiefer, candidate for mayor of Brookhaven, denounced the flyers. 

“As a Jewish woman, the offensive and hateful messages delivered to our neighborhood are hurtful and infuriating but they don’t reflect how the citizens of Brookhaven feel. I condemn this behavior as dangerous and it has no place in Brookhaven, or anywhere,” Kiefer said. 

In November 2022, Brookhaven Police were alerted to spray-painted antisemitic messages. Within 30 minutes of the discovery, Brookhaven city staff had covered the graffiti and within three days the perpetrators had been caught, said Mayor Ernst. 

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Rough Draft Atlanta