In the early morning hours on Wednesday, deputies of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call in the Fountain Glen neighborhood of Bel Air to find several anti-Semitic fliers with the swastika symbol and the web address of a known white supremacist news and commentary site, the Daily Stormer, on them.
The deputies canvassed the area, but no witnesses or suspects were found, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.
The JT was sent a photo of the flier, which reads in all caps, “White man are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneracy? Join us in the struggle for global white supremacy at the Daily Stormer,” followed by the site’s domain.
Cristie Kahler, the public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, said they have not heard of any similar incidents in recent months. Without witnesses or further information, it is hard to follow up any further on the matter, she said, but also urged residents to be vigilant.
“It goes back to ‘see something, say something,’” she added. “The neighborhood watches are really our best bet in something like this.”
Rabbi Gila Ruskin, the spiritual leader for Temple Adas Shalom in neighboring Havre de Grace said she was horrified by the flier and also troubled by the growing instances of anti-Semitism.
“There have been a few isolated incidents, but I think because of the words [of the flier], this was more upsetting in some ways,” she added. “I think it has to be seen as part of a trend. People feel they have permission to put their hate on the outside.”
This incident comes after the three waves of called-in bomb threats to JCCs across the country in January, including twice at the JCC in Park Heights, which evacuated after the calls on both Jan. 9 and 18.
Since the campaign and election of President Donald Trump, multiple outlets have been reporting a rise in hate speech and white supremacist activity, particularly from the so-called “alt-right,” a far-right faction centered on white nationalist ideas. Trump has disavowed his white supremacist supporters.
The Daily Stormer is named for the German Nazi Party tabloid Der Stürmer and was launched in 2013.
Ruskin was on her way to meet with the imam of the local mosque and clergy of the local African Methodist Episcopal church when the JT reached her. The strong alliances the congregations are forming have felt even more important these days, Ruskin said.
“It’s frightening [the hate] has been there all along,” she went on to say. “But maybe now that it’s out there, we can deal with it. I don’t know. I don’t know the best way to deal with all these things, except dialogue.”