Jewish Residents of Austin, Texas Area Targeted With Hate Mail Amid String of Antisemitic Incidents
In another in a series of antisemitic incidents in the Austin, Texas area, Jewish residents have been targeted in recent days with antisemitic letters blaming them for the coronavirus pandemic.
The letters hit residents of the city of San Marcos and others in the Hays County area close to Austin, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
County Judge Ruben Becerra said that the letters came sealed in plastic bags with small rocks.
“Negative actions motivated in bias is an attack against an entire community and not just an attack on a single person,” he said. “This behavior is not acceptable.”
Rabbi Ari Weingarten of the Chabad Center of San Marcos said the community was working with local authorities and offering support to those targeted. He cited the Hanukkah holiday as a source of comfort, saying, “The message of Hanukkah is that light is stronger than dark and good prevails.”
The latest events are part of a string of antisemitic incidents in the Austin area.
On the night of Oct. 31, Congregation Beth Israel was set on fire, causing serious damage. Previous incidents included the vandalization of a local high school with Nazi symbols, an antisemitic banner hung from an overpass that said “Vax the Jews,” and the public display of antisemitic posters on a local street.
Two of the incidents were committed by a hate group called the “Goyim Defense League,” which has been involved in other incidents of harassment and public antisemitic statements.
In response to the wave of incidents, the Austin City Council on Thursday passed a resolution condemning “antisemitism and all hateful speech and violent action that casts blame, promotes racism or discrimination, or harms the Jewish community.”