Orlando Police Investigating Antisemitic Message Flashed in Downtown Area on New Year’s Eve
Police in Orlando are investigating an antisemitic incident that took place on New Year’s Eve, when unknown persons projected an anti-Jewish message onto the outer wall of an office building in the downtown area of the city.
As revelers celebrated the New Year holiday outside the building on Orange Street, the sentence “Vax the Jews” was beamed onto its wall in bright flashing letters. The phrase first appeared at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the antisemitic “Goyim Defense League” (GDL) featured it on banners and flyers as part of a coast-to-coast campaign that falsely depicted the coronavirus as a sinister Jewish conspiracy.
The Orlando Police Department told local network ClickOrlando that it was investigating the incident but had no clues as to who was responsible.
Amateur video of the incident showed a complete lack of response from the crowd as the antisemitic message was flashed.
Asked by a ClickOrlando correspondent for his reaction to the crowd’s indifference, Keith Dvorchik — CEO of Shalom Orlando, a local Jewish group — noted that “we’ve talked about this far too many times.”
“Jewish people remain the only group that is OK to hate,” Dvorchick remarked.
Dvorchik added that “as someone who’s very publicly Jewish, I have concerns all the time, what if someone decides they want to target me?”
He recalled a recent shabbat sermon at an Orlando synagogue where the rabbi had asked congregants for a show of hands as to whether they had considered leaving the US because of rising antisemitism.
“Three-quarters of the congregation raised their hands that they’d already been thinking about where they were going to have to go, because the United States was going to no longer be safe for them,” Dvorchik said. “It is sad, it’s disappointing, but I hope that most people are watching this also find it incredibly offensive.”