Hate Group Visits Clifton


On Friday, March 17 around 8:30 in the morning, Theresa Charrkas was out walking her dog on Maple Place when she spotted something unusual on a neighbor’s lawn. She went over to get a closer look and saw that it was a full-color flyer, folded in half and stuck in a Ziploc-type baggie. There was also an unknown substance inside which she said, “looked like rabbit food.” She further posited that it may have been put in the baggie in order to prevent it from being blown away. A closer look revealed a confusing message on the flyer, “Every single aspect of gun control is Jewish.”

Charrkas walked to the next house and spotted a similar baggie there. The message facing up in this one read, “Every single aspect of abortion is Jewish.” 

The flyer also has photos of several politicians, all with large six-pointed stars, also called Stars of David, on their foreheads. A logo on the flyer suggests the shape of the Nazi swastika.

Growing concerned, she walked on to a third house and found yet another of the same antisemitic propaganda on the lawn. “I wasn’t sure if I should touch them,” she said, and so Charrkas went to a neighbor, Margaret Curreri, to ask for advice. Curreri encouraged Charrkas to call the police, which she did. She then returned to her house to see if there was a similar thing on her lawn but saw nothing at any of the homes on her street.

Police showed up a few hours later and canvassed the area, looking for any additional baggies, but found none. They also viewed footage from Curreri’s Ring camera but found nothing which showed who was responsible. Charrkas said that two of the three baggies had been collected before the police arrived, probably by the homeowners, she thought. “I didn’t even realize we had a community policing department. I was happy to see them canvassing the area,” she said.

Curreri, who also saw the antisemitic messages, said, “I am outraged, to say the least, of this antisemitic propaganda turning up on my street and in my neighborhood, or anywhere. This type of hatred is unwarranted and despicable.”

Similar flyers have been showing up all across the country. They have been spotted in Georgia, California’s Bay Area, on Long Island, in Florida, where flyers confusingly proclaimed, “Every single act of Disney is Jewish,” and in many other places. All seem to be linked to the same extremist White nationalist group, the Goyim Defense League (GDL). Antisemitic crimes have been on the rise in recent years. The Anti-Defamation League reports that "In 2021, antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high across the U.S. with a total of 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism tracked by ADL. This represents the largest number of reported incidents against Jews in the U.S. since ADL started recording the data in 1979."

On January 29th, Clifton was in the news for its connection to another apparent antisemitic hate crime. Clifton resident Nicholas Malindretos was arrested by the FBI for his alleged attack on a nearby synagogue. A figure, whom authorities believed to be Malindretos, was seen on security cameras throwing a Molotov cocktail at the glass doors of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield. Luckily, the reinforced glass doors did not break but the launched bottle did and the figure ran off. A nearby license plate reading device captured the plates of a car leaving the area soon after the attack and eventually led authorities to Malindretos’ vehicle in Clifton. He went before a judge on February 2nd.

Clifton police are investigating and The Clifton Times will update this story with more information once we have it. Responding to this morning’s incident, Mayor Ray Grabowski said, “Today we have seen another antisemitic crime against our Jewish community. We can’t allow such actions to be part of our lives. Hate and bias have no place here or anywhere in this world. We must be vigilant in stopping these actions.”

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