Neo-Nazis strike in Lakewood

Holocaust memorial in front of synagogue defaced, anti-Semitic flyers placed on vehicle windshields in Lakewood, New Jersey.

David Rosenberg ,

Scott Olson/Getty Images

A pair of hate crimes targeting local Jews were reported in Lakewood, New Jersey, the site of one of the major Litvish yeshivas in the US, on Sunday, the apparent work of a Virginia-based neo-Nazi organization.

The pre-dawn acts of vandalism took place early Sunday morning, and included the draping of a large anti-Semitic banner at a local Holocaust memorial in front of a synagogue, and the placing of anti-Semitic flyers on car windshields.

New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino called the acts of vandalism “sickening” and offered a reward for any information leading to a conviction.

“This is sickening,” Porrino tweeted. “$10k reward for bias crime info and conviction.”

The banner, which was placed in front of the Congregation Sons of Israel synagogue, read “(((HEEBS))) WILL NOT DIVIDE US”. The use of triple parentheses – called “(((echo)))” – is a white supremacist symbol used to single out Jewish individuals.

Emblazoned on the banner is the logo and internet address of Vanguard America, a self-described fascist movement apparently aligned with the National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi group based in Charlottesville, Virginia, with active branches in Nevada, New Jersey, and Florida.

The group’s manifesto rejects democracy, condemns capitalism as a danger to white America “led by a rootless group of international Jews,” and calls for the establishment of a white American empire modeled after ancient Rome.

The flyers placed on dozens of cars’ windshields also included a link to the Vanguard America website.

“THIEVING JEWS NEAR YOU,” the fliers read. “$2 MILLION STOLEN. These Jews, including a rabbi, lied about their income in order to steal millions in public benefits. 1.4% of the American population is Jewish 48% of American billionaires are Jewish. DOES CRIME PAY FOR JEWS?”

Local police say the anti-Semitic incidents were likely “directly related” to the recent arrest of 14 Jewish residents of Lakewood for welfare fraud.

"We do believe that this recent rash of anti-Semitic incidents is directly related to the recent arrests in our town,” Lakewood Police Chief Gregory Meyer told Asbury Park Press. “We have not had any other incidents before. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior and we are working with state and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office in an attempt to make arrests. We will look to prosecute all incidents of bias crimes that take place against our citizens."