Police in Massachusetts and New Hampshire are set to increase their presence this weekend after social media references to an alleged “national day of hate” against Jewish groups.
Brookline Police said the situation began with an Iowa-based antisemitic group reaching out to their supporters, urging them to “shock the masses with banners, fliers and graffiti.” especially temples and synagogues.
Nothing was known about concrete threats.
“We just want people to be aware of that, and like we always say, if you see something, say something,” Brookline Police Deputy Superintendent Paul Campbell said in a video posted to social media became.
NOTE: An Iowa-based anti-Semitic group has called on its supporters to “shock the masses with banners, fliers and graffiti.” LINK IN BIO pic.twitter.com/uY5lzRd6Ui
— Brookline PD (@BrooklineMAPD) 24. February 2023
“We will have increased visibility around Cambridge Jewish places of worship this weekend as a precaution,” Cambridge Police Department said in a statement.
The New Hampshire Department of Safety also issued an alert on Friday, urging residents and visitors to be vigilant, adding that they have not received any credible threats or indications of planned events in the state at the time. Anything suspicious can be reported by calling 911.
“We are closely monitoring this situation as an organization,” said Peggy Shukur, interim regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in New England. “We live in a time and place where threats like these need to be taken seriously and communities need to remain vigilant.”
Shukur says the ADL is calling on people to counter this hatred with a day of peace.
“As the Jewish Sabbath approaches, we call on communities and people to embrace this weekend as a time of peace and let peace prevail over a particular day of hatred by extremist groups,” she said.
Bias or hate incidents can be reported to the ADL at adl.org/incident.
Law enforcement in other cities across the country, including New York City and Chicago, are also stepping up patrols.
This comes just days after Portsmouth, New Hampshire, police announced an investigation into hateful graffiti in their city.
Hate and anti-Semitic incidents have increased significantly in recent years. In an April 2022 report, the ADL found that reports of assault, harassment, and vandalism against Jews increased 42% in New England in 2021 and increased 34% statewide.
A spokesman for the Boston branch of the FBI says it works daily to detect, disrupt, and take down these types of threats and urges people to report anything suspicious to law enforcement.