An antisemitic flyer inside a bag of rice distributed in Sarasota. (Sarasota Police Dept.) (Sarasota Police Dept.)
antisemitic flyer

Sarasota neighborhood is latest in southern Florida to be targeted with antisemitic flyers.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

For the second time in recent weeks, residents of Sarasota, Florida found antisemitic flyers blaming Jews for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID pandemic on Saturday.

According to the Sarasota Police Department, the flyers were placed in Ziploc bags containing rice and placed at the foot of driveways in the Arlington Heights neighborhood. The same neighborhood was targeted with similar flyers in February as were other areas of southern Florida in January.

Many of the flyers were titled “Every single aspect of the Ukraine-Russia War is Jewish,” and featured images of Ukrainian and Russian Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin wearing kippot at the Western Wall.

The police said that other flyers featured antisemitic COVID propaganda were identical to February, listing the names of various public health officials and describing them as either “Jewish” or “Shabbos goy.”

“Anti-Semitism is nothing new for anyone who has grown up Jewish,” Shep Englander, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Sarasota Manatee, told local WWSB News. “What’s new is the people that used to be off in the corners talking to themselves, have now crawled out.”

“I appreciate the enormous support we’ve gotten from our neighbors, from civic leaders, from our elected officials and from law enforcement,” Englander added.

Similar flyers distributed at hundreds of homes in the Miami Beach and Surfside communities in January contained references to a platform a website featuring antisemitic propaganda videos.

Police are continuing their investigation.