Antisemitic signs on a truck in Los Angeles, May 21, 2022. (Screenshot via JNS) (Screenshot via JNS)
Los Angeles

“It was an antisemitic truck spewing Jew-hatred through our streets.”

By Ryan Torok, JNS.org

A vehicle displaying antisemitic rhetoric drove around Beverly Hills and West Hollywood this past weekend, causing a minor uproar among passersby.

While it was not immediately clear if it was one or more than one vehicle, video on social media of a truck at various sites showed large and hateful slogans painted onto canvases draping its sides, including: “Ann Coulter is right about Jews,” “Leo Frank raped and killed Mary Phagan” and “Abort the ADL, America’s Unelected Speech Police.”

The Los Angeles Times described the vehicle as a “rental box truck.” On May 21, it was spotted parked at a West Hollywood gas station on Santa Monica Boulevard, as well as in the drop-off area of the Beverly Hilton.

The truck drove through Beverly Hills as residents of the area and others were enjoying a biannual spring art show in Beverly Gardens Park.

Meanwhile, in West Hollywood, the sightings of the truck on Saturday coincided with the LGBTQ-friendly city’s celebration of Harvey Milk Day, which commemorates a Jewish gay-rights activist and politician who was assassinated.

“Reports [of vehicles displaying anti-Semitic rhetoric] are particularly distressing as we mark Harvey Milk Day,” the City of West Hollywood said in a statement.

According to the Times, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident and has identified the license plate of the truck. Authorities are working to identify who rented it, reported the daily newspaper.

On Sunday, the nonprofit watchdog StopAntisemitism.org posted video online of a truck parked at the Beverly Hilton with one of two drivers heard saying, “The Nazis are coming!”

The group described those responsible for the incident as “white supremacists from the Goyim Defense League dressed as Nazi brownshirts.”

This was not the first time the group known as the Goyim Defense League (GDL) has caused concern in the Southern California Jewish community. It was previously responsible for distributing antisemitic leaflets around Beverly Hills, Pasadena and other areas.

In a report on its website, the Anti-Defamation League describes the GDL as a “loose network of individuals connected by their virulent anti-Semitism … [that] engages in antisemitic stunts and schemes to troll or otherwise harass Jews.”

Jon Minadeo II, of Petaluma, Calif., is the alleged leader of the antisemitic group, according to the ADL.

‘Spewing Jew-Hatred Through our Streets’

In the aftermath of the weekend’s events, the City of Beverly Hills said the Beverly Hills Police Department was working with private businesses on educating them about how to obtain trespass letters or temporary restraining orders against those that seek to harass or annoy their guests.

Responding to the display of Jew-hatred in her city on Saturday, Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse told JNS, “From my perspective, what occurred this Saturday in our city—and apparently, this truck went to our neighboring city [West Hollywood]—was disgusting and vile. It was an antisemitic truck spewing Jew-hatred through our streets.”

Bosse, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, acknowledged groups like the GDL, from a legal standpoint, have the First Amendment right to free speech on their side, but people like her also have the right to push back against hateful rhetoric, she said.

“The more these disgusting animals go out and spew hate,” said Bosse, the more “I will only get stronger and stronger, and fight back more and more.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department at 310-855-8850.