NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville leaders are reacting after more than 40 flyers with messages of antisemitism were distributed early Wednesday at homes in West Nashville and near key religious landmarks.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper along with a coalition of city leadership comprised of key voices from Metro Nashville government and religious leaders condemned the hateful messages.
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A joint statement was released from Mayor John Cooper, Vice Mayor Jim Shulman, Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake, Council Members Kathleen Murphy and Thom Druffel, The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee and the Gordon Jewish Community Center:
“Hateful, divisive rhetoric and antisemitism have no place in Nashville, TN.
“Antisemitic attacks are on the rise and continue to expand throughout the country. Painfully, Nashville is not immune. Nashville residents both Jewish and non-Jewish have been confronted by antisemitic messages not only on social media, but also at their homes and in their communities.
“Mayor Cooper has directed his administration to work closely with leaders in the Jewish community to investigate and respond to these incidents. Chief Drake and the entire Metro Nashville Public Department remain vigilant and are coordinating appropriate responses at key Jewish landmarks and throughout the city without further emboldening the individuals and groups involved in spreading these disgusting messages.
“This disturbing antisemitic propaganda is similar in tone and style to that used for generations to target the Jewish people and paint them as the enemy. Once Jews are defined and identified as the enemy, anything done against Jews can be justified.
“As a community, we will not tolerate these actions. We stand united in support of the Jewish community, and against the extremism and hatred of a small but dangerous faction of our city.
“Thank you to our Nashville friends and neighbors who have already spoken out and joined us in condemning this activity. We will not surrender to these dangerous and damaging efforts intended to divide and distort.
“We will not stand idle in the face of treacherous and threatening attempts to sow chaos and fear.
“We have and will continue to call out this alarming rhetoric, and respond by promoting civility, inclusion, and respect for all our friends and neighbors in Nashville.”
Metro police reported the flyers do not target anyone in Nashville specifically and its special investigations unit is looking into the matter.
The department will increase patrols near the Jewish centers in the west precinct.
The Jewish Federation & Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee asks anyone who receives such antisemitic materials, please contact Adam Bronstone, Director of Planning & Israel Partnerships, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 704-208-7453.
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.