(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com)– The Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission (PHRC) announced Thursday that they are aware of antisemitic fliers and stickers that were distributed in a Pittsburgh area park and have taken action to remove them.
According to the release, antisemitic fliers and stickers were being distributed in a neighborhood park of Squirrel Hill, a neighborhood in the Pittsburgh area. The materials have since been removed and the FBI has been notified.
“Antisemitism and hate have no place in our commonwealth or our country,” said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. “As Pennsylvania’s top civil rights enforcement agency, the PHRC condemns the distribution of this type of hateful material. We cannot let hate poison our communities. The PHRC stands beside our Jewish brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh and offers support and comfort to all.”
No additional information has been given on the contents of the fliers and stickers distributed.
Earlier this week, the trial began for Robert Bowers, 50, who is accused of killing 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.
The attack is the worst worst antisemitic attack in American history and Bowers could face the death penalty if he is convicted.
This comes as antisemitic attacks and incidents have increased both in Pennsylvania and the nation over the last year according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
A 2022 audit of antisemitic incidents conducted by the ADL found 852 reported incidents of antisemitic propaganda flier distribution in 2022, an increase of 422 from 2021. In Pennsylvania, there were a total of 114 recorded antisemitic incidents in 2022, that’s up 65% from 2021.
The ADL also says that antisemitism is at its highest level across the nation since they first began tracking those incidents in 1979.