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Swastikas waved near Georgia synagogue by Neo-Nazi group

July 15, 2023

Members of a hate group known as the ‘Goyim Defense League’ staged a protest outside the Chabad of Cobb County synagogue in East Cobb, Georgia, on Saturday, sparking outrage among worshipers.

The demonstration, which consisted of about a dozen Neo-Nazis, accused Jewish people of conspiring to control various aspects of society.

Holding signs that targeted abortion, the media, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, and elected officials, the protesters proclaimed the involvement of Jewish individuals in these areas. Videos shared on social media showed Jewish members of the congregation confronting the Neo-Nazis and urging them to leave, while police allowed the protest to proceed.

Stewart Levy, a witness to the incident, expressed his distress on Facebook, describing it as a terrifying encounter and criticizing the police for permitting the demonstration in the name of “free speech.” Some individuals stood across the road, shouting at the Neo-Nazis to go home, while the police maintained separation between the two groups.

The Goyim Defense League had also staged a similar protest in Macon the previous night, resulting in Minadeo’s arrest for disorderly conduct and public disturbance.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Minadeo leads the Goyim Defense League and travels across the country spreading his antisemitic views. The ADL describes the group as a small network of vehemently antisemitic provocateurs, known for promoting antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories.

Their rhetoric includes assertions of Jewish control over major institutions and the disparagement of Jews as degenerates involved in various societal issues. Eytan Davidson, the southeast regional director of the ADL, highlighted the rise in antisemitism in the region, citing a 60% increase in antisemitic incidents in Georgia from 2021 to 2022.

In a separate incident earlier this month, a newly-formed hate group called the Order of the Black Sun staged a swastika-waving protest outside Disneyland in Orlando, Florida. The ADL identified this group as a white supremacist network that formed recently and emphasized their involvement in other white supremacist organizations within Florida.

Pictures and videos shared on social media depicted approximately 15 protesters brandishing Nazi flags and making derogatory remarks. The demonstration drew condemnation from Disney heiress Abigail Disney, who expressed her grandfather’s disapproval from beyond the grave.

The ADL researcher Ben Popp explained that hate groups in Florida often collaborate to create a larger, more intimidating presence within communities. The ‘Black Sun’ reference in the group’s name alludes to a Nazi symbol known as the “sunwheel,” which the Nazis employed to promote an idealized ‘Aryan/Norse’ heritage.

This recent surge in hate group activities and antisemitic incidents, both in Georgia and nationally, underscores the need for continued vigilance in combating prejudice and antisemitism.