ATHENS, Ga. — Someone is throwing flyers with antisemitic messages in the driveways of one Athens neighborhood.
Neighbors and the Jewish community are calling on law enforcement to step in, saying it's another example of hate in Georgia.
John Watkins says he first noticed the flyers on Thursday. He said he was taking the trash out when he noticed the propaganda's messaging.
"I was kind of disgusted and kind of sad," Watkins said.
The flyers contain hateful messages and images seemingly aimed at the Jewish community. 11Alive has chosen not to show the contents of the flyers so as to not spread hate.
Watkins says he expected more from his community.
"We're better than this," he said. "It's 2023 and we're stepping back."
Rabbi Eric Linder with Congregation Children of Israel in Athens has noticed a rise in antisemitism now spreading from other cities in Georgia, such as Atlanta and Cartersville, to Athens.
"It is absolutely scary. And it's something that we have to take seriously," Linder said. "And it just shows the unfortunate reality that antisemitism continues to be real."
Linder has already been hearing from his congregation. He's hoping the hate doesn't turn into a bigger issue.
"The support and friendship that we have from our community is absolutely there," Linder said, "And I have no question that, even with this incident, it is by far the minority."
Watkins considers this to be a hate crime. He's hoping law enforcement takes it seriously.
Linder says authorities should be involved, as some of his congregants feel these problems have not been taken seriously.
"There are real acts of violence that they have to deal with," Linder said. "At the same token, this is an opportunity to strengthen community bonds and even a little reassurance, I think, would go a long way."
Watkins adds that this isn't just an attack on the Jewish community, but it's an attack on the entire neighborhood and the morals they teach their children.
"We're an inclusive community and we stand together," Watkins said. "And we stand against horrible bigotry."
11Alive reached out to Athens Police Department the day after we received complaints about the flyers. The communications spokesperson tells 11Alive that he isn't aware of the flyers and will need to further investigate.