An anti-Semitic hate group was behind a banner hung over a busy Los Angeles freeway on Saturday that read “Kanye is right about the Jews,” watchdog groups said, after Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, made a series of anti-Semitic comments in recent weeks.
Several people could be seen raising their arms in a Nazi salute as they stood behind the banner and another sign that read, “Honk if you know.” A third banner promoted a video platform that streams anti-Semitic content operated by the Goyim Defense League, a network of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.
StopAntisemitism.org, a nonprofit group dedicated to documenting antisemitic behavior said the GDL was responsible for hanging the banners above Interstate 405.
The Anti-Defamation League of Southern California said in a cheep that the group behind the banner was “known to advocate #antisemitism and white supremacist ideology.
“Hate has no place in Los Angeles or anywhere else and these attempts will not divide us,” he said.
Several high-profile figures spoke out over the weekend against the recent rise in anti-Semitic speech.
“Anti-Semitism in any form is deplorable. In person. Online. No matter where. It’s hate and it’s unacceptable,” actor and producer Reese Witherspoon wrote in a statement. cheep Sunday night.
“I fully understand why my Jewish friends/colleagues are afraid for their families. This is a very scary time,” she said.
“I support my Jewish friends and the Jewish people,” comedian and actress Amy Schumer said in an Instagram post.
“LA is a city of belonging, not hate,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote in a tweet condemning “this weekend’s anti-Semitic incidents.”
“Jewish Angelenos should always feel safe,” he said. “There is no place for discrimination or prejudice in Los Angeles. And we will never back down from the fight to expose and eliminate it.”
Representative Adam Schiff, D-Calif. said he was also “appalled at the vile anti-Semitism on display in Los Angeles this weekend.”
“Tragically, it shows the power some have to amplify hate speech and how quickly they can persuade others to express their own intolerance,” he said, appearing to reference Ye’s recent comments, without directly naming the rapper. “We must condemn hate wherever we see it, immediately and forcefully.”
The incident comes after Ye, who has been outspoken about his struggles with mental health and has a history of erratic posting online, made a series of anti-Semitic comments on social media, prompting the rapper to view his Facebook accounts. Twitter and Instagram temporarily restricted.
The producers of online talk show “The Shop” also pulled an episode featuring the rapper after they said he used “extremely dangerous hate speech and stereotypes” during the recording.
As the rapper faced mounting backlash for his comments, it was announced last week that Ye had agreed to acquire conservative-oriented social media app Parler.
Parlement Technologies, Parler’s parent company, announced last Monday that it had “reached an agreement in principle to sell Parler” to Ye, who said he was “taking a bold stance against his recent censorship of Big Tech.”
NBC News has contacted a representative for Ye for comment.
The ADL has warned that “extremists from across the ideological spectrum,” including members of the GDL, have been accepting Ye’s anti-Semitic remarks and celebrating news of his plans to acquire Parler.
In addition to Saturday’s incident, the ADL said the GDL was also trying to “take advantage of Ye’s comments by targeting the black community with its propaganda and trying to convince black people that Jews are a universal enemy.”
The ADL said members of the group’s Telegram chat were seen discussing new initiatives related to Ye’s comments, including creating fliers blaming Jews for the Atlantic slave trade, while some members claimed to have targeted specifically to black neighborhoods during recent propaganda distributions.
The Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments said they were investigating anti-Semitic fliers that were distributed in Beverly Hills, according to The LA Times. It’s unclear if they were related to Saturday’s incident. Police departments did not immediately respond to a request for more information overnight.