Orlando police are investigating another antisemitic incident after the phrase “Vax The Jews” was projected onto the side of a downtown building on New Year’s Eve, according to Orlando’s News 6.
While many were ringing in the New Year, a recording of the projected message shows witnesses in the area had little to no reaction to the antisemitic rhetoric, according to a video obtained by News 6, though the incident was later reported to the police. A similar incident happened several months prior in October after a scrolling message stating “Kanye was right about the Jews” was seen at TIAA Bank Stadium during the Florida-Georgia college football game, according to CNN.
The statement “Vax The Jews” echoes antisemitic tropes regarding Jewish annihilation and genocide that were used during the Holocaust. Despite having a significant Jewish population, Florida was one of the states that did not report its hate crime statistics to the FBI, drawing criticism from the Jewish community due to concerns the lack of reporting would understate how rampant antisemitism has been over the past year.
Keith Dvorchik, CEO of Shalom Orlando, a merger of the Roth Family Jewish Community Center and Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, told News 6 that incidents like this one had happened “far too many times.”
“You continue to see this and you feel less safe,” Dvorchik stated. “As someone who’s very publicly Jewish, I have concerns all the time, what if someone decides they want to target me.”
Dvorchik said the growing antisemitism has led to many Jewish families to consider leaving the United States altogether, according to News 6. During a recent Sabbath, Dvorchik explained that the rabbi asked the congregation if any of them had been reconsidering where they live and three-fourths acknowledged they had been.
“It is sad, it’s disappointing, but I hope that most people are watching this also find it incredibly offensive,” Dvorchik pointed out. “And if you think, ‘Oh they’re just targeting the Jews, we don’t have anything to be worried about,’ they’ll come for you next.”
The Orlando Police Department did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.