RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- At least four different kinds of antisemitic fliers were found in a Raleigh neighborhood with a significant Jewish population.
According to Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue, hateful speech can escalate to violence, something the Jewish community has witnessed many times throughout history.
"It's extremely upsetting, it's chilling," Solomon said. "Sadly, our community knows in history, we don't (have to) look that far back, that it's what starts with words and starts with literature -- if not protested and not spoken up against -- can lead to even more things, sadly including violence."
Acts of hate, antisemitism and terrorism in the United States in 2021 increased by about 5% from 2020, according to the Anti-Defamation League. In North Carolina so far in 2022, the ADL has reported 61 such incidents from January to March, which remains the most recent data.
Solomon said he first found out about the fliers when a neighbor and fellow member of the Jewish community approached him about them. Solomon said he discussed the fliers with other members of the community and on the neighborhood social network Nextdoor, then reported the incident to the Raleigh Police Department.
"It's been a real conversation in the neighborhood of people very upset and a little scared," Solomon said. "It's very troubling, especially for children."
Solomon said hate and antisemitism must be opposed and added that they have no place in the community.
"We have to stand up and speak about it," said Solomon. "We can't ignore it. We have to let those who perpetrated this know that we won't tolerate it. Not in our city, not in our town, not in our neighborhoods. "
Highlighting the importance of reporting any other similar fliers to the police department, Solomon also expressed the need to speak out against all forms of hate against any group.
"This is important that everyone realizes that when they see hatred or hate speech go forward, it can't be unchallenged in any way," Solomon said. "We must speak up for love."