Anti-Semitic flyers name group led by Petaluma man who engage in Nazi propaganda
On Thursday morning, residents of the Old Town neighborhood just south of downtown Napa woke up to find sacks of rice dumped in front of their homes. The rice was intended to act as ballast, to prevent a pair of anti-Semitic flyers from flying away. One of the flyers highlighted the many Jews involved in US health policy — the drivers of the “COVID agenda” — while the other noted Jews in positions in the Joe Biden administration.
Lowell Downey, who lives in this neighborhood, discovered he was included when a friend knocked on his door to show him. Downey called the incident “alarming and upsetting”. And he doesn’t believe it’s random.
“We felt really targeted, because we’re a Jewish family,” Downey said. “We were the only ones in our block to be affected. My friend didn’t see any outside someone else’s house.
The Congregation Beth Shalom synagogue, several blocks from Downey’s home, also received the hate-filled delivery that morning. On social media site Nextdoor, at least one resident of another Napa neighborhood across town also said they received flyers.
The Napa incidents are the latest in a string of Bay Area cities that have recently been blanketed in vitriolic flyers. According to the Jewish News of Northern California, it happened in targeted areas in San Francisco on January 23, Danville on February 2, and Novato, Tiburon and Berkeley on February 20.
It can be difficult to determine exactly who is responsible for distributing Bay Area flyers. They are shared on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app, and easily printed at home.
However, at the bottom of the leaflets, a media site, Goyim TV, hosts videos and documents actual stunts aimed at denigrating, ostracizing and harassing members of the Jewish faith.
According to public incorporation documents reviewed by The Press Democrat, the man behind Goyim TV and its umbrella organization, the Goyim Defense League (“goyim” is a Hebrew-Yiddish term for non-Jews), is Jon Minadeo II.
While there is nothing that specifically links Minadeo to the flyers, he has a prolific online presence in which he regularly denies the Holocaust, performs Nazi salutes and espouses Jew-hatred.
According to his web posts and other public records, Minadeo is a 39-year-old actor and rapper who lives in Petaluma. His presence there is an open secret that has troubled members of the city’s Jewish community for several years.
“Of course, it’s disturbing to have someone in our midst who thinks that way about our people,” Rabbi Ted Feldman of the B’nai Israel Jewish Center told Petaluma. “That’s all I can really say about it. As a community, we just want to stay strong, be who we are, and move on with our lives.
Several phone numbers linked to the Minadeo name had been disconnected and a phone message left for a man thought to be a relative was not returned.
A man working in the yard of a house in Petaluma listed as Minadeo’s home address in the incorporation records said that Minadeo did not live there, but knew him and would pass on the message. A business address listed in the incorporation records turned out to be a UPS box.
Petaluma Mayor Teresa Barrett said she had never heard of Minadeo and had not seen the flyers.
“Obviously I would be opposed to any hate speech in Petaluma, or anywhere,” Barrett said. “I don’t really want to comment on something I don’t know. But my principle is that hate speech has no place in Petaluma.
Minadeo may have a low profile in his own community, but he’s built a broad presence on the fringes of American bigotry and landed on the radar of the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitic hate groups.
According to the ADL, the Goyim Defense League was responsible for at least 74 incidents of anti-Semitic propaganda in 2021. In December, the watchdog organization said, Minadeo’s group picked up the pace with a nationwide campaign. Since then, it has distributed material in 17 states.
Much of the content comes directly from the neo-Nazi playbook. According to the ADL, the Minadeo team frequently asserts that Jews control the financial and media industries behind the scenes. They also accuse Jews of orchestrating the 9/11 terrorist attacks, molesting children, and advocating for pornography, abortion, and gay rights. (Goyim TV rants often target LGBT+ groups as well.) Minadeo says the Holocaust, which killed 6 million European Jews, is a fabrication.
The COVID-19 pandemic is now part of the anti-Jewish conspiracy theory. In a December 2020 podcast, Minadeo referred to the coronavirus as the “Jewish Flu” and told listeners, “They are coming to commit major torturous genocide. It’s the truth… These (anti-Semitic slurs) will try to put a fucking needle in your arm!