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'This is not ... Danville'; East Bay community responds to anti-Semitic flyers

Danvile Anti-Semitic Flyers KPIX

DANVILLE (KPIX) -- Danville police are responding to anti-Semitic flyers that were found near properties around town. It is the second time in two months the community has experienced such hate incidents.

On Facebook, the police department wrote:

<blockquote>Danville PD is aware of anti-semitic flyers that have been dropped at properties around Danville. Thank you to residents who have reported these flyers to PD.

These leaflets fly in the face of our values in Danville. Our town's mission statement focuses on providing services that make people's lives better. In pursuit of that mission, we are committed to inclusivity, welcoming families and people from all backgrounds to live, work and visit. We value dialogue and respectful differences of opinion. Our differences can make us stronger; however, respect is the key. We will not condone or tolerate violence, intimidation, or hate in any form. We are committed to making Danville a safe place for all where we celebrate diversity, dignity and equality for all members of our community.</blockquote>

One Jewish resident shared photos of the flyer that was found in front of her home Sunday morning. It had been put in a bag and weighed down with some rice.

The woman did not want to go on camera but Rabbi Shmuli Raitman of the Chabad of Danville and San Ramon did. He first learned of the hate incident from a community member while he was teaching Hebrew school Sunday morning.

"It's upsetting. You can imagine community members taking a walk on a Sunday morning and comes across senseless hate and it's upsetting but I can say that this is absolutely not Danville, this is not the people of Danville," Raitman said.

He said he brought his children with him and together they collected 35 flyers from driveways around a neighborhood and discarded them.

"There's an old Jewish saying which is: 'a little bit of light dispels much darkness' and I think if we can -- if this can be the impetus for an outpour of love and kindness and if we reach out to our neighbors, friends, if we're more friendly with each other -- we can turn this into something positive," he said.

"We have friends that are not just affected by anti-Semitic propaganda or messages but any type of message that is against a group or an ethnic group, social group, religious group. It all just -- it hurts," said Danville resident David Schmith.

This is the first that long-time residents the Pathaks heard of the incidents.

"We've been here over 19 years and honestly it's been a great neighborhood and families and the community is very welcoming to all different types of races and communities and stuff so it's very surprising. But today's climate nowhere is safe, I think, anymore," Sanjay Pathak said.

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