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Antisemitic messages, Nazi swastika incident prompt Palm Beach County commissioners to pass new ordinance

Offenders of unauthorized projections face fines
Posted at 7:44 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 23:19:12-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County commissioners took action Tuesday to curtail a recent rise of antisemitic messages that have made headlines in recent months.

Among those disturbing incidents included the projection of a Nazi swastika on a downtown West Palm Beach building in January.

By a unanimous vote, commissioners passed an emergency ordinance prohibiting the unauthorized projections of signs onto buildings, structures and other places.

RELATED: More antisemitic flyers found outside West Palm Beach homes

The ordinance, which took effect immediately, will fine first-time offenders $1,000 and repeat violators from $5,000 up to $15,000 if the Palm Beach County master finds the violation irreparable or irreversible in nature.

"This is a message — a message to those people that want to bring their hate to Palm Beach County that you're not welcome here," Palm Beach County Mayor Gregg Weiss said. "As human beings, you're welcome, but your hate is not welcome, and we are never going to tolerate it as a community."

"I will go a step further than you in saying that if anybody has any hate in their heart, and they come to Palm Beach County, they better keep moving," Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Maria Sachs said. "Keep moving, not south or north or east or west, just get out of town."

RELATED: Antisemitism worries rising for many U.S. Jews, survey finds

Residents in multiple cities and towns in Palm Beach County have seen an escalation of offensive and antisemitic flyers tossed into their driveways and on their property recently.

The Florida Legislature is currently considering HB 269, which aims to make certain antisemitic acts a hate crime.