BEVERLY HILLS (lamag.com ) — A slew of hate-filled flyers aimed at pro-Armenia demonstrators sprouted up this weekend around Beverly Hills, where protestors had gathered to march against the ongoing crisis in Artsakh, the heavily Armenia-populated province in the southern Caucasus whose residents have been cut off from food and supplies by Azerbaijani troops.
The demonstrators were greeted by flyers taped to lamp poles that threatened: “Azerbaijan; Turkey; Pakistan; Israel = 4 BROTHERS WILL WIPE Armenia OFF the MAP Inshallah!!!”
Beverly Hills Mayor Lille Bosse immediately denounced the flyers on social media as the city’s police department reviewed surveillance camera footage around La Cienega and Wilshire Boulevards in search of those responsible.
“I’ve said it over and over again, hate has no place in Beverly Hills or anywhere. I will always stand up, I will always speak out against it,”Bosse wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.
Chairman of the Armenian Rights Watch Committee of the Armenian Bar Association Alex Bastian says that hate crimes against his countrymen are not only on the rise but have also gone largely unnoticed by the international community. St. Gregory’s Armenian church in San Francisco, where he was baptized, was hit by a firebomb in 2020; the attack remains unsolved. The FBI has offered a $50,000 reward for information about those responsible.
“It’s not just a crime against one of us, it’s a crime against all of us,” Bastian said of the flyers. He knows firsthand how violent words can escalate quickly into violent actions, such as the burning of a church or bullets fired at an Armenian school.
In Beverly Hills, Armenians are just the latest to be targeted by hateful flyers. Anti-Semitic flyers posted around the city made national headlines when they repeatedly appeared around the city in late 2022.
The weekend’s threats against Armenian-Americans were also denounced by Sepi Shyne, the mayor of West Hollywood, a city home to a sizable community of Armenian Americans.
“The rise in hate is indicative of a serious threat to democracy and we must all continue to stand for love and against hate,” Shyne wrote in a recently tweeted.
If the people who authored and placed these flyers choose not to live by the rules, ethics, and spirit of a pluralistic society, then they should consider repatriation to the repressive and backwards societies where they came from.