PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A banner plane seen over the weekend in South Florida caused a firestorm on social media.
The message on the banner caught the attention of many who have grown accustomed to hate speech.
Liora Rez, the executive director of stopantisemitism.org, received the photos from her South Florida followers.
She called Pembroke Pines police and even pulled North Perry Airport’s flight manifest.
“I was shocked, as many people were,” she said. “Everyone’s sensitivities and alarm levels are set at such a high level when seeing a banner that blatantly says, “Jew. I have a question.’”
The banner and flight originated at Aerial Banner, Inc. at North Perry Airport, where they told Local 10 News’ Glenna Milberg it was actually a marriage proposal, like so many they do, and a woman nicknamed Jew raised no eyebrows until a call from the Anti-Defamation League.
“It was like, ‘Wait, what? What are you talking about?’” said Milo Srkal Jr. with Aerial Banners, Inc. “And then after sitting back, thinking about it, reading a few things, and having things explained to us, it was like, ‘Oh my God.’”
The banner backlash comes during a documented increase in anti-Semitic crimes, including graffiti, vandalism, and open hate.
“One’s mind starts to jump to frightening things,” said Rez.