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Lt. Gov. Josh Green target of hate campaign

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2020
                                Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s staff and community members found anti-Semitic flyers directed at the lieutenant governor in July. Above, Green spoke at a news conference addressing COVID-19 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center last year.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2020

    Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s staff and community members found anti-Semitic flyers directed at the lieutenant governor in July. Above, Green spoke at a news conference addressing COVID-19 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center last year.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green was the target of an anti-Semitic campaign by an unknown group aligned with protesters demonstrating outside of his condominium in opposition to COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates.

On Jun.18, the Aloha Freedom Coalition posted a black and white photo accented with light purple highlights featuring Green’s face on the group’s Instagram with the word “FRAUD” written across the bottom of the frame. The caption read, “It would be a shame if someone posted signs like this all over town.”

On July 2, Green’s staff and community members started finding flyers identical to the Instagram post but bordered at the top and bottom by a handwritten banner featuring a repeating pattern that read “JEW” next to the Magen David, the Star of David.

Protesters opposed to mask and vaccine mandates have demonstrated outside of Green’s downtown Honolulu condominium unfairly involving his wife, children, and neighbors, he said.

“I absolutely support the right to freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully. However, protests at my home where my wife and children live, and my neighbors live is not appropriate,” said Green, in a statement provided to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “

“AFC is unaware of any hate speech on Josh Green flyers that were posted around town. AFC fully denounces any and all forms of discrimination and hate speech,” according to a statement provided to the Star-Advertiser signed Aloha Freedom Coalition. “AFC made a social media post about the blatant hypocrisy exhibited by Josh Green for lack of transparency in COVID data.”

The group’s motto is “Maintain Freedoms. Preserve Aloha. Protect Ohana” and its Instagram account is populated with posts pushing back hard on vaccine mandates and passports and statements and images critical of Green and Gov. David Ige and others who support rules requiring COVID-19 vaccination and mask wearing.

“All forms of threats, hate speech, and harassment are reported internally to the Executive Protection Section, Sheriff’s Division, Department of Public Safety,” according to statement from Green’s office provided to the Star-Advertiser.

The EPS provides a security detail for the governor and lieutenant governor to ensure their and their families’ safety and welfare, according to Toni Schwartz, DPS’ public information officer.

The Sheriff Division and the Honolulu Police Department are not currently investigating the proliferation of the flyers, specific threats against Green and his family, or the protests outside of his private home according to HPD and DPS.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Honolulu Field Office did not respond to a question about whether it received complaints about the anti-Semitic fliers.

Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the “devastating impact they have on families and communities,” according to the bureau’s website. The FBI investigates hundreds of hate-crime cases across America every year.

Green welcomes the protesters’ message, but it must be delivered at the appropriate venue.

“Some of the protest has become aggressive and included hate speech for which there is no place in America, for that,” said Green. “People who want to protest me should absolutely do it at the Capitol. Under any circumstance, I’m going to keep taking care of people and the incredible irony is the protesters who are trying to stop others from getting vaccinated or wear masks are the very people I will be taking care of as a doctor.”

HOW TO REPORT POSSIBLE CRIME

The FBI encourages victims and witnesses to report potential hate crimes and submit tips.

>> Call: 1-800-CALL-FBI

>> Website: tips.fbi.gov

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