Anti-semitic letters showing up in Hays County 

By Sahar Chmais
Anti-semitic letters, placed in plastic bags with pebbles, were placed in front of homes across several cities in Hays County.

One of the antisemitic letters sent to Hays County residents. Photo from Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra.

One of the letter’s headlines reads, “Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish,” and the letter claims the names of Jewish leaders in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine scientists and more. Another letter questions why Jewish people have majority control over the media.

On Sunday night, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra brought this issue to light through a social media post and said reports of the letters started coming to him on Saturday. There have been at least six letters sent out based on reports made to him, but many more letters could have gone out to residents, Becerra said.
Homes in San Marcos, Kyle and Dripping Springs received the letters, according to Becerra. The target audience of the letters is unknown, but Becerra said those who reported the incident were white, so he believes it could have been cherry picking; trying to target and scare the Jewish community.
Additionally, Becerra said he is under the impression that someone was driving by at night and throwing the letters out of their window because of the rocks inside the bags.
“We are a hard working community, filled with intrinsically good people and we must not let slivers of hatred divide us,” Becerra told the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch. “We must continue to prove that we are the good people we have always been.”
Recently, the FBI paid for a billboard in Hays County about reporting hate crimes. Reports can be made at www.tips.fbi.gov, or called into 1800-CALL-FBI.
The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.” On its own, hate is not defined as a crime.
“We are aware of the incidents and are in regular contact with local authorities,” reads an FBI statement regarding the letters. “If in the course of the local investigation, information comes to light of a federal violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate. “
The Hays County Sheriff’s Office said it has not been contacted by any residents and no reports have been filed regarding this anti-semitic behavior.

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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