Jon Minadeo II, the man who for several years has used Petaluma as a home base for creating and distributing antisemitic literature, has been arrested in Poland for demonstrating against Jews at the gates of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, according to his own Sept. 4 post on the conservative social media platform Gab.
"Got handcuffed & arrested in Poland today for (((Hate Speech))) regarding Auschwitz," Minadeo wrote. "Just got released tonight with a fine and my chains and computer temporarily confiscated. Life's good! You can't keep me down Jews!"
The three sets of parentheses around "Hate Speech" are a device first used by bigots to single out Jews online and later adopted by members of the faith to identify themselves in a gesture of defiance. One of Minadeo's necklaces, visible in other recent posts of his, dangled a swastika.
His arrest was first reported in the press by J, the Jewish News of Northern California.
Auschwitz, the busiest of the Nazi regime's death camps, is located in the suburbs of the Polish city of Oswiecim. The Nazis murdered an estimated 1.1 million Jews, including 200,000 children, there between 1940 and 1944.
Minadeo had also posted a photo of his stunt at the concentration camp. In the image, he smiles alongside an accomplice identified by the Anti-Defamation League as Robert Wilson. Both are dressed casually and holding up handmade signs. Wilson's reads "Shoah the ADL" — Shoah, the Hebrew word for "catastrophe," is commonly used by Jews to denote the Holocaust. Minadeo's sign is a profane attack on Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
Antisemitic flyers associated with Minadeo
The Press Democrat first wrote about Minadeo in late February, when a Napa neighborhood was blanketed with antisemitic flyers bearing the imprint of GoyimTV, Minadeo's media brand. The incident was related to similar episodes around the Bay Area in the preceding weeks. There have been more since, including in Windsor three months ago.
The hand sheets, full of tropes and disinformation, are easily downloaded and printed from the internet, making it hard to determine whether Minadeo is personally involved with any particular distribution.
When The Press Democrat profiled Minadeo earlier this year, it came at a time of ebbing activity by the attention-seeking provocateur. But he has picked up the pace again since, both on his GoyimTV streaming channel, and on road trips where he and a small group of confederates assemble to hang antisemitic banners or taunt people at synagogues and Jewish centers.
Minadeo recently posted a video in which he follows an immigrant around the streets of Poland, harassing the man and denouncing him as an "invader." His version was in turn posted by other people, on other platforms, most of them opposed to the hate message. One of those, on Reddit, drew hundreds of comments blasting Minadeo and lampooning the idea of a neo-Nazi complaining about someone invading Poland.
One source who knows Minadeo and his girlfriend well said the couple has moved to Florida.
"Although he may no longer be living in the area, his actions and the increase in antisemitic actions by like-minded people, concerns us deeply," said Jamie Bloom, president of the board of directors of B'Nai Israel Jewish Center in Petaluma.
"Our Petaluma Jewish community continues to be vigilant, and we hope that our broader Petaluma and Sonoma County community will continue to join us in that vigilance."Jamie Bloom
Unlike many European countries that have vigorous laws prohibiting Nazi propaganda, United States law enforcement agencies generally say there is little they can do unless a perpetrator explicitly threatens a religious or ethnic group.
After the antisemitic flyers were distributed in Windsor, Police Chief Mike Raasch posted a statement on Facebook that read, in part, "These flyers go against everything Windsor stands for. We are a town filled with love, respect, and inclusivity. We will not tolerate hate."
But Raasch also wrote that "despite the troubling nature of the flyers, no crime has been committed."