A neo-Nazi group recently gathered in front of the New England Holocaust Memorial, a "disgusting and despicable" demonstration in Boston while there has been a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic violence across the country, the Anti-Defamation League's regional leader tells the Herald.

Members of the Nationalist Social Club on Sunday stood in front of the New England Holocaust Memorial across from City Hall Plaza. Holding flags, members of the white supremacist group took a photo in front of the memorial, and posted the picture on the social media site Telegram.

"This is the kind of thing they like to do. They like to be provocative and want to spread hate, anti-Semitism, and they try to incite people," said Robert Trestan, ADL New England's regional director.

"They purposefully chose to go to the Holocaust Memorial, a place that is sacred for Boston-area Jews, to basically spread a message that the Holocaust didn't happen and to send the message that you don't belong here," Trestan added. "It's disgusting and despicable."

The neo-Nazi group also recently posted photos of their members demonstrating in Nashua, N.H., as they held a "White Lives Matter" sign.

The white supremacists also spray-painted racist graffiti in Nashua, writing, "Death to Israel" and "Keep New England White."

"It's pretty concerning that they're right here," Trestan said. "This isn't across the country. This is in our neighborhood. They are trying to send these messages to our neighbors who live here."

"They're on a little bit of a publicity road trip," he added. "At a time right now when we're seeing a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic violence against Jews, this is a concern. It's a concern that it might incite or inspire other people to attack Jews or other groups."

There has been a rise in violence against those in the U.S. Jewish community since the Mideast conflict erupted two weeks ago, according to the ADL.

Anti-Semitic incidents reported to ADL have jumped by 63%, according to preliminary data from ADL's Center on Extremism. The week before the conflict between Israel and Hamas started, there were 67 reports of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S., compared with 113 reports during the last week.

Also during the recent escalation of violence, there has been a surge in anti-Semitism on social media. ADL's experts found a 348% spike in anti-Semitic language on a prominent 4chan board.

"The spike we've witnessed in recent weeks has been among the sharpest in recent memory," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted about the rise in anti-Semitic hate and violence. "It'll take all of us to combat it."


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