Rep. Esther Panitch (D – Sandy Springs) gave a powerful speech against antisemitism on the House floor on Day 13.  

A hate group distributed antisemitic flyers in driveways in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs on Sunday morning. Panitch said she received one of the flyers.  

“I get angry because it doesn’t end with that,” she said. “It continues for Jews injured and murdered in their synagogue in Poway, Jersey City, Muncie, and in Pittsburgh.”  

Panitch, the only Jewish state legislator in Georgia, spoke about her family’s personal experiences with antisemitism. She revealed that swastikas were placed on her daughter’s college dorm’s door when she pledged to a Jewish sorority. Panitch also noted that antisemitism is on the rise in the U.S.  

“According to the FBI in 2019, American Jews, who make up less than 2% of the American population, were the victims of over 60.2% of anti-religious hate crimes,” she said.  

Dozens of representatives stood in support of Panitch. Speaker of the House Jon Burns (R- Newington) also addressed the flyers.  

“I know all of you join with me in taking such actions very seriously,” Burns said. “Local police are investigating this incident, and Gov. Kemp has offered the assistance of state law enforcement.”

“We pause this morning to reiterate that hate has no place in Georgia — no place in Georgia — none,” he continued. “We are blessed to live in a country which, through its very motto, recognizes our collective strength — E pluribus unum — out of many, one.” 

The Senate also addressed the incident, condemning antisemitism and expressing sympathy for Georgians who received the flyers.  

Panitch is a sponsor of a bill, House Bill 30, that would create a state definition of antisemitism.  

This story comes to Rough Draft Atlanta through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.

Sarah Kallis | GPB

Sarah Kallis covers state politics for "Lawmakers" on GPB.