Culture&Arts

Watchdog: Anti-Semitic incidents up 57pc in US

Watchdog: Anti-Semitic incidents up 57pc in US

Anti-Semitic incidents rose 57 percent in the U.S. past year, according to a report published by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday.

The New York City-based organization found 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents a year ago, up from 1,267 in 2016.

The ADL noted there were 1,986 anti-Semitic episodes reported across the United States in 2017, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions.

"There's an emboldening of expressions of hate, with respect to anti-Semitism but also in every category we monitor", says Doron Ezickson, the ADL's regional director for the mid-Atlantic.

The reported incidents range from brief acts of vandalism, like swastikas found drawn on the walls of a Silver Spring office building, to globally noticed events like the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that featured tiki-torch-wielding marchers chanting "Jews will not replace us". It is the highest tally that the Jewish civil rights group has counted in more than two decades.

Of biggest concern is the explosion of hate crime in schools and on campuses.

The group said NY state had 380 reported incidents in 2017 - the most of any state and up from 200 in 2016.

An "incident" in this audit doesn't necessarily mean a single act of anti-Semitism.

These are but a few of the 208 bias offenses targeting New Jersey Jews past year, a jump of 32 percent from 2016, according to the new audit.

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Incidents at grade schools and college campuses also went up past year, going from 235 in 2016 to 457 in 2017.

"The current statistics confirm what we all thought past year: that anti-Semitism did surge", in N.J., said Joshua Cohen, regional director of the ADL's New Jersey office.

Forty-five of the incidents were in San Diego: 25 reports of harassment (up from 21 in 2016) and 20 of vandalism (up from nine in 2016).

The Anti-Defamation League says DE joined the rest of the country in experiencing a rise of anti-Semitic harassment in 2017.

According to the report, the anti-Semitic incidents took place in a range of locations, including places of business, private homes, public areas like parks and streets, Jewish institutions, schools and colleges and universities.

Anti-Semitic incidents at schools and on college campuses almost doubled for the second year in a row, with 457 such incidents reported in non-Jewish schools last year, the ADL report said.

The ADL also counted 19 anti-Semitic physical assaults previous year, a 47 percent decrease from 2016.

The states with the most reports of incidents were New York, California (268 reports), New Jersey (208), MA (177), Florida (98) and Pennsylvania (96). "We call, we check and we verify", Greenblatt said.

"Those signals from President Obama or President Bush or President Clinton and others before them were incredibly important to keeping the country on track and to shutting down bigots", Greenblatt said. The highest number was reported in 1994, when the ADL reported multiple unsolved arsons, cross burnings and a drive-by shooting. General expressions of white supremacy and instances of discrimination against Jewish people were not included, unless they involved explicit anti-Semitic harassment.


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