Anti-Semitic incidents lowest in two decades

November 2, 2012

Anti-Jewish incidents in the U.S. dropped by 13 percent in 2011, according to a recently released report by the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks assaults and other attacks on Jews.

There were 1,080 incidents against Jews last year, according to the ADL—the lowest tallied by the nonprofit civil rights group in two decades.

“It is encouraging that over the past five or six years we have seen a consistent decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents across the country and that the numbers are now at a historic low,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL’s national director, said in the November 1 report.

“To the extent that these incidents serve as a barometer, the decline shows that we have made progress as a society in confronting anti-Semitism and pushing it to the far fringes, making expressions of anti-Jewish hatred unacceptable,” Foxman said.

ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents for 2011 included 19 physical assaults, 731 cases of harassment and threats and 330 incidents of vandalism.

Documented cases of anti-Semitism ranged from graffiti on a Brooklyn subway station that read “Jews were responsible for 9/11” to an incident in which a Pennsylvania middle school student wrote numbers on another student’s arm and told him to “Go die in the ovens.”

The report highlighted particular concern about anti-Semitic bullying in schools and cyberbullying by students. ADL national chair Robert G. Sugarman called for a sustained emphasis on Holocaust and diversity education in schools.  —RNS

This article was edited Nov. 16, 2012.