Anti-Semitism down overall, but is occurring online and at colleges

July 24, 2013

The Anti-Defamation League’s annual study of anti-Semitism in the U.S. shows a 14 percent decrease in incidents during 2012, the second consecutive year of a downward trend.

Overall, the ADL counted 927 anti-Semitic incidents—including assaults, vandalism and harassment—down from the 1,080 incidents reported in 2011. Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL’s national director, called the trend “encouraging.”

“While these numbers only provide one snapshot of anti-Semitism in America, to the extent that they serve as a barometer the decline shows that we have made progress as a society in confronting anti-Jewish hatred,” he said.

The ADL has conducted its annual survey since 1979. The recent decline in anti-Semitic incidents contrasts to findings in many Europeans countries, where anti-Semitic incidents continue to rise. In France, for example, the Jewish Community Security Service recorded 614 anti-Semitic acts in 2012, compared to 389 in 2011—a 58 percent jump.

But the ADL report also showed a proliferation in the U.S. of some expressions of anti-Semitism, including vandalism, online expressions of hatred toward Jews, and anti-Jewish hostility on college campuses—where the ADL says anti-Israel sentiment too often has turned anti-Semitic. —RNS

This article was edited on August 8, 2013.