Study shows surge in anti-Semitism in U.S.

A recent report indicates that incidents spiked during and immediately after white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
November 2, 2017

A recent report shows a continued rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in the first nine months of 2017, including the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally in which white nationalists marched through the city shouting, “Jews will not replace us.”

The study from the Anti-Defamation League shows a 67 percent increase in physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions over the same period last year. Specifically, the report cites 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States between January 1 and September 30 of this year, up from 779 in the same period in 2016. The ADL has counted anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and reported the numbers since 1979.

“While the tragedy in Charlottes­ville highlighted this trend, it was not an aberration,” said Jonathan Green­blatt, ADL’s CEO, in a statement. “Every single day, white supremacists target members of the Jewish community: holding rallies in public, recruiting on college campuses, attacking journalists on social media, and even targeting young children.”

The report shows that anti-Semitic incidents spiked during and immediately after the Charlottesville rally and counterprotest August 11–12 that left one woman dead.

Overall, the number of anti-Semitic incidents peaked in the first quarter of the year, which saw 667 instances of anti-Semitism. In March, as the result of an international probe spearheaded by the FBI, Michael Kadar, an 18-year-old Israeli American, was arrested in Israel in connection with a wave of bomb threats at Jewish community centers.

Bomb threats, vandalism, harassment, and physical assaults took place across the country, but the states with the highest number of incidents tend to be those with the largest Jewish populations: New York, California, Massa­chusetts, Florida, and Penn­sylvania. New York State had the highest number of incidents with 267. It also had the highest number of reported assaults with eight.

Perhaps most troubling, the report found a growing spurt of anti-Semitic harassment and vandalism on college campuses and in grade schools. Incidents in K-12 schools in 2017 more than doubled over the same period in 2016 (269, up from 130).

On college campuses, 118 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the first three quarters of 2017, compared with 74 in the same period of 2016—a 59 percent increase. —Religion News Service

A version of this article, which was edited on November 29, appears in the December 6 print edition under the title “Study shows increase in anti-Semitism in U.S.”