Anti-Defamation League ‘Astonished and Horrified’ by Two-Thirds Increase in Antisemitic Incidents in 2017
Demonstrators carrying Nazi and Confederate flags in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12. Photo: Anthony Crider via Wikimedia Commons.
The head of the Anti-Defamation League declared his organization was “astonished and horrified” by a recent steep rise in antisemitic incidents in the US, as the ADL released new data on Thursday that compared 2017 with the previous year.
ADL’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents — which covers the period from January through September of this year — recorded almost 1,300 antisemitic outrages across the country, including physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions.
According to the ADL, that total “represents a 67 percent increase over the same period in 2016 and already exceeds the 1,266 incidents reported all of last year.” The organization emphasized what it said were a “disturbingly high number of antisemitic bullying and vandalism incidents in K-12 schools and college campuses across the US.”
“We are astonished and horrified by the rise in anti-Semitic harassment, incidents and violence targeting our communities,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and national director.
Greenblatt stated that while the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August “highlighted this trend, it was not an aberration.”
“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,” Greenblatt continued.
The ADL noted that “consistent with prior reports, the states with the highest number of incidents tend to be those with the largest Jewish populations. These include New York State (267 incidents); California (197); Massachusetts (117); Florida (69) and Pennsylvania (58).”
ADL described the rise in incidents since Charlottesville as a “meta-event rarely seen in America.” After the rally, 221 incidents targeting Jews were recorded compared to 85 in the eight months prior — a “rate of change” of 182 percent, the ADL said.
Incidents in K-12 grade schools more than doubled in 2017, with 269 incidents against 130 at the same period last year. “We are deeply troubled by the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents, bullying, and hate in our nation’s schools and we don’t think the statistics paint a full picture of what is happening,” Greenblatt said. “Many school-based incidents still go unreported.”