Total number of antisemitic attacks down 5% from record high in 2017, but still nearly 100% higher than 2015 levels.
The Anti-Defamation League’s annual report on antisemitic incidents in the US has found that the number of Jews physically assaulted in American more than doubled in 2018 over the 2017 figures.
These findings come in the wake of the antisemitic shooting by a white supremacist at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California last week, as well as the worst ever attack against Jews in the US at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018.
Although physical assaults are noticeably up, the total number of antisemitic incidents in the country actually decreased, although 2018 is has the third-highest number of such incidents on record since ADL started tracking such data in the 1970s.
According to the report, there were 39 reported physical assaults against Jews in 2018, compared to 19 in 2017. In those 39 incidents, 59 Jewish people were assaulted, including the 11 people killed and two wounded in the Pittsburgh attack, up from 21 in 2017.
In total, there was a total of 1,879 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions across the country in 2018, compared to 1,986 in 2017, a decrease of some 5 percent.
The ADL noted that despite this small decline, the number of incidents in 2018 remained at near-historic levels – 48 percent higher than the total for 2016 and 99 percent higher than in 2015.
“We’ve worked hard to push back against anti-Semitism, and succeeded in improving hate crime laws, and yet we continue to experience an alarmingly high number of anti-Semitic acts,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director.
“We unfortunately saw this trend continue into 2019 with the tragic shooting at the Chabad synagogue in Poway. It’s clear we must remain vigilant in working to counter the threat of violent anti-Semitism and denounce it in all forms, wherever the source and regardless of the political affiliation of its proponents.”
ADL’s annual tally of incidents nationwide found that anti-Semitic assaults, harassment and vandalism are still pervasive in the U.S, and that all but four states experienced anti-Semitic incidents.
In addition to the October mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, there were high levels of white supremacist activity in 2018, including the dissemination of propaganda on college campuses and in communities, and hateful robocalls aimed at voters.
ADL’s annual audit classifies all incidents into three categories: assault, harassment and vandalism.
Of the total incidents reported in 2018, there were 39 incidents of assault, 1,066 incidents of antisemitic harassment, a 5 percent increase from 1,015 in 2017; and 774 incidents of antisemitic vandalism, down 19 percent from 952 in 2017.
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