More than 400 anti-Semitic incidents, including a record number of assaults, were reported across New York State last year in a disturbing pandemic-era trend of hate, the watchdog Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday in its annual report.
The 2021 statewide figures included 183 incidents of harassment, 182 reports of vandalism, 161 cases involving swastikas and 51 assaults. The assault figures for the state were the highest reported since the ADL launched its annual audit in 1979, and showed a 325% jump from the dozen recorded in 2020.
“The alarming uptick in anti-Semitic incidents in our state should be deeply concerning to all — Jews and those outside of the Jewish community,” said Scott Richman, ADL regional director for New York/New Jersey. “The message that this data is sending us is clear: anti-Semitism, like other forms of hate, is not going away.”
Attacks on Jewish institutions — synagogues, temples, schools and community centers — jumped from 44 in 2020 to 62 last year, marking a 41% increase. Seven physical assaults and three bomb threats were included in that number, according to the report.
Authorities also reported hate-crime increases in Long Island (up 33%), Westchester County (up 28%) and Rockland County (up 100%).
The report described New York City — and particularly Brooklyn, home to a large Hasidic population — as the “epicenter” of incidents targeting Orthodox Jews. Thirty-four of the 51 assaults took place in Brooklyn, which “continues to be a hotspot for anti-Semitic activity.” New York accounted for 15% of the crimes against Jews nationally, according to the report.
During a single weekend this past November, the report said, a group of roaming teens targeted multiple Jewish victims between the ages of 3 and 18 in Williamsburg. The victims were slapped, punched and thrown to the ground during the hate-crime spree, the report said.
“The fact that these incidents included a number of vicious assaults — frequently targeting visibly Jewish individuals on the streets of New York, including young children — is incredibly disturbing,” said Richman.
Roughly six of every 10 reported New York State incidents occurred in the five boroughs, and 94% of the reported anti-Semitic assaults also happened in the city as well.
In one incident last November, a Jewish woman had an unknown liquid thrown in her face after her assailant announced “You people are disgusting.” The report also cited an attack on a Hasidic family of three in Manhattan, when a knife-wielding man approached two parents and their 1-year-old child.
Also, the oft-arrested man busted for smearing his feces on a woman waiting for a Bronx subway was also charted for a September 2021 hate crime where he randomly spit on a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke before announcing, “I’m going to kill you!”
The national numbers were equally daunting, with 2,717 reported incidents marking a 34% increase from the 2020 figures. And the report noted an anti-Semitic crime jump statewide between May and June 2020, boosted in part by the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas.
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