The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a report on Thursday showing that the surge in anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the first quarter of the year is continuing to increase. The Jewish watchdog organization links this trend to a resurgence of the neo-Nazi movement.
From January to September, the ADL recorded 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions. This represented a 67 percent increase over the same period the previous year. In total, 1,266 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the U.S. in 2016. The ADL reported a 107 percent rise in reported cases of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism in K-12 schools. Universities saw a 59 percent increase, a total of 118 incidents so far this 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,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “Many school-based incidents still go unreported. As a country, we have to do more to ensure that our schools remain places where students can learn safely without fearing bullying and hate.”
Every quarter of 2017 showed a significant increase in anti-Semitic events over its corresponding period the previous year. Thus far, the anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 have included 703 incidents of harassment including 162 bomb threats against Jewish institutions, 584 incidents of vandalism including 52 against Jewish institutions, and 12 physical assaults.
The highest number of incidents were reported in the states with the largest Jewish populations, including New York State (267 incidents), California (197), Massachusetts (117), Florida (69), and Pennsylvania (58).
The ADL links this disturbing trend to a rise in the Neo-Nazi movement, as was evidenced by a White-Supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August characterized by Nazi flags and chants of, “Jews will not replace us!”. After the rally, incidents increased by 182 percent, rising from an average of 2.36 per day to 4.3 per day.
“We are astonished and horrified by the rise in anti-Semitic harassment, incidents and violence targeting our communities,” Greenblatt said. “While the tragedy in Charlottesville 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. For over a century, ADL has worked tirelessly to protect any community targeted by hatred – and we’re not about to stand down now. No matter how emboldened these fringe elements of society may feel, they will never threaten our mission.”