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February 27, 2018 3:27 pm

ADL Chief Links Steep Rise in US Antisemitism to ‘Emboldened Hate Groups’

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Anti-Semitic graffiti. Photo: Yonderboy / Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States soared in 2017, according to the annual report by the Anti-Defamation League.

There were 1986 acts classified as anti-Semitic in 2017, up 57 percent from 2016 at 1,267 and more than double the 2,015 total of 941. That makes 2017 the second-most anti-Semitic year since the ADL began tracking the incidents almost 40 years ago, and the highest-ever single-year spike.

Every part of the US was affected, with at least one incident reported in all 50 states for the first time in at least a decade.

“A confluence of events in 2017 led to a surge in attacks on our community – from bomb threats, cemetery desecrations, white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, and children harassing children at school,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director, in a statement. “These incidents came at a time when we saw a rising climate of incivility, the emboldening of hate groups and widening divisions in society. In reflecting on this time and understanding it better with this new data, we feel even more committed to our century-old mission to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.”

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The largest increase in 2017 was in the category of vandalism. The ADL report observed that the “dramatic increase in anti-Semitic acts of vandalism is particularly concerning because it indicates perpetrators feel emboldened enough to break the law.”

“In the vast majority of vandalism cases the perpetrators remain unidentified,” the report said.

The states reporting the most anti-Semitic incidents were those with large Jewish populations, including New York, New Jersey and California.

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