Re­port: Anti-Semitic in­ci­dents in­crease by 57 per­cent in 2017

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - NATION - BY MICHAEL KUNZELMAN

The Anti-Defama­tion League re­ported a 57 per­cent in­crease in anti-Semitic in­ci­dents in the U.S. last year, the high­est tally the Jewish civil rights group has counted in more than two decades, ac­cord­ing to data it re­leased Tues­day.

The New York Ci­ty­based or­ga­ni­za­tion found 1,986 anti-Semitic in­ci­dents last year, up from 1,267 in 2016. That’s the high­est to­tal since 1994 and the largest sin­gleyear in­crease since the group be­gan col­lect­ing that data in 1979.

The ADL said the sharp rise in­cludes 952 van­dal­ism in­ci­dents, an in­crease of 86 per­cent from 2016. The group also counted 1,015 in­ci­dents of ha­rass­ment, a 41 per­cent in­crease from 2016.

ADL na­tional di­rec­tor and CEO Jonathan Green­blatt said the “alarm­ing” in­crease ap­pears to be fu­eled by em­bold­ened far-right ex­trem­ists, as well as the “di­vi­sive state of our na­tional dis­course.”

“Less ci­vil­ity has led to more in­tol­er­ance,” he told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Green­blatt also ac­knowl­edged height­ened aware­ness of the prob­lem likely led to in­creased re­port­ing of anti-Semitic in­ci­dents.

Anti-Semitic in­ci­dents at schools and on col­lege cam­puses nearly dou­bled for the sec­ond year in a row, with 457 such in­ci­dents re­ported in non-Jewish schools last year, the ADL re­port says.

“We should see this as an alarm, a very loud alarm that should get the at­ten­tion of all of us,” Green­blatt said.

The ADL and other groups have re­ported a surge in the num­ber of in­ci­dents in which far­right ex­trem­ist groups have posted racist and anti-Semitic fliers on col­lege cam­puses. ADL spokesman Todd Gut­nick said the re­port’s tally only counts in­ci­dents in which fliers had ex­plic­itly anti-Semitic mes­sages.

The ADL also counted 19 anti-Semitic phys­i­cal as­saults last year, a 47 per­cent de­crease from 2016.

The ha­rass­ment in­ci­dents in­cluded 169 bomb threats against Jewish in­sti­tu­tions, nearly all of them by two men. The ADL re­port said more than 150 bomb threats against Jewish com­mu­nity cen­ters and day schools last year were al­legedly made by an 18-year-old Is­raeliAmer­i­can Jewish hack- er, who was ar­rested in Is­rael last March. Sep­a­rately, a for­mer jour­nal­ist from St. Louis pleaded guilty to mak­ing a string of fake bomb threats to Jewish or­ga­ni­za­tions last year in the name of his ex-girl­friend.


Head­stones top­pled and dam­aged by van­dals lie on the ground last Fe­bru­ary at Mount Carmel Ceme­tery in Philadel­phia.

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