March 1, 2021

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Report: Anti-Semitic incidents in US hit document excessive in 2019

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American Jews had been targets of extra anti-Semitic incidents in 2019 than some other yr over the previous 4 many years, a surge marked by lethal assaults on a California synagogue, a Jewish grocery retailer in New Jersey and a rabbi’s New York residence, the Anti-Defamation League reported Tuesday.

The Jewish civil rights group counted 2,107 anti-Semitic incidents in 2019, discovering 61 bodily assault circumstances, 1,127 cases of harassment and 919 acts of vandalism. That is the best annual tally for the reason that New York Metropolis-based group started monitoring anti-Semitic incidents in 1979. It additionally marked a 12 per cent enhance over the 1,879 incidents it counted in 2018.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the group’s CEO, attributes final yr’s document excessive to a “normalization of anti-Semitic tropes,” the “charged politics of the day” and social media. This yr, he mentioned, the COVID-19 pandemic is fueling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

“Anti-Semitism is a virus. It is sort of a illness, and it persists,” Greenblatt mentioned. “It is typically often known as the oldest hatred. It by no means appears to go away. There actually is not any single antidote or treatment.”

The ADL’s rely of anti-Semitic assaults concerned 95 victims. Greater than half of the assaults occurred in New York Metropolis, together with 25 in Brooklyn. Eight of these Brooklyn assaults occurred throughout a span of eight days in December, primarily in neighborhoods the place many Orthodox Jews reside.

“Objects had been thrown at victims, antisemitic slurs had been shouted, and not less than three victims had been hit or punched of their heads or faces,” says the report first given completely to The Related Press.

The ADL defines an anti-Semitic assault as “an try to inflict bodily hurt on a number of people who find themselves Jewish or perceived to be Jewish, accompanied by proof of antisemitic animus.” Three of these 2019 assaults had been lethal.

A 20-year-old former nursing scholar, John T. Earnest, awaits trial on prices he killed a lady and wounded three different folks throughout an assault on Chabad of Poway synagogue close to San Diego in April 2019. The gunman advised a 911 dispatcher that he shot up the synagogue on the final day of Passover as a result of Jews had been attempting to “destroy all white folks,” in keeping with prosecutors.

Assaults in Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey, killed a police detective in a cemetery and three folks at a kosher market in December. Authorities mentioned the attackers, David Anderson and Francine Graham, had been motivated by a hatred of Jewish folks and legislation enforcement.

A 37-year-old man, Grafton Thomas, was charged with stabbing 5 folks with a machete at a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s residence in Monsey, an Orthodox Jewish group north of New York Metropolis. One of many 5 victims died three months after the Dec. 28 assault. Federal prosecutors mentioned Thomas had handwritten journals containing anti-Semitic feedback and a swastika.

The ADL’s report attributed 270 anti-Semitic incidents to extremist teams or people. A separate ADL report, launched in February, discovered that 2019 was the sixth deadliest yr for violence by all home extremists since 1970.

The ADL counted 919 vandalism incidents in 2019, a 19% enhance from 774 incidents in 2018.

Two males described by authorities as members of a white supremacist group known as The Base had been charged with conspiring final yr to vandalize synagogues, together with Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in Racine, Wisconsin. Even earlier than his synagogue was defaced with swastikas, Rabbi Martyn Adelberg sensed that anti-Semitic incidents within the U.S. have been rising as extremist rhetoric migrates from the web’s fringes to mainstream platforms.

“It provokes one thing else, too: an timeless outpouring of affection,” he mentioned, noting {that a} crowd of 150 folks – not less than 5 occasions the traditional measurement and consisting largely of gentiles – attended the primary service on the temple after the vandalism. “The assist was overwhelming.”

The ADL says it helped authorities determine a suspect accused of plastering white supremacist and anti-Semitic stickers on a show case at Chabad Jewish Middle in Ocean Metropolis, Maryland. Rabbi Noam Cohen, the middle’s director, mentioned anti-Semitism has ebbed and flowed for hundreds of years. He views the vandalism of his heart as an remoted incident, not an indication of rising anti-Semitism.

“Possibly I am naive, however I hope not,” he mentioned.

The ADL tallied 1,127 harassment incidents final yr, a 6% enhance over 2018. The group outlined these incidents as circumstances through which not less than one Jewish individual reported feeling harassed by the perceived anti-Semitic phrases or actions of one other individual or group.

The ADL report does not attempt to totally assess on-line anti-Semitism, nevertheless it does embrace incidents through which people or teams obtained anti-Semitic content material in direct messages, on listservs or in social media settings “the place they’d have the cheap expectation to not be subjected to anti-Semitism.”

The ADL counted 171 anti-Semitic incidents final yr referencing Israel or Zionism, together with 5 cases through which members of a white supremacist group, Patriot Entrance, protested outdoors Israel-aligned organizations to oppose “Zionist affect” over the U.S. authorities.

“Though it’s not antisemitic to protest Israeli insurance policies, these protests have to be thought-about inside the context of this group’s well-documented antisemitic agenda,” the report says.

The ADL says it tries to keep away from conflating common criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. “Nevertheless, Israel-related harassment of teams or people could also be included when the harassment incorporates established anti-Jewish references, accusations and/or conspiracy theories, or once they demonize American Jews for his or her assist of Israel,” the report says.

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