The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a new report today that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in New York rose by over 90% in 2017 compared to 2016. Nationally, ADL recorded the largest single-year increase on record since ADL began tracking incident data in the 1970s.
There were 380 incidents of anti-Semitism reported in New York State in 2017, including physical assaults, vandalism, harassment and attacks on Jewish institutions, according to ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, compared to 199 such incidents in 2016.
“New Yorkers are seeing an undeniable surge of anti-Semitism and bigotry that we all must confront,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “The dramatic increase in harassment, school related incidents and against religious institutions cannot be accepted as a ‘new normal.’ This kind of hate hurts the victim and deeply impacts the Jewish community; we must remain vigilant in denouncing and exposing hate wherever it emerges. We know that when anti-Semitism is on the rise, so too are other forms of hate.”
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New York continues to experience more incidents than any other state in the U.S., with one out of every five anti-Semitic incidents reported in New York. More than half of anti-Semitic assaults committed nationwide were reported in New York.
Since 1979, ADL has counted anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. and reported the numbers in its annual Audit of Anti-Semitics Incidents.
Among the 380 incidents reported in 2017 in New York State there were:
236 incidents of vandalism, up 61.6% from 2016;
133 incidents of harassment, including 24 bomb threats against Jewish institutions, up from 29 in 2016;
11 incidents of assault, down 42% from 19 in 2016;
The state also saw a doubling of incidents in K-12 schools from 18 incidents in 2016 to 36 in 2017, and a 130% increase on college campuses.
New York City experienced a substantial uptick in reported anti-Jewish acts in 2017. In the five boroughs of NYC, 234 incidents were reported, an increase of over 90% compared to 2016. Following trends discovered earlier this year, more incidents occurred in Manhattan (99) than anywhere else. Approximately 75% of all NYC incidents occurred in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Queens saw the largest increase in incidents compared to 2016, rising from 11 to 39.
Anti-Semitic incidents by area:
Staten Island: 7
Long Island: 62
Rockland County: 12
HOW ADL IS RESPONDING
ADL has a comprehensive approach to address anti-Semitic incidents and behavior, including educating youth to prevent these behaviors and working with law enforcement to apprehend the perpetrators. ADL New York trained over 550 law enforcement officials last year, and reached students in 175 schools with our anti-bias and anti-bullying training. It is imperative that our schools have anti-bias and anti-bullying programs.
“ADL’s mission to stop the defamation and secure justice and fair treatment for all must be pursued at all levels,” said Bernstein, “That is why we are redoubling our efforts to educate, advocate and engage schools, law enforcement, elected leaders and community leaders to ensure we are standing together against anti-Semitism and bigotry.”
Public officials and law enforcement authorities must use their bully pulpit to speak out against anti-Semitic incidents – and all acts of hate. These officials must support efforts to punish this conduct to the fullest extent of the law, while providing comfort and assistance to individual victims and community members.
Victims and bystanders should report all anti-Semitic incidents and vandalism to the Anti-Defamation League and to local police. If we expect law enforcement officials and community members to take these incidents seriously, we must take them seriously – and report them, both to ADL and to the police.
College and university administrators, faculty, and staff must receive the necessary training to effectively respond to anti-Semitic incidents, hate crimes, hate speech, and extremism on campus. Campus officials have a moral obligation to speak out against hate. Colleges and universities must build an institution for learning that works toward inclusion and equity while also ensuring open expression and a marketplace for ideas
The ADL Audit includes both criminal and non-criminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats, and slurs. Compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement, and community leaders, and evaluated by ADL’s professional staff, the Audit provides a regular snapshot of one specific aspect of a nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported. This information assists ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.