Surge in anti-Semitism reported in latest study

The vandalized sign at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati on Jan. 2, 2017. Photo via Twitter

(RNS) — A new report shows a continued rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S. in the first nine months of 2017, partly attributable to the Charlottesville, Va., rally in which white nationalists marched through the city shouting “Jews will not replace us.”

The report from the Anti-Defamation League shows a 67 percent increase in physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions over the same period last year.

Specifically, the report cites 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S. between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 of this year, up from 779 in the same period in 2016. The ADL has counted anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. and reported the numbers since 1979.

“While the tragedy in Charlottesville highlighted this trend, it was not an aberration,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO, said in a written statement. “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.”

The report shows that anti-Semitic incidents spiked during and immediately after the Charlottesville protests that left one woman dead. President Trump ignited a political firestorm in the wake of the violence when he attributed “blame on both sides” — white supremacists, as well as those who marched against them.

Of the 306 incidents reported in the third quarter of 2017, 221 took place on or after the Aug. 11-12 rally. Still, the total number of anti-Semitic incidents peaked in the first quarter of the year, which saw 667 instances of anti-Semitism.

Among the most notable incidents, the first nine months of 2017 saw 162 bomb threats against Jewish institutions, 584 incidents of vandalism and 12 physical assaults.

In March, after an international probe spearheaded by the FBI, Michael Kaydar, an 18-year-old Israeli-American, was arrested in Israel in connection with a wave of bomb threats at Jewish community centers.

Bomb threats, vandalism, harassment and assaults took place across the country, but the states with the highest number of incidents tended to be those with the largest Jewish populations: New York, California, Massachusetts, Florida and Pennsylvania.

New York state had the highest number of incidents — 267. It also had the highest number of reported assaults — eight.

Perhaps most troubling, the report found a growing spurt of anti-Semitic harassment and vandalism on college campuses and in grade schools. Incidents in K-12 schools in 2017 more than doubled over the same period in 2016 (269, up from 130).

On college campuses, 118 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the first three quarters of 2017, compared with 74 in the same period of 2016 – a 59 percent increase.

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.


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  • I don’t understand what the problem is with Jewish people. Is it because they are God’s chosen people? None of this makes any sense to me whatsoever.

  • Well, my sister-in-law doesn’t particularly care for the blatant and frequent bigoted comments from “Christians”, specifically the ones that cast the blame for the Holocaust upon the Jewish people. Didn’t help when they took offense with her refusal to eat pork or shellfish.
    Until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes…etc. etc. etc.

  • Christ told Christians to pray for Israel, so, you’ve missed the boat somewhere.

    Psalm 122: – 6 English Standard Version
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!

  • You know Ben, I can understand that. He loves His people so much and He came to help them, but we are not the ones to tell Christ how to do things. He knows best.

  • Re: “Christ told Christians to pray for Israel, so, you’ve missed the boat somewhere.” 

    If it’s true that Jesus said this, I’d say the many anti-Semitic Christians out there are the ones who’ve missed the boat. But hey, what could this cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen know about such things? 

  • White supremacists aren’t the only ones responsible for anti-Semetic hate in the U.S. are they? I assume in many of these incidents the perpetrator goes unfound, but it would be interesting to know in the cases where the culprit is discovered, what his or her motivation was.

  • God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.

    F. bailey Smith, president of the SBC, 40 years ago.

  • I believe God hears all prayers, wherever and by whomever uttered, but His response is predicated on two things, 1#. the heart attitude of the one offering the prayer and 2#. the precepts He has set in scripture.

  • It might have been tevye as well. The joke is as old as my father, which might be 100 years old. I think it also appeared in a story by Shalom Aleichem,

    Did I tell you I was old and can’t remember anything? ?

  • Well, the first thing to remember is “anti-Semitism” attacks are actually *good* public relations for Jewish people as it instantly garners sympathy from the general population. This is why such propaganda is pushed by the ADL. Look at what this article reports: “Michael Kaydar, an 18-year-old Israeli-American, was arrested in Israel in connection with a wave of bomb threats at Jewish community centers.” Why would an “Israeli-American” Jewish man dial in hundreds of bomb-threats to Jewish Community Centers (using very sophisticated equipment)? Simple: It is good for Jewish PR. The broader the perception of “anti-Semitism,” in a society, the greater the natural sympathy for the Jewish population. That way anytime one is critical of the dominating sway the Israel Lobby has in U.S. foreign policy (for example), they can simply be vilified as being “anti-Semitic” and few (only the wise) listen to them. Same case with the Jewish-dominated mainstream media, etc. If one points this out, they can be attacked as well. “Anti-Semitism” serves Jewish interests.

  • Can anyone explain to me the essential moral distinction between so-called “white supremacy” in the United States, and Jewish supremacy in Israel?

  • Believe me lifeboat, the Jewish do not need to seek out things that victimize them.
    There are plenty of them through recent history already. Poor beginning to your comment.

  • And are “Jewish interests” inimical to white interests or Chrisitan interests? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Well, *some* Jews would hold that a committed Christian U.S. would be inimical to their interests, which is why they have tended to subvert natural and Christian ethics in their filthy Hollywood movies. Perpetual wars in the Middle East, paid for by a Christian majority in the U.S., and fought by their kids, on behalf of Israel’s regional interests, would also be against the interests of Christian Americans…. which is why AIPAC and the Israel Lobby are considered the most powerful Lobby in Washington.

    Why does Michael Kaydar, a Jewish Israeli citizen call in hundreds of bomb threats to Jewish Community centers in the U.S. as mentioned in the article above? Why does this young Jewish lady at the link below draw swastikas on her own door?

    Why does this Jewish man conduct a whole host of anti-Semitic crimes?

    Same reason: It is in their interest. It garners instant sympathy for them from the gullible masses and makes it much easier to shut-up people who object to U.S. foreign policy and the like, which is dominated by the Israel Lobby. “Anti-Semitism” is a myth created for propaganda purposes. And the ADL is one of the most obnoxious of these propagandists.

  • So, a jew hater, explaining why jews are really the aggressors, and why christians are really the victims. Its been charming for nearly 2000 years.

    And as always its the atheists that have to call it what it is.

  • In other words, you have no rational response to my arguments above so you resort to an ad hominem vilification. Don’t feel bad, this is typical. Why don’t you simply answer my questions above? Here they are again:

    Why does Michael Kaydar, a Jewish Israeli citizen call in hundreds of bomb threats to Jewish Community centers in the U.S. as mentioned in the article above?

    Why does the young Jewish lady at the link above draw swastikas on her own door?

    Why does that Jewish man (linked above) conduct a whole host of anti-Semitic crimes?

    How am I wrong?

  • That is quite ironic. Do you even know how to define “bigotry”? Here it is: “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.”

    If I challenge your view with a reasonable argument and you respond by avoiding a rational discussion and instead are intolerant towards me personally, calling me a “jew hater,” who is exercising bigotry? Your house is built on sand, Ben. You’ve imbibed too much mainstream media, and rather than providing a reasonable challenge to my thesis, you have demonstrated its validity.

    Thanks much, and have a nice day. 🙂

  • That’s one of several definitions, not the only one. But it is the one that right wingers often like to bring up in order to distract attention from their bigotry by accusing others of being bigoted.

    Have a nice day.

  • Anti-semitism is spiritual in nature, for the adversary accuses God Himself as well as us and Israel is the single most unmistakable sign of God’s power and providence. The original game plan was to wipe out God’s people in order to prevent the Messiah from being born as promised. Failing that, the adversary still wants to wipe out God’s people in order to prevent God’s other promises from being fulfilled — that Israel will never cease to be a distinct people before God, and that Jerusalem will be ground zero of the world’s final earthly conflict and ultimately the seat of a global kingdom ruled by its Messiah.

  • This is pure propaganda. Jewish people are the safest, most privileged, most entitled, longest living, wealthiest, ethno-religious group in America. Hands down. Note that we get no details of a single incident that they call anti-semitic. Note the reference to bomb threat…leaving out the part they were made by a Jewish teen with dual citizenship with Israel. Unlike the Muslims who have had mosques burned and people murdered for the “sin” of being Muslim, not a single Jew has been physically harmed for being Jewish. How do I know this? Because we would have heard about it; the media would be going nuts. Let’s not forget the weeks of coverage and the anti hate marches from a year of two ago when two Jewish ladies saw a piece of meat lying on the ground at a Jewish cemetery in Lynn MA. The media obsessed over this horrific, anti-semitic, “hate crime”. I kid you not. All part of the Big Lie.