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Haredi Jews bear the brunt of antisemitic attacks, global report finds

The report from Tel Aviv University and the Anti-Defamation League finds the number of physical attacks on Haredi Jews spiked in the US but declined in the UK, Germany, France, Canada and Argentina.

In this Sept. 20, 2013, file photo, children and adults cross a street in front of a school bus in Borough Park, a neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York that is home to many ultra-Orthodox Jewish families. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

(RNS) — Haredi Jews, conspicuous by their clothing — black suits and hats for men, long skirts and head coverings for women — were the main targets of antisemitic assaults in 2022, a new study of global antisemitism documents.

The report from Tel Aviv University, in cooperation with the Anti-Defamation League, finds the number of physical attacks on Hardei Jews spiked in the United States (and to a lesser extent in Belgium, Hungary, Italy and Australia) but declined in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Argentina.

Released to coincide with Yom Hashoah, Israel’s annual Holocaust commemoration, which begins Monday evening (April 17), the report concludes that rising populism and political polarization may be the biggest reasons for the rise of antisemitic violence worldwide.

The report zeroes in on three cities in the U.S. with the highest number of Jews: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where collectively about 2.3 million of the country’s 6 million American Jews live.

In those cities, physical assaults against Jews almost exclusively targeted Haredi (or what the report calls “ultra-Orthodox”) Jews.

The report concludes that “… assaults overwhelmingly took place in a limited number of urban areas; occurred mainly on streets and public transportation (rather than in the vicinity of synagogues or Jewish centers) and appear not to have been premeditated.”

RELATED: Antisemitism spiked in 2022, but physical assaults were few, ADL reports

In New York, those antisemitic attacks were mainly in Brooklyn, which has a high concentration of Haredi Jews living in Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Borough Park and Midwood. In 2022, the NYPD recorded 261 anti-Jewish hate crime reports compared to 214 in 2021, the report found.

There were 86 antisemitic hate crimes in Los Angeles and 38 in Chicago in 2022.

"Antisemitic Hate Crimes in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, 2019-2022" Graphic courtesy of ADL

“Antisemitic Hate Crimes in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, 2019-2022” Graphic courtesy of ADL

In London, which also saw a spike in antisemitic violence, attacks were primarily located in Stamford Hill, a neighborhood in the borough of Hackney with a Jewish population of as many as 30,000 Jews, most of whom are Haredi. Sixty of the 82 physical assaults in London took place there, according to the Community Security Trust, a group that protects British Jews from antisemitism.

The report devotes a chapter to former President Donald Trump’s November 2022 dinner at Mar-a-Lago with rapper Ye, or Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

“Trump’s open association with both men (and subsequent refusal to apologize and condemn their views) raised alarm about the mainstreaming and normalization of antisemitism in the Republican Party,” the report states.

It also takes to task Fuentes’ America First PAC, which has developed ties with congressional Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona, as well as Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin and Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers. Fuentes is described in the report as a white supremacist and Holocaust denier.

The report was written by Tel Aviv University’s Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry with the ADL, the first such collaboration between the two organizations.

RELATED: Poll: A minority of American Jews continues to feel threatened by antisemitism


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