U.S. Antisemitic Incidents Skyrocket

In the three months since the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, U.S. antisemitic incidents have skyrocketed, reaching a total of 3,283 incidents between Oct. 7 and Jan. 7, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL)) preliminary data. This represents a 360-percent increase compared to the same period one year prior, which saw 712 incidents the ADL said in a statement released this week.

The preliminary three-month tally is higher than the total number of antisemitic incidents tracked in any year in the last decade, except for calendar year 2022, when the total number of incidents reached a historic high of 3,697. Since Oct. 7, there was an average of nearly 34 antisemitic incidents per day, putting 2023 on track to be the highest year for antisemitic acts against Jews since ADL started tracking this data in the late 1970s.

“The American Jewish community is facing a threat level that’s now unprecedented in modern history,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “It’s shocking that we’ve recorded more antisemitic acts in three months than we usually would in an entire year.”

According to the ADL Center on Extremism, which gathers reports and tracks antisemitic incident data, these 3,283 antisemitic incidents break down into the following categories:

• 60 incidents of physical assault.

• 553 incidents of vandalism.

• 1,353 incidents of verbal or written harassment.

• 1,317 rallies, including antisemitic rhetoric, expressions of support for terrorism against the state of Israel and/or anti-Zionism.

“In this difficult moment, antisemitism is spreading and mutating in alarming ways,” said Greenblatt. “This onslaught of hate includes a dramatic increase in fake bomb threats that disrupt services at synagogues and put communities on edge across the country.”

Of the total, at least 505 incidents took place on college campuses, and another 246 were reported in K-12 schools. At least 628 incidents were reported against Jewish institutions such as synagogues and community centers. About two-thirds of the total incidents could be directly related to the Israel-Hamas war.

Recent incidents reported to ADL include:

• Jan. 4 – A High School basketball game in Yonkers, NY, was canceled after antisemitic slurs were hurled at players from a competing team.

• Jan. 3 – Antisemitic postcards were sent to the entire Newburyport, MA city council as well as the city’s mayor. The postcards had an antisemitic caricature as well as language saying that “the Holocaust never happened.”

• Jan. 3 – Chicago Police said 40 to 50 pieces of antisemitic propaganda was found on several cars in the Andersonville neighborhood.

• Jan. 3 – At least six Jewish temples in San Diego County were threatened after someone sent a message saying a bomb was hidden in their buildings. The local synagogues were among 91 total Jewish houses of worship in California that were targeted that day.

• Jan. 1 – A teenager wearing an IDF sweatshirt was harassed at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, NJ. The assailant pushed the victim and said, “you’re a whore,” and “free Palestine.”

• Jan. 1 – A Portland woman was arrested in Chicago on multiple felony hate crimes and criminal defacement charges after swastikas were found on a Jewish school and multiple businesses.

• Dec. 23-24 – Two eating clubs at Princeton University were vandalized with pro-Palestine and anti-Israel graffiti, including the words, “F— Israel.”

• Dec. 21 – Amazon suspended an employee who slipped a note into a customer’s order that read, “Death to Zionists.”

• Dec. 20 – Phoenix Police said antisemitic papers were found at the site of an arson fire that damaged multiple businesses.

• Dec. 19 – A nationwide swatting spree targeted nearly 200 Jewish institutions over one weekend in what appeared to have been a coordinated effort by an entity outside of the United States, according to the FBI.

ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all. See www.adl.org for more.

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