Anti-Semitic Assaults in US Surged Dramatically in 2015

The Anti-Defamation League published a report in which it highlights an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in general and a near 100 percent increase on college campuses last year.

A new report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on anti-Semitic incidents in the US over the course of 2015 reveals a shocking increase in the incidents of assaults against Jews, and an almost 100 percent increase in incidents of college campus anti-Semitism.

ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents recorded a total of 941 incidents in the US in 2015, consisting of a 3 percent increase from the 912 incidents recorded in 2014.

The report was compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement and community leaders, and evaluated by ADL’s professional staff.

The ADL recorded 56 incidents of assaults, the most violent category in the report, representing a more than 50 percent rise from the 36 assaults reported in 2014. These attacks involved the use of physical force, spitting and the throwing of objects.

Another alarming find was the sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents at colleges and universities, which nearly doubled in 2015. A total of 90 incidents were reported on 60 college campuses last year, compared with 47 incidents on 43 campuses in 2014.

Campus anti-Semitic incidents accounted for 10 percent of the total incidents reported in the US in 2015.

There were 377 incidents of vandalism in 2015, compared with 363 in 2014. Harassment and threats numbered at 508 incidents in 2015, compared with 513 in 2014.

The states with the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents were those with large Jewish populations, such as New York, where 44 of the 56 assault incidents (79 percent) occurred, and California. This has been the consistent trend for many years.

The ADL recounted one incident which occurred in June at Staten Island, NY, when a man walking home was struck in the head with a rock. The man asked a group of teenagers if they threw the rock, and one of the perpetrators approached him and yelled, “Yeah motherf—–, we threw the rock at you…Let’s knock the yarmulke off his head. Let’s kill this motherf—–. Should we beat him?”

The three perpetrators were arrested.

“We are disturbed that violent anti-Semitic incidents are rising,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “And we know that for every incident reported, there’s likely another that goes unreported. So even as the total incidents have remained statistically steady from year to year, the trend toward anti-Semitic violence is very concerning.”

On a positive note, the overall total of anti-Semitic incidents in the US is historically low. During the last decade, the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents peaked at 1,554 in 2006 and has been mostly on the decline since.

“While that decrease is encouraging, it is troubling that on average there is one anti-Semitic assault reported in this country every week, and at least two anti-Jewish incidents on average every single day,” Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, stated. “These numbers do not even account for all of the online harassment we see every hour on social media, which is so widespread it is difficult to quantify.”

‘Explosion’ of Online Jew-Hatered

ADL says it has witnessed “an explosion of hate online,” especially on social media platforms in 2015. The ADL’s audit accounts for personal online targeting but not general online anti-Semitic expressions

“Online hate is particularly disturbing because of the ubiquity of social media and its deep penetration into our daily lives, plus the anonymity offered by certain platforms which facilitates this phenomenon,” Greenblatt explained. “The issue has grown exponentially in recent years because the Internet provides racists and bigots with an outlet to reach a potential audience of millions. We plan to adapt future versions of the Audit to account for such online harassment.”

ADL attributes part of the increase of online anti-Jewish violence to the upcoming elections in the US, with a large amount of this vitriol directed at journalists and other public figures.

ADL has launched a Task Force on Online Harassment and Journalism to investigate anti-Semitism directed at journalists through social media and to develop recommendations on how to respond to it.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News