Violence against Jews in the US and worldwide unleashed by pro-Palestinian elements was “shocking.”
Antisemitic incidents in the US rose to an historic high in 2021 according to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) annual audit, released on Tuesday.
Published annually since 1979, the ADL’s audit recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents last year, a 34 percent increase on the antisemitic outrages tabulated by the civil rights organization in 2020.
Worryingly, the audit noted a dramatic increase in physical assaults targeting Jews, with 88 incidents reported — a rise of 167 points on the 33 incidents recorded the previous year. None of the violent incidents incurred mass casualties, an abiding concern for the Jewish community since the atrocity in Pittsburgh in Oct. 2018, when a neo-Nazi terrorist murdered 11 worshipers at the city’s Tree of Life Synagogue. Of the 88 violent episodes last year, 77 were perpetrated without the use of a deadly weapon, the ADL said.
Of the remaining incidents, 1,776 involved cases of harassment and 853 incidents were cases of vandalism. Again, both these categories registered an increase in incidents compared with 2020.
What the ADL described as a “surge” of incidents occurred in May 2021, during the war between Israel and the Hamas terror organization in Gaza. “As Jewish individuals were violently beaten in the streets from New York to Los Angeles, a total of 387 incidents were reported that month, with 297 of the incidents occurring after May 10, the date marking the official start of military action,” the ADL remarked.
The violence against Jews in the US and worldwide unleashed by pro-Palestinian elements was “shocking,” the ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement.
“Jews were being attacked in the streets for no other reason than the fact that they were Jewish, and it seemed as if the working assumption was that if you were Jewish, you were blameworthy for what was happening half a world away,” Greenblatt observed.
Just under 20 percent of the antisemitic incidents in 2021 were perpetrated by “known extremist groups or individuals inspired by extremist ideology,” the ADL said. The audit also noted that white supremacist groups or extremists were responsible for 422 antisemitic propaganda distributions, a 52 percent increase year over year.
Antisemitic incidents occurred in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. The states with the highest number of incidents were New York (416), New Jersey (370), California (367), Florida (190), Michigan (112) and Texas (112). Combined, these states accounted for 58 percent of the total number.