Dramatic rise in anti-Jewish attacks in New York

New York experienced a significant spike in anti-Semitic incidents in 2018. 

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

The year 2018 saw a dramatic 22-percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in New York City, according to police data cited by the Israel Hayom daily.

Of the 352 hate crimes recorded by the New York Police Department in the past year, 183 – more than half – were anti-Semitic incidents. Many occurred in the Brooklyn area, which boasts a large Jewish population.

The number of hate crimes in general in New York rose by about six percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.

“It’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle,” said Evan Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) regional director for New York and New Jersey. The ADL has recorded a six-percent increase in anti-Semitic assaults this year.

Bernstein said he believes some 13 percent of people in the New York area hold anti-Semitic beliefs and that they are “showing themselves more and more.”

Among this year’s hate crimes was a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in New York City that followed the shooting death of 11 worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27. Bernstein said the massacre “opened up people even more to act out on these feelings.”

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“I think for certain people it gave them (a) green light, and that’s what is so concerning,” he said.

“We can’t let this become the new normal, especially for young people,” he added.

According to police data, in 2018 there was an increase in hate crimes against black and Asian citizens in New York as well as in the number of complaints of sexual harassment. On the other hand, there has been a significant decrease of about 50 percent.