At Knesset, ADL warns of spike in US anti-Semitism

The year 2017 was fraught with anti-Semitic incidents in the US, the ADL told the Knesset.

By: World Israel News Staff

At the Knesset, the Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Israel Office, Carole Nuriel, reported a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the US in 2017, and warned that this dangerous trend could continue.

During Monday’s meeting of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, Nuriel reported a 67 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in the first nine months of 2017, compared with the same time period in 2016.

According to the ADL’s “2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents,” there were 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents across the US from January to September, including physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions.

That total represents a 67 percent increase over the same period in the previous year and exceeds the 1,266 incidents reported in total during 2016.

In addition to the significant bump in the first quarter of 2017, there was also a distinct increase after August 11, 2017. On that day, the ADL recorded a “meta-event” rarely seen in America: the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which featured shocking and violent expressions of anti-Semitism and racism, including the display of swastika flags, chants of “Jews will not replace us!” and other overt anti-Semitic acts. Anti-Semitic incidents spiked on and immediately following the Charlottesville rally.

Of the 306 incidents reported in the third quarter, 221 took place on or after the Charlottesville rally, which was one of at least 33 public white supremacist events in the US so far this year. In addition, 188 incidents of white supremacists using fliers to spread their message to new audiences, especially on college campuses, were reported.

Of the incidents reported, there has been a disturbingly high number of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism in K-12 schools and college campuses across the US. Consistent with prior reports, the states with the highest number of incidents tend to be those with the largest Jewish populations. Incidents recorded from January through September include 703 incidents of harassment, including 162 bomb threats against Jewish institutions; 584 incidents of vandalism, including 52 against Jewish institutions and 12 physical assaults.

The 162 bomb threats were discovered to be a hoax by a mentally ill 18-year-old American-Israeli. The indictment said his motive was to cause “considerable” public alarm.

‘Inconceivable’ Numbers

Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) said that new anti-Semitism disguises itself as criticism of Israel, while MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Camp) said the figures are “inconceivable,” adding that the current situation “demands a great effort on our part, in coordination with foreign governments.”

Ran Yaakobi, head of the Department for Combating Anti-Semitism at the Foreign Ministry, said a conference is set to be held in Jerusalem in three months with the participation of some 1,000 people involved in the fight against anti-Semitism. The American delegation will include senators and Members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, as well as the mayor of Charlottesville.

Yaakov Haguel, Acting Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, said a recent survey showed that some 70 percent of US Jews have experienced an anti-Semitic incident over the past year, and only 12 percent have never experienced any form of anti-Semitism during their lives.

Yigal Palmor, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at the Jewish Agency, discussed the increasing anti-Semitism among the left in Britain, mainly among senior Labour Party officials, as well as the rise in anti-Semitism in Germany and Sweden, primarily among the Muslim immigrant population.