US: Majority of hate crimes in 2016 were against Jews

Over half of the total religion-linked hate crimes in the US in 2016 were anti-Semitic new FBI reported shows.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased slightly in 2016, and anti-Jewish incidents made up over half of the total religion-linked hate crimes in the US last year, a new FBI reported revealed.

The FBI on Monday released its hate crime statistics for 2016, which showed a slight rise, 0.4 percent, in 2016 over the incidents in 2015.

The FBI recorded 1,273 religious hate crimes in 2016, of which 684, or 53.7 percent, were motivated by anti-Semitism.

In 2015, there were 664 were anti-Semitic incidents.

Overall, there were more than 6,100 recorded hate crimes in the US last year, up about 5 percent over the previous year.

The FBI’s annual report is the most comprehensive accounting of hate crimes in the US, but authorities warn that it is incomplete.

Earlier this month, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report showing that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the US remains significantly higher in 2017 compared to 2016.

In addition to the significant bump in the first quarter of this year, there was also a distinct increase after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August, the ADL reported.

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In its latest Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, the ADL shows that from January 1 to September 30 there were 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents across the US, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions. This represents a 67 percent increase over the same period last year and already exceeds the 1,266 incidents reported throughout 2016.

Of the incidents reported, there has been a disturbingly high number of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism incidents in K-12 schools and on college campuses across the US.

From the beginning of 2017 until September, there were 703 incidents of harassment, including 162 bomb threats against Jewish institutions.  Most of the bomb threats turned out to be hoaxes perpetrated by a disturbed Israeli man; 584 incidents of vandalism, including 52 against Jewish institutions and 12 physical assaults.

“We are deeply troubled by the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents, bullying, and hate in our nation’s schools and we don’t think the statistics paint a full picture of what is happening,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and national director. “Many school-based incidents still go unreported. As a country, we have to do more to ensure that our schools remain places where students can learn safely without fearing bullying and hate.”