Report Shows Assaults Against Jews More Than Doubled in 2018

A report released on Tuesday by the Anti Defamation League shows that anti-Semitism reached near historic levels in 2018.

According to the ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic incidents, assaults against Jewish people more than doubled, and the U.S. saw the single largest attack against Jewish people in its history.

There were 1,879 attacks against Jewish people and institutions in 2018, making it the third-highest year on record since ADL began tracking such data in the 1970s.

In addition to the October shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11, an additional 59 people were victims of anti-Semetic assaults in 2018.

“We’ve worked hard to push back against anti-Semitism, and succeeded in improving hate crime laws, and yet we continue to experience an alarmingly high number of anti-Semitic acts,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “We unfortunately saw this trend continue into 2019 with the tragic shooting at the Chabad synagogue in Poway. It’s clear we must remain vigilant in working to counter the threat of violent anti-Semitism and denounce it in all forms, wherever the source and regardless of the political affiliation of its proponents.”

The ADL’s Audit classifies incidents into three categories: assault, harassment and vandalism. Of the total incidents reported in 2018:

  • Assaults: 39 incidents, marking an increase of 105 percent from the 19 incidents reported in 2017. Those incidents affected 59 victims, up from 21 in 2017, and include the 11 fatalities and two injured congregants in Pittsburgh.
  • Harassment: 1,066 incidents of anti-Semitic harassment were reported to ADL last year, a 5 percent increase from 1,015 in 2017, and a 48 percent increase from 721 in 2016.
  • Vandalism: 774 incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism were recorded in 2018, down 19 percent from 952 in 2017, but up 52 percent from 510 in 2016.

The ADL also noted a dramatic increase in the amount of white supremacist propaganda released in 2018, though they were careful to not that not all incidents are related to extremism.

In Louisiana, there were 12 incidents reported to and investigated by the ADL, including several high visibility incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism (the desecration of two Jewish cemeteries, the anti-Semitic graffiti on a synagogue, and swastikas painted in the heart of New Orleans right outside the window of a Jewish apartment).

“2018 showed us that anti-Semitism is very real and present in Louisiana,” said Aaron Ahlquist, ADL South Central Regional Director.  “The tragedies of 2018 impact us all, and we will remain vigilant and stand together against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate. In the face of the what we have experienced, we call upon our leaders to take an active role in calling out and addressing the rising anti-Semitism in our society, and work to put an end to hate.”

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