Anti-Semitic attacks in the United States rose dramatically last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The annual “Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents” documented 941 incidents last year in the U.S., a three percent rise over the 912 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2014.
Last year, 56 of the incidents were violent assaults, a more than 50 percent rise from the 36 violent attacks reported in 2014.
The states with the highest totals of anti-Semitic incidents were those with large Jewish populations, starting with New York (198) and California (175).
Equally disturbing was the finding that anti-Semitic incidents nearly doubled last year at colleges and universities across the United States, accounting for 10 percent of the total number of incidents in 2015.
A total of 90 such incidents were reported on 60 college campuses in 2015; 47 anti-Semitic incidents were reported on 43 campuses in 2014.
“We are disturbed that violent anti-Semitic incidents are rising,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “And we know that for every incident reported, there’s likely another that goes unreported. So even as the total incidents have remained statistically steady from year to year, the trend toward anti-Semitic violence is very concerning.”
ADL National Chair Marvin D. Nathan said it was “troubling” that at least two anti-Semitic incidents occur in the U.S. on average “every single day.” Moreover, “These numbers do not even account for all of the online harassment we see every hour on social media, which is so widespread it is difficult to quantify.”
In the past year the organization has witnessed an explosion of hate online, he said, especially on social media platforms. While the Audit includes includes incidents of online anti-Semitism reported to the ADL in which an individual or institution is explicitly targeted, it does not count the general anti-Semitic expressions online — of which there are thousands.
“Online hate is particularly disturbing because of the ubiquity of social media and its deep penetration into our daily lives, plus the anonymity offered by certain platforms which facilitates this phenomenon,” Greenblatt said.
“The issue has grown exponentially in recent years because the internet provides racists and bigots with an outlet to reach a potential audience of millions. We plan to adapt future versions of the Audit to account for such online harassment.”Hana Levi Julian