Antisemitic incidents are continuing to rise in New Jersey, where the Anti-Defamation League reports ten percent more cases in 2022 than over the previous year.
According to the latest report, there were 408 antisemitic incidents that included harassment, vandalism and assaults.
Just a year earlier, in 2021, there were 370 such incidents; in 2020, there were 295 incidents, and 345 incidents in 2019.
There are more than 590,000 Jews living in New Jersey.
Two attacks were particularly serious.
Antisemitic Terrorism and Threats
A “credible threat” in 2022 from a Middlesex County teenager who appeared to threaten to kill Jews prompted an FBI alert to Jewish residents in New Jersey, warning them to be vigilant.
Omar Alkattoul, 18, a resident of Sayreville, New Jersey, was arrested in November 2022 and charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce in connection with the threat after he threatened to attack a synagogue in Edison.
Alkattoul sent a friend a link on social media to a document he said that he wrote, entitled “When Swords Collide.” A second witness said Alkattoul also sent the document to at least five other people using different social media application.
“It’s in the context of an attack on Jews,” he allegedly wrote to the first recipient, according to court records.
In the document, Alkattoul allegedly wrote, “I am the attacker and I would like to introduce myself. . . I am a Muslim with so many regrets but I can assure you this attack is not one of them and Insha’Allah many more attacks like these against the enemy of Allah and the pigs and monkeys will come.”
In April 2022, 27-year-old Dion Marsh went on a murderous rampage in Lakewood and Jackson, severely wounding several victims on a Friday afternoon before the start of Shabbat.
The attacker stole a vehicle and carried out a ramming attack against two or three victims, then stabbed another in the chest.
Marsh was arrested at his home in Manchester and charged with three counts of attempted murder, carjacking, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and three counts of bias intimidation in connection with the incidents.
Several of the Orthodox Jews who were hurt in the rampage were listed in critical condition at the time.
He is currently incarcerated and waiting for trial on charges of terrorism and other offenses, according to Lakewood Alerts.
Antisemitism Spiking Nationwide
The ADL reported 3,697 antisemitic incidents across the United States, a 36 percent increase from the 2,717 incidents recorded in 2021.
According to the ADL, the figure constitutes the highest number of antisemitic incidents since the organization began tracking them in 1979.
Antisemitic incidents increased in each of the major categories: antisemitic harassments increased 29 percent; antisemitic vandalism increased 51 percent; and antisemitic assaults increased by 26 percent – of which 53 percent targeted visibly Orthodox Jews.