April 11, 2014

​Anti-Semitic Incidents Continue to Decline in U.S.

 ©2014 Religion News Service

Continuing a decade-long drop, anti-Semitic
incidents in the U.S. declined by 19 percent, according to the Anti-Defamation
League’s most recent annual audit.

“The falling number of incidents targeting Jews
is another indication of just how far we have come in finding full acceptance
in society, and it is a reflection of how much progress our country has made
shunning bigotry and hatred,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the

In 2013, the ADL counted 751 anti-Semitic
incidents, a decline from the 927 incidents in 2012. Compiled since 1979, the
ADL annual report includes assaults, vandalism and harassment targeting Jews.
Anti-Israel incidents are only counted when they cross the line into

Overall, anti-Semitic incidents related to
anti-Israel activity fell markedly in the past year, a change the audit’s
authors attributed to fewer anti-Israel demonstrations. That, in turn, may be
because Israel was involved in fewer major military actions in 2013.

The ADL noted one “dark spot” in its survey: a
significant increase in anti-Semitic assaults — 31 incidents, up from 17 in
2012. The audit offers the example of a 12-year-old Jewish girl in Brooklyn who
had a bottle thrown at her by a group of girls, including one who called her a
“dirty Jew.”

“The high number of violent in-your-face assaults
is a sobering reminder that, despite the overall decline in anti-Semitic
incidents, there is still a subset of Americans who are deeply infected with
anti-Semitism and who feel emboldened enough to act out their bigotry,” said

Incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism in 2013
dropped to 315 from 440 in 2012. They included an incident in which someone
scrawled a swastika and “Death to Jews” in a service hallway of a Long Island
mall, and another in which the word “Jew” in foot-high letters was cut into the
trunk of a car with a Jewish day school bumper sticker in Natick, Mass.