New data released today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) show that the number of anti-Semitic incidents remain 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.
ADL, in its latest Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, reports that from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 there were 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions. That total represents a 67 percent increase over the same period in 2016 and already exceeds the 1,266 incidents reported all of last year. Of the incidents reported, there has been a disturbingly high number of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism incidents in K-12 schools and college campuses across the U.S.
“We are astonished and horrified by the rise in anti-Semitic harassment, incidents and violence targeting our communities,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “While the tragedy in Charlottesville highlighted this trend, it was not an aberration. Every single day, white supremacists target members of the Jewish community—holding rallies in public, recruiting on college campuses, attacking journalists on social media, and even targeting young children. For over a century, ADL has worked tirelessly to protect any community targeted by hatred – and we’re not about to stand down now. No matter how emboldened these fringe elements of society may feel, they will never threaten our mission.”
Compared to 2016, each of the first three quarters of 2017 had a higher number of incidents year over year. These incidents peaked during the first quarter of 2017, and the pace slowed somewhat in the second and third quarters. Of all 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents so far in 2017, a majority (667) occurred in the first quarter of the year. An additional 632 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the second and third quarters of the year, surpassing the 488 incidents reported during the same period in 2016.
Since 1979, ADL has counted anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. and reported the numbers in its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. This year, in response to concerns about rising anti-Semitism, ADL has stepped up the frequency of reporting, issuing semi-annual reports to share data more frequently.