By Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post—
If you look ever so carefully, after taking a step or two back to gain some distance and perspective, you will see it. It might appear blurry at first, somewhat amorphous and not readily identifiable, like a dot on a screen that hardly seems to warrant much attention.But instead of going away, it grows ever larger and more threatening, as more blips join the fray, suddenly transforming that tiny speck into a mass that cannot be ignored and must surely be reckoned with.
That, my friends, in a nutshell, is an apt description of rising antisemitism in the United States. If you put aside the wishful thinking and denial that so often colors our perspective, and take a cold, hard look at the facts, then the conclusion that something is wrong – terribly, awfully wrong – is simply inescapable.
Antagonism and loathing towards Jews, a hatred seemingly as old as the Jewish people itself, is sadly spreading like wildfire across the civic and social horizons of America, seeping into everything from politics to popular culture. It is time to be worried. Very, very worried.
If you don’t believe me, just look at the data. Simply put, the numbers speak for themselves.
On November 16, 2020, the FBI released its annual report on hate crimes across the United States, compiling statistics from 15,588 law-enforcement agencies across the country. The document makes for sobering reading. It found that whereas 20.1% of hate-crimes in America in 2019 were religiously motivated, over 60% of such attacks targeted Jews. This marked an increase of 14% over the previous year.
In other words, even though Jews barely account for 2% of the US population, they are the target of 6 out of 10 of all crimes driven by religious hatred.
This harrowing tidbit, of course, only represents those incidents that we know about and that people bothered to report. And there are compelling reasons to believe that the scope and extent of anti-Jewish acts in the US is actually far worse.
Indeed, just a few weeks before the FBI report was published, the American Jewish Committee issued its first-ever State of Anti-Semitism in America on October 16, 2020, which offered a revealing glimpse of just how bad things have gotten.
An astonishing 88% of Jews said that antisemitism is either somewhat of a problem or a very serious one in the US and 82% believe that Judeophobia has worsened in the past five years.
And yet, a whopping 76% of Jews who were on the receiving end of antisemitic verbiage or violence admitted that they did not report any of the incidents to authorities. Continue Reading….