The number of anti-Semitic incidents have skyrocketed in the United States and on U.S. college campuses in recent months, but have dropped overall worldwide, according to new reports released this week.
In its annual audit of anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamtion League found that anti-Semitic events surged more than one-third in 2016 and have jumped 86% in the first three months of the year.
The New York City-based Jewish civil rights organization counted 541 incidents — assaults, vandalism, and harassment — targeting American Jews and Jewish institutions in the first quarter of the year, a massive increase over the same period last year. These events an overall 34 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents last year when compared with 2015, according to the report, which was released Monday.
“There’s been a significant, sustained increase in anti-Semitic activity since the start of 2016 and what’s most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months,” Anti-Defamtion League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement Monday. “Clearly, we have work to do and need to bring more urgency to the fight. At ADL, we will use every resource available to put a stop to anti-Semitism. But we also need more leaders to speak out against this cancer of hate and more action at all levels to counter anti-Semitism.”
The incidents were felt all across the country, particularly at non-denominational elementary, middle and high schools where the amount of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism doubled in 2016 compared to 2015, according to the report, which analyzed data from law enforcement, victims and local Jewish organizations.
“Schools are a microcosm of the country,” Greenblatt said. “Children absorb messages from their parents and the media, and bring them into their schools and playgrounds. We are very concerned the next generation is internalizing messages of intolerance and bigotry.”
The dramatic rise in incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States came against an overall drop in such incidents worldwide, according to a new report released Sunday by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.
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The Kantor Center’s analysis, which surveyed approximately 40 countries, found that anti-Semitic incidents decreased 12 percent globally in 2016 compared to 2015. The drop in anti-Semitic acts largely came from Belgium and France, home to Europe’s largest Jewish community, where the report recorded 61 percent and 60 percent decreases, respectively.
The most staggering statistic came out of U.S. college campuses, where the Kantor Center’s analysis found that anti-Semitic incidents swelled by 45 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.
The report also noted alarmingly a “continuation of the widespread increase, sometimes dramatic, in verbal and visual anti-Semitism on social media and during demonstrations … that cannot be quantified.”
“Therefore, even if the number of violent cases decreased, the prevalent feeling among Jews – individuals as well as communities – is an ominous one, and constitutes the most worrisome finding,” the report states.
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