Anti-Semitic incidents soar by 57 percent in 2017

At Drexel University in 2015, someone used tape to write “Jew” and a swastika next to a student’s Israeli flag. Photo courtesy of Anti-Defamation League

(AP) — The Anti-Defamation League is reporting a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. last year, the highest tally that the Jewish civil rights group has counted in more than two decades, according to data it is releasing Tuesday (Feb. 27).

The New York City-based organization found 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents last year, up from 1,267 in 2016. That’s the highest total since 1994 and the largest single-year increase since the group began collecting this data in 1979.

The ADL said the sharp rise includes 952 vandalism incidents, an increase of 86 percent from 2016. The group also counted 1,015 incidents of harassment, including 163 bomb threats against Jewish institutions.

ADL national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said the “alarming” increase appears to be fueled by emboldened far-right extremists as well as the “divisive state of our national discourse.”

“Less civility has led to more intolerance,” he told The Associated Press.

Greenblatt also acknowledged that heightened awareness of the problem likely led to increased reporting of anti-Semitic incidents.

Anti-Semitic incidents at schools and on college campuses nearly doubled for the second year in a row, with 457 such incidents reported in non-Jewish schools last year, the ADL report says.

The ADL and other groups have reported a surge in the number of incidents in which far-right extremist groups have posted racist and anti-Semitic fliers on college campuses.

ADL spokesman Todd Gutnick said the report’s tally only counts incidents in which fliers had explicitly anti-Semitic messages.

The ADL also counted 19 anti-Semitic physical assaults last year, a 47 percent decrease from 2016.

Most of the bomb threats against Jewish community centers and day schools last year were allegedly made by an 18-year-old Israeli-American Jewish hacker, who was arrested in Israel last March. Separately, a former journalist from St. Louis pleaded guilty to making a string of fake bomb threats to Jewish organizations last year in the name of his ex-girlfriend in an effort to disrupt her life.

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, of Ohev Sholom-The National Synagogue in Washington, said neo-Nazis in the U.S. are emboldened “in a way I have not seen in my lifetime.”

“It’s scary,” said Herzfeld, whose synagogue received a bomb threat in April. “I think there is no question that it’s on people’s minds, and there is more of it out there.”

The ADL is urging Congress to pass legislation to expand federal protections against bomb threats to religious institutions. The legislation, approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in December, awaits action in the Senate, the ADL said.

Greenblatt also urges “all public figures” to speak out against anti-Semitism “whether you’re the president of the United States or the head of the local PTA.”

President Trump was widely criticized for saying there was “blame on both sides” after violence erupted in August at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when a man drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators.

“There’s no question we would love to see the president call out anti-Semitism as consistently and clearly as he does other issues,” Greenblatt said.

The ADL says it compiles its incident data from news reports and information provided by victims, law enforcement and community leaders.

“We just don’t report something we’ve heard. We call, we check and we verify,” Greenblatt said.

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  • What a surprise. When white supremicists rise, they always go for the Jews. Thanks Trump. You gave them their blessing.

  • Prejudice against one group goes hand-in-hand with one’s exaltation of one’s own group. And all groups are guilty of such prejudice against some group. The rise in anti-Semitism is tragic.

  • The ADL & SPLC are always saying this or
    That is on the rise. Also – ” New threat by
    ( put any name here) ! It’s how they throw
    Fear into public and donors to donate
    Don’t trust them…

  • White Supremacists do not consider Jews White. They think Jews are masquerading as White to bring down the White race. White Supremacist=Antisemites. To defeat one you have to defeat both.

  • I don’t think Trump is happy his daughter is now Jewish. Besides, antisemites think Jews are good with money.

  • No, they check their facts which you don’t. What are you basing your opinion on?

    Jews are always accused of crying antisemitism.

  • Interesting assumption, seeing how I haven’t seen a hint of anti-Semitism in anything Trump has said or done. Just the opposite.

  • There was Trump’s statement after Charlottesville when he said there were fine people on both sides. Then there was his Holocaust speech where he didn’t mention Jews. Prejudice of any kin is bad for Jews. He has create a bad atmosphere for prejudices of all kind.

  • First, Trump didn’t say there were fine people on both sides at Charlottesville, he said both sides were at fault. And he was right, people don’t show up at a protest with baggies filled with feces and urine if they aren’t planning on assaulting the other side.

    Beyond that, “creating a bad atmosphere” is just a way of saying “I can’t find anything to show he’s the anti-Semite I know he is, so I’ll come up with an excuse.” I have seen nothing to indicate that Trump is anything but fine with his daughter’s religion, and nothing he’s said in word or deed to indicate a hatred of Jews. Considering his support for Israel, just the opposite.

  • He did also say there were fine people on both sides. I never heard anything about bags of feces and urine anywhere .

  • Sounds like religious fundamentalists. The gays, atheists, jews, muslims, (put any name here!) are coming to get ya.

    Sounds like the republican party. They’re rapists, drug dealers, criminals or (put in ant brown people here!) are comin’ ta get ya!

    Sounds like the gun nuts. The liberals, antigun forces, the gummint, Obama, Hillary, (put any name here!) are comin ta take yer gunzzzzzzzz.

    It’s how they throw Fear into public and donors to donate
    More! Don’t trust them…

  • I’ve double-checked, and it turns out I conflated the urine thrown on journalists at Charlottesville with the bags of feces and urine thrown at police by Antifa at Portland and elsewhere.

    Beyond that, I’d argue that if anyone is responsible for the rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the US it’s the BDS movement. But I couldn’t honestly argue the issue either way until I know more about who is responsible for the actual incidents.

  • Israel gave Jesus Christ, the GREATEST Jew to ever walk the earth, to the world. For this reason, Christians and Jews will be persecuted for a short while longer, until Christ comes again. The wicked will all be destroyed, and peace will prevail. BELIEVE IT AND WAIT FOR IT!!! SHALOM!

  • (1) QUESTION: What made “ADL national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt” say, “There’s no question we would love to see the president [Trump] call out anti-Semitism”?

    ANSWER: According to David Harsanyi, “Jewish Americans Deserve Better Than The ADL: Just another partisan outfit masquerading as a civil rights organization”, The Federalist, February 28, 2018:

    “The folks at the Anti-Defamation League, self-styled spokespeople of we Jews, are in the business of exaggerating threats … [even though] Anti-Semitism isn’t ‘soaring’ in America, and the ADL knows it. … The ADL and its activist head, Jonathan Greenblatt, would have you believe that ‘white supremacy’ is the leading cause of anti-Semitism on college campuses throughout the United States. … [But] ‘the idea that Jews are more likely to encounter white supremacists than aggressively anti-Israel bds groups is utter delusion.’ … In 2016, researchers at Brandeis University conduct[ing] a study … on Jewish undergraduate students at 50 U.S. campuses … [found that] the more campuses were involved in BDS, the higher their rates of anti-Semitic harassment and hostility, driven by animosity toward Israel. … The ADL … has a bad habit [therefore] of burying that pertinent news to create a more convenient plot for political purposes.”

    (2) QUESTION: What’s the agenda of this ADL survey, then?

    ANSWER: “To see [to it that] the president [Trump] call out anti-Semitism”. That’s all.

  • ADL’s spinning the white supremacists meme, neglecting the influence of BDS – Boycott Divest Sanction against Israel – in their stupid survey.

    BDS is on the rise, not white supremacy, against Israel.

  • Fact check through David Harsanyi, “Jewish Americans Deserve Better Than The ADL: Just another partisan outfit masquerading as a civil rights organization”, The Federalist, February 28, 2018 – why don’t you, if you’re serious? You’re not, ob(li)viously.

  • My facts on SPLC is what I have seen for
    Decades watching and researching Dee’s
    And his org. Many people who one would
    Not call extremists distrust the splc.

    Agreed the Jew’s throw out antisemitism
    Like Black’s throw out racist when they
    Feel trapped
    If this website ( )was
    Lying about Dee’s or splc , Dees would
    Have sued years ago to get them off

  • The left and the right are both antisemitic. The violence and the antisemitic attacks are coming from the right. Although, Jewish college students are being threatened and harassed on college campuses

  • They are both on the rise, but antisemitic violence is coming from the right. White Supremacists feel that Trump has their back. They are becoming bolder and more active.

  • I don’t ignore antisemitism on the left. I discuss it all the time on this website. See my reply above too. The ADL does call out antisemitism on the left and has criticized Democrats and leftists who have supported Farrakhan. The ADL works to oppose BDS too.

  • Jews have been persecuted for centuries by Christians. Well, the Jews will be destroyed and go to Hell along with the wicked. I don’t believe it and I’m not waiting for it. If I believed, I would be Christian and there would be one less Jew on the planet. If you had your way, there would be no Jews left. A spiritual genocide instead of a physical one. The “Shalom” is ironic and I don’t believe that either.

  • Jews are always accused of crying antisemitism. It’s a classic antisemitic trope. When the British Board of Jewish Deputies tried to tell Foreign Minister Bevin that the Holocaust had begun, He said, “Oh you Jews are always wailing about something.” The same thing is happening on the left. Jews are accused of “crying antisemitism” to silence critics of Israel. No, only far right wingers and White Supremacist distrust the SPLC or Morris Dees.

  • Jerusalem will rise again and become a Holy City unto the Lord Jesus Christ, for the HOUSE OF ISRAEL. JEWS all around the world are accepting CHRIST as their SAVIOR. I know as I am married to one and have been adopted into the House of Israel as directed by GOD. SHALOM!

  • In a 2002 interview with American journalist Amy Goodman, Shulamit Aloni said that charges of antisemitism are “a trick we use” to suppress criticism of Israel coming from within the United States, for criticism coming from Europe “we bring up the Holocaust.”

    We always use the anti-Semitism trick or bring up the Holocaust.” — (Former Israeli Minister Shulamit Aloni)

  • If “the ADL works to oppose BDS too”, then why didn’t they mention it in this latest & greatest make-believe survey of theirs? The Jew over at The Federalist call them out of that one. Which renders this “survey” void, irrelevant, just politicized.

  • Get real. This is all media hype. And you’re victim number 666.

    You should stop hitchhiking on this bandwagon once you start hearing ADL, AJC, etc. calling fellow Jews anti-semites. What an oxymoron, that: anti-semitic Jew.

  • The ongoing cruel policy of the Israel government could be the catalyst for the anger against the Jewish community. I do not support hate crime against any community though.