Report: Anti-Semitic incidents surge in CA last year

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Days after the deadly shooting at the Chabad synagogue of Poway that was motivated by violent anti-Semitism, Anti-Defamation League has released its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents for 2018.

While anti-Semitic incidents as a whole were down by five percent across the U.S., 2018 marked a third straight year of increase in anti-Semitic harassment, assaults, and vandalism in California, home to the country’s second largest Jewish population. While the number of vandalism incidents went down in 2018 in California, the number of assaults rose from zero to nine in 2018, representing 23% of the number of anti-Semitic assaults across the US.

Tammy Giles, San Diego regional director for Anti-Defamation League, joined KUSI News to discuss this shocking research.

Check out the report’s summary below.

Throughout each year, ADL’s (Anti-Defamation League) Center on Extremism tracks incidents of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assault in the United States. Since 1979, we have published this information in an annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.

In 2018 ADL recorded 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States.
2018 included the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of the U.S.: The massacre of 11 Jewish worshippers, and an additional two more injured, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh by a white supremacist in October. The Pittsburgh attack was one of 39 reported physical assaults on Jewish individuals in 2018, a 105% increase over 2017. A total of 59 individuals were victims of assault, not including the police officers injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
Of the 1,879 incidents in 2018, 1,066 were cases of harassment, an increase of 5% from 2017; and 774 were cases of vandalism, a decrease of 19% from 952 in 2017.
In 2018, ADL recorded 249 anti-Semitic incidents attributed to known extremist groups or individuals inspired by extremist ideology. This represents 13% of the total number of incidents and is the highest level of anti-Semitic incidents with known connections to extremist individuals or groups since 2004. These incidents were the result of an anti-Semitic fliering campaign and of a series of robocalls perpetrated by a neo-Nazi. Nearly half of the incidents of harassment targeting Jewish institutions were the work of known white supremacists or extremists.
K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities, continue to be the scenes of significant numbers of anti-Semitic incidents. ADL recorded 344 incidents at K-12 non-Jewish schools in 2018 (down from 457 in 2017), and 201 incidents at colleges and universities (down from 204 in 2017).
In 2018 there were 265 reported incidents at Jewish institutions such as synagogues, Jewish community centers and Jewish schools, a decrease of 23% from the previous year, but still markedly higher than the 170 incidents reported in 2016.
ADL has tracked anti-Semitic incidents for the past four decades and in 2018 recorded the third-highest number of incidents. The total of 2018 incidents decreased by 5% from the 1,986 incidents ADL recorded in 2017. The 2018 total is 48% higher than the number of incidents in 2016 and 99% higher than in 2015.
ADL has included a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for civil society, governmental and technology sector leaders to help them in the fight against the scourge of anti-Semitism, at the end of the report. These include recommendations aimed at assessing and combating the rise of online anti-Semitism, which is not tracked in this report other than with regard to specific reported instances of direct targeting, but which ADL has been analyzing in other reports.
The complete dataset of anti-Semitic incidents for 2016-2018 is available on ADL’s H.E.A.T. Map, an interactive online tool that allows users to geographically chart anti-Semitic incidents and extremist activity nationally and regionally. Note that some details have been removed from the incident listings to ensure the privacy of victims.

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