Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Anti-Semitic incidents in 2019 rise to highest level in four decades

American Jews were targets of more anti-Semitic incidents in 2019 than any other year over the past four decades, a surge marked by deadly attacks on a California synagogue, a Jewish grocery store in New Jersey and a rabbi’s New York home, the Anti-Defamation League and Los Angeles Times.
The Jewish civil rights group counted 2,107 anti-Semitic incidents in 2019, finding 61 physical assault cases, 1,127 instances of harassment and 919 acts of vandalism. That’s the highest annual tally since the New York-based group began tracking anti-Semitic incidents in 1979. It also marked a 12% increase over the 1,879 incidents it counted in 2018.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the group’s chief executive, attributes last year’s record high to a “normalization of anti-Semitic tropes,” the “charged politics of the day” and social media. This year, he said, the COVID-19 pandemic is fueling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
According to The Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Pennsylvania charted a truly appalling 109 incidents of anti-Semitism statewide in 2019. That's the second highest-level since tracking began in 1979, according to a new report by the ADL.
The 2019 tally, a 22 percent increase over 2018 totals, is also 70 percent higher than the state's historic average of 64 incidents a year, the civil rights group said Tuesday.
Last year's shameful total caps an eye-watering 150 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the state over five years, the group said in its report. Only New York (430), New Jersey (345), California (330) and Massachusetts (114) had more last year, the ADL said in its report.
"We're very concerned about the data because rising anti-Semitism is a danger to us all. We have found that, at times of political uncertainty, social unrest or downturns in the economy, anti-Semitic incidents tend to increase. And as anti-Semitism rises, other groups often experience rising hate as well," Shira Goodman, regional director of the ADL of Philadelphia, said in an email.
"This appears to be the case during the pandemic. We've seen ignorance and fear fuel growing hatred towards Jews, members of the Asian American Pacific Islander community, Muslims, immigrants and other minorities," Goodman continued. "Education, activism and allyship can help turn the tide, and that's a responsibility we all share."
To read the report CLICK HERE

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