On this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hashoah, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) marks an all-time high in antisemitism in the United States. In its 2021 Audit of Antisemitism, 2717 incidents were recorded last year including assaults, vandalism, and harassment. 2021’s antisemitic incidents are up 34 percent. It is the highest number on record since the ADL began recording antisemitic incidents in 1979.
Antisemitic harassments were up 42 percent, vandalism by 14 percent, and assaults increased by 167 percent. Additionally, most of the incidents occurred in May 2021 and coincided with the military conflict between Isreal and Hamas. The previous highest month on record was November 2018 (300 incidents) which was the month after the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh, PA. The states with the highest number of incidents were New York (416), New Jersey (370), California (367), Florida (190), Michigan (112), and Texas (112). Combined, these states account for 58% of the total incidents.
“While we have always seen a rise in antisemitic activity during periods of increased hostilities between Israel and terrorist groups, the violence we witnessed in America during the conflict last May was shocking,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director in a statement. “Jews were being attacked in the streets for no other reason than the fact that they were Jewish, and it seemed as if the working assumption was that if you were Jewish, you were blameworthy for what was happening half a world away.”
The ADL also keeps an antisemitic tracker chronicling incidents across the country like antisemitic flyers placed across Danville, California, and swastikas found on the campus of Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In a White House statement, the Biden administration asserts it has stayed committed to combatting antisemitism including holocaust denial and distortion.
“In addition to speaking out against the evils of antisemitism, I signed — and my Administration continues to implement — legislation that gives us more tools to combat crimes that are based on a victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability”, President Biden said in a statement.
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