After Years of Decline, Anti-Semitism In America Is on the Rise Again

Clergy, students and other members of the community gathered during an interfaith “Service of Unity & Hope” to remember three shooting victims on April 17, 2014, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow
Clergy, students and other members of the community gathered during an interfaith “Service of Unity & Hope” to remember three shooting victims on April 17, 2014, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

Anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. spiked 21 percent last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League, unsettling many American Jews who had thought that hatred of Jews and Judaism was on the decline, at least here at home.

The ADL has released a spring report that, for nearly the past 10 years, showed fewer incidents targeting American Jews. That downward trend contrasted sharply to the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe — recently witnessed in the January killings of four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

“The United States still continues to be unique in history” as a safe place for Jews, said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director.

But this new ADL report casts a shadow on the idea that the U.S., which is home to about 40 percent of the world’s Jews, stands in stark contrast to European anti-Semitism and far higher levels of antipathy against Jews in the Middle East, as reflected in studies of anti-Semitic attitudes worldwide.

“It’s still different here than anywhere else, but don’t take anything for granted, and be concerned,” Foxman said.

The ADL counted 912 incidents in 2014, up from 751 the previous year.

The report includes assaults, vandalism and harassment targeting Jews, Jewish property and institutions that were reported to ADL’s 27 regional offices and to law enforcement. It shows 36 assaults, up from 31 in 2013; 363 incidents of vandalism in 2014, compared with 315 in 2013; and 513 incidents of threats and harassment in 2014, contrasted with 405 in 2013.

Though the report does not consider anti-Zionist or anti-Israel expressions (unless they cross the line into anti-Semitism), ADL researchers nonetheless correlate the rise in anti-Semitism to last summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. During the war, for example, a vandal in Malibu, Calif., painted “Jews=Killers” and “Jews are Killing Inno­cent Chil­dren” near the entrance to a Jew­ish sum­mer camp last July. Another vandal spray-painted “Free Palestine” and “God Bless Gaza” in red on a synagogue in Lowell, Mass.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Religion News Service
Lauren Markoe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s