According to new data released by ADL (the “Anti-Defamation League”), anti-Semitic assaults in New York State increased by 55 percent in 2018 over the previous year.
Of the 340 anti-Semitic incidents recorded last year, 17 were anti-Semitic assaults. ADL also observed a marked increase in incidents of vandalism involving private property, from 23 incidents in 2017 to 31 incidents in 2018, and a rise in incidents on college campuses, from 23 incidents in 2017 to 32 incidents in 2018. The number of incidents in K-12 schools—36—remained unchanged.
Nationally, anti-Semitic assaults increased by 105% in 2018. Of these 39 anti-Semitic assaults reported, nearly half—17—took place in New York State. ADL also observed a substantial 54% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in New York State following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in October of last year, the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.
While the number of anti-Semitic incidents decreased slightly overall in 2018, both nationally and in New York, ADL recorded 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents in 2018. This makes 2018 the third-highest year on record since ADL started tracking such data in the 1970s. Two hundred and forty-nine of these documented incidents were attributable to activities by known extremist groups or by individuals inspired by extremist ideologies. This is the highest level of anti-Semitic incidents with known connections to extremists or extremist groups since 2004. New York State’s total number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2018 represents a 43% increase over the state’s average number of incidents recorded over the last decade.
“The anti-Semitic violence that we observed in 2018, not only in New York, but around the country, is truly alarming,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL’s New York/New Jersey Regional Director. “As we know from ADL’s Pyramid Of Hate, the more stereotyping, slurs, and bullying are normalized, the more conducive the climate becomes for acts of discrimination and even violence. Every act of anti-Semitism and hate must continue to be called out and denounced by elected officials, community leaders, and all New Yorkers.”
Since 1979, ADL has documented anti-Semitism through its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.
In 2018, ADL’s Audit revealed the following in New York State:
212 incidents of vandalism;
111 incidents of harassment; and
17 incidents of assault.
Anti-Semitic assaults rose by 55% in New York in 2018. All 17 reported assaults took place within the five boroughs of New York City, with the large majority—13—occurring in Brooklyn, a hotspot for anti-Semitic activity.
Of the 212 incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism reported in 2018, 115 incidents took place in public areas, including parks, public transit, sidewalks and playgrounds, indicating that perpetrators feel emboldened to commit anti-Semitic acts in the open. In addition, 23 of the 31 incidents of vandalism against private property included swastikas found on homes, apartment buildings and vehicles, leaving victims particularly vulnerable in places where they expect to feel safe and secure.
“No one should ever have to live in fear of being violently attacked, physically harmed, or verbally harassed simply because of their culture or faith,” said Bernstein. “We must continue to denounce these horrific attacks and work together to create safe communities for all New Yorkers.”
Visit ADL’s H.E.A.T Map to learn more about the anti-Semitic incidents in New York State in 2018.