chicago anti-semitism 311.
(photo credit: Menachem Zimmerman [file])
NEW YORK – The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased
slightly in 2010 from 2009, according to an Anti-Defamation League audit
released Tuesday, with the highest number of incidents occurring in California,
New York and New Jersey.
The ADL audit of anti-Semitic incidents found a
total of 1,239 incidents occurring in 2010, 29 more than 2009, in the first
increase reported by the ADL in such incidents since 2004. The year 2004 saw a
record high 1,821 acts of anti- Semitism, and each subsequent year until 2010
has shown a decline.
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“As a barometer of anti-Semitism in America, the
audit helps us to identify trends across the country and to take stock of how
and where anti- Semitism is manifested,” ADL National Chairman Robert
G. Sugarman said. “This information helps us to work with law enforcement
and others in cities and communities to address the problem of hatred of
The states with the highest totals were those with significant
Jewish populations. The top four states were California, with 297 incidents in
2010, up from 275 in 2009; New York, with 205 incidents, down from 209; New
Jersey, with 130 incidents, down from 132; and Florida, with 116 incidents, up
The audit does not cover acts that take place in cyberspace,
instead focusing on vandalism, harassment and physical attacks against Jewish
individuals, community institutions and property across the US.
notes 140 more incidents of anti-Semitic harassment, threats and events than
last year, but 105 fewer cases of anti-Semitic vandalism and 7 fewer physical
assaults on Jews than there were in 2009.
In one well-reported instance
of assault, two suspicious packages, which were later determined to be explosive
devices, were intercepted on cargo planes. The packages were addressed to
Chicago-area Jewish institutions and were thought to have originated in Yemen as
part of a terror plot by al-Qaida.
Instances of vandalism included one in
California in which vandals spray painted anti-Semitic graffiti on the wall of a
Jewish institution’s parking lot. The vandalism included a swastika with
“88,”which is a commonly used number symbol meaning “Heil
Harassment constituted 73% of the total incidents. Among the
reported incidents was a Florida cantor who received a threatening phone call
that said, “Be careful. Hitler’s behind you, and he’s going to put an axe in
your neck,” and in Connecticut an instance of graffiti written on a stone in the
Jewish section of a cemetery, stating “Damn right you kikes aren’t gonna
forget,” with a swastika below the words.
“While we have come a long way
in society as Jews have been accepted into the mainstream, America is still not
immune to anti-Semitism and bigotry,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said
in a press release. “The good news is that we have continued to enjoy a period
of relative calm, where the overall numbers are mostly unchanged and the
“But the bad news is that for all our efforts to
educate, to raise awareness and to legislate, anti-Jewish incidents remain a
disturbing part of the American- Jewish experience.”