In NYC, hate crimes up 196% from 2020 to 2021, antisemitic incidents up 24% - ADL

According to the report, “Jews were the most targeted group in the city, accounting for 40% of hate crimes.”

Hasidic Jewish men gather for a morning prayer outside of a synagogue, closed due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York (photo credit: REUTERS)
Hasidic Jewish men gather for a morning prayer outside of a synagogue, closed due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York
(photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – Hate crimes increased 196% in New York City from 2020 to 2021, the Anti-Defamation League reported Wednesday.

“Jews were the most targeted group in the city, accounting for 40% of hate crimes,” the ADL Center on Extremism and the Community Security Initiative (CSI) said in a report.

Linking antisemitism to anti-Zionism

New York State continued to lead the nation in antisemitic incidents, with a 24% increase in 2021, the report said.

There was a spike in antisemitic incidents during the May 2021 Israel-Hamas war, the report said.

“During this time, incidents motivated by anti-Zionist sentiments included assault, arson threats, and harassment,” it said.

New York City police officers block hassidic men from entering a synagogue, closed due to COVID-19, in Brooklyn, in March 2020. (credit: ANDREW KELLY / REUTERS)New York City police officers block hassidic men from entering a synagogue, closed due to COVID-19, in Brooklyn, in March 2020. (credit: ANDREW KELLY / REUTERS)

The ongoing threat of extremist activity in New York State also includes a threat of violent extremism from foreign terrorist organizations, Islamist extremists and racially motivated violent extremists, all of whom promote antisemitic worldviews and regularly incite violence, targeting Jewish synagogues and community buildings.

ADL-CSI report

What has law enforcement done to stop this?

It also found that New York ranks No. 7 in the country “for white supremacist propaganda efforts, with recent actions carried out by organized hate groups including Patriot Front, New Jersey European Heritage Association and White Lives Matter.”

“The ongoing threat of extremist activity in New York State also includes a threat of violent extremism from foreign terrorist organizations, Islamist extremists and racially motivated violent extremists, all of whom promote antisemitic worldviews and regularly incite violence, targeting Jewish synagogues and community buildings,” the report said.

The ADL and CSI urged elected officials and law enforcement to take “a series of steps to address rising extremism and the increasing threat of domestic violent extremism.”

They called on state officials and the governor to double the New York Hate Crimes Grant Program’s funding from $25 million to $50m. “to fund approximately 1,000 projects across the state and to launch a commission on antisemitism that views the issue from the lenses of civil rights, intelligence, and law enforcement, and to create recommendations for comprehensive, whole-of-government responses to the challenge.”

“Our report, which was in the works well before the attack in Buffalo, sheds light on the myriad factors that have led to a serious and disturbing increase in hate in the Empire State,” ADL New York/New Jersey regional director Scott Richman said in a statement. “As someone who was on the ground in Buffalo in the days since the attack, it pains me deeply to see how our Black neighbors have suffered from this extremism. Now we have an opportunity to urge our lawmakers and community leaders to take action to stop hateful, violent acts from reoccurring in our state.”

CSI executive director Mitch Silber said: “New York has always been a symbol of diversity and openness, but the Buffalo shooting is a reminder that there is a dark undercurrent of extremism in the Empire State, and we need to shine a light into those dark corners.

“Unfortunately, almost all of the indicators we use to monitor hate and extremism directed at Jewish New Yorkers are on the rise. This report illuminates that we need to be clear-eyed about the level of hateful activity both on the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as among organized extremist groups in other parts of New York State.”