Anti-Semitic attacks down 3% in US

Anti-Defamation League still concerned about 'anti-Jewish hatred'.

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The rate of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States decreased slightly over the last year, according to a report issued by the Anti-Defamation League Wednesday. The three percent reduction in attacks cited in the "Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents" brings the number of attacks down from 1,821 in 2004 to 1,757 in 2005. The number recorded in 2004 constituted a nine-year high. The drop comes at a time when anti-Semitism in many European and central Asian countries has been soaring. Even with the reduction in incidents, however, the ADL expressed worry. "While any decline is encouraging, we remain concerned because too many people continue to act out their anti-Jewish hatred," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said. "The numbers remain sobering because we know from painful experience that it only takes one incident of anti-Semitism to affect an entire community." He added, though, that "we have always said that America is different, that the Jewish communities here are fortunate to be largely immune from the kind of anti-Semitic violence experienced by some European Jewish communities." Neo-Nazi groups and campus activists continued to be prime forces behind the incidents, according to the report. Instances of vandalism and harassment, such as intimidation, name-calling and incitement, were included in the study. No physical attacks were highlighted by the report. The findings were based on crime statistics and conversations with victims, law enforcement officials and community leaders. The survey highlighted that synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and Jewish vehicles were defaced with Nazi symbols and racial slurs. In one case local teenagers defecated in a rural New York synagogue and in another vandals sprayed an ambulance belonging to Hatzolah, a Jewish emergency service, with "death to the Jews." Campus vandalism included swastikas and epithets plastered in prominent places. For example, in February, according to the report, the Hunter College Palestinian Club posted a sign with a Star of David changing into a swastika labeled, "History Repeats: Look What Hitler Taught Some of His Victims."