Anti-Semitic assaults up by 55 percent in New York in 2018, ADL report says

NEW YORK (WABC) -- According to new data released by the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic assaults in New York state increased by 55% in 2018 over the previous year.

Nationally, anti-Semitic assaults increased by 105% in 2018, and of the 39 anti-Semitic assaults reported nationwide, nearly half took place in New York state.

While the number of anti-Semitic incidents, which includes things like vandalism and harassment, decreased slightly overall in 2018 both nationally and in New York, the ADL recorded 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents in 2018.

This makes 2018 the third-highest year on record since the ADL started tracking this data in the 1970s.

The ADL reports that 249 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.

The ADL also observed what it called a substantial 54% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in New York state following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in it Pittsburgh in October of last year, the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

"The anti-Semitic violence that we observed in 2018, not only in New York, but around the country, is truly alarming," ADL New York/New Jersey Regional Director Evan Bernstein said. "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."

Incidents
ADL's 2018 Audit revealed the following in New York state:
--212 incidents of vandalism
--111 incidents of harassment
--17 incidents of assault

All 17 reported assaults took place within the five boroughs of New York City, with the majority -- 13 -- occurring in Brooklyn.

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," Bernstein said. "We must continue to denounce these horrific attacks and work together to create safe communities for all New Yorkers."

Anti-Semitic incidents by area
--Manhattan: 111
--Brooklyn: 93
--Queens: 20
--Bronx: 5
--Staten Island: 9
--Long Island: 43
--Westchester: 9
--Rockland: 4
--Upstate: 46

Acts of anti-Semitism have touched communities in 27 of the 62 counties in New York State.

Educational Institutions
Of the 68 anti-Semitic incidents that took place in K-12 schools, colleges and universities in New York in 2018, 40 were acts of vandalism.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in K-12 schools, 36, remained unchanged in 2018.

New York State's universities and colleges experienced a 39% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2018.

One particularly concerning incident involved anti-Semitic vandalism targeting a Jewish professor at Columbia University's Teacher's College in the fall of 2018.

CLICK HERE to report an anti-Semitic, bias or discriminatory incident to the ADL.

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