San Diego Sees Fourfold Increase in Anti-Semitic Incidents From Last Yearby Brie Stimson April 24, 2017
San Diego has seen a 33 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents so far in 2017 while across the U.S. it has risen 86 percent, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. There was a fourfold increase of incidents in San Diego compared to the same time last year.
There has also been an exponential increase in harassment, anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism at grade schools.
“Not only have we seen a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents directed at the San Diego Jewish community, but perhaps most concerning of all is the dramatic increase of these incidents in schools,” San Diego regional director for the ADL, Tammy Gillies said.
“Schools are a microcosm of the country,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said. “Children absorb messages from their parents and the media, and bring them into their schools and playgrounds. We are very concerned the next generation is internalizing messages of intolerance and bigotry.”
Nearly 30 percent of incidents recorded in 2016 occurred after November 1, (369 out of 1,266) contributing to the 34 percent increase across the country last year.
This year is now on pace for more than 2,000 incidents, with 541 already reported in just the first quarter of the year.
“There’s been a significant, sustained increase in anti-Semitic activity since the start of 2016 and what’s most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months,” said Greenblatt. “Clearly, we have work to do and need to bring more urgency to the fight. At ADL, we will use every resource available to put a stop to anti-Semitism. But we also need more leaders to speak out against this cancer of hate and more action at all levels to counter anti-Semitism.”
The reports for 2017 so far includes 380 harassment incidents, 155 incidents of vandalism and six physical assaults. The states with the highest number of incidents tend t be those with large Jewish populations like California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts.
“These incidents need to be seen in the context of a general resurgence of white supremacist activity in the United States,” said Oren Segal, director of the ADL Center on Extremism. “Extremists and anti-Semites feel emboldened and are using technology in new ways to spread their hatred and to impact the Jewish community on and off line … The majority of anti-Semitic incidents are not carried out by organized extremists, as the bomb threats in 2017 demonstrate. Anti-Semitism is not the sole domain of any one group, and needs to be challenged wherever and whenever it arises.”