I Executive Summary
II Summer 1999: A Season of Hate
III The Findings
IV Anti-Semitism and the Internet
V Harassment, Threats and Assaults
VI Vandalism Incidents
VII Campus Incidents
VIII

Regional Breakdown

IX Arrests
X Conclusion
XI President Clinton on ADL & Hate Crime
XII Federal Hate Crime Response Initiatives
XIII A Note on Evaluating Anti-Semitic Incidents
 
Charts and Graphs
  Audit Data Charts
 

Listing of Reported
Campus Incidents

  Related Link(s):
  ADL Model Hate
Crimes Legislation

  States with Penalty-Enhancement Hate Crimes Laws
  State Hate Crimes Statutory Provisions
  ADL Resources

Your contribution helps ADL
expose & combat
Hate on the Internet
Contribute to ADL

Summer 1999: A Season of Hate

The summer of 1999 witnessed three outbursts of anti-Semitic hate on a scale not seen in the United States for many years. Early in the morning of June 18, three Sacramento, CA, synagogues were set afire, causing an estimated $1 million damage. During the July 4 weekend, before killing himself, hate-group activist Benjamin Smith went on a racially motivated shooting spree, killing two and seriously injuring eight other people in Indiana and Illinois, including six Chicago-area Jews leaving Sabbath evening synagogue services. On August 10, Buford O'Neal Furrow Jr. walked into a Jewish day care center in Los Angeles, CA, and opened fire, injuring five people, and later shot and killed a Filipino-American postal worker. The "Summer of Hate" posed a sobering challenge to America and its law enforcement agencies.

Alleged L.A. gunman Buford Furrow and Chicago killer Benjamin Smith were men who wallowed in neo-Nazism and hate. Furrow told the FBI that he wanted the shootings at the North Valley Jewish Community Center where three small boys, a teen-age girl and an adult staff member were wounded - to be "a wake-up call to America to kill Jews." In the Midwest, Smith went on a rampage over the July 4 weekend with the clear intention of killing Jews and nonwhites. And the Sacramento arsonists made their intentions to target the Jewish community clear by distributing anti-Semitic fliers.

In a joint effort with United Jewish Communities (UJC) following these horrors, ADL produced a nationwide interactive video conference on security that offered practical guidance to Jewish and other organizations and individuals from experts in the field.

Stepping up Security

In the wake of the Furrow shootings, the primary concern in Jewish communities across the nation became security, and how Jewish leaders could deal effectively with fear and safety in local synagogues, community centers and other institutions.

"We need awareness, rather than bunkers or fortresses," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, one of the panelists on the video security conference held in August in New York. Panelists Louis Schiliro, Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the New York City region, and security consultant and former New York City Police Commissioner Robert McGuire advised Jewish institutions to assess their security procedures, to build partnerships with local law enforcement and to guide their staffs to be more security conscious.

ADL issued an updated Security for Community Institutions: A Handbook, first published in 1992. In collaboration with Kroll O'Gara, the largest security-risk mitigation firm in the world, ADL prepared and distributed Security Awareness, a new video for synagogues, community centers and school to enhance their security awareness. -

In condemning the Los Angeles shootings, Mr. Foxman said, "The wrong of Buford Furrow's attacks is more than an attack against the Jewish community and against a kindly postal worker. It is an attack against every decent citizen of the entire community"

Mr. Foxman was also keynote speaker for a community-wide June rally where approximately 4,000 people - Jewish and gentile, Black and white, Hispanic and Asian - packed the Sacramento Convention Center to hear government, religious and community leaders describe the attack on the synagogues as an attack on the entire community.

"I was born and baptized a Catholic...," Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. told the audience. "However, when I heard about the firebombings, when I heard about the synagogues being torched and burned, I am a Jew"

Hailing Sacramento as a model to other communities for how to stamp out bigotry, Mr. Foxman said, "The community stood up to announce that the fires of hate that today and yesterday consumed a synagogue, and in the past consumed churches, consume us all." He told the audience, "we have come together not only to stop the hate, not only to say no to hate, to declare that we don't accept it as hip to hate, but also, as you've declared, to celebrate life, to celebrate diversity, to celebrate each other with respect and admiration."

Following each of these incidents, ADL provided helpful information about the hate-group affiliations of the alleged perpetrators of these hate crimes to local law enforcement officials and political leadership, as well as to the media and the communities themselves.

ADL is also continuing its vigorous advocacy of hate crimes laws at the Federal and state levels. The League hailed Senate passage on the Hate Crime Prevention Act (HCPA), legislation designed to eliminate gapes in Federal authority to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated crimes, and submitted testimony at hearings on the House of Representatives' version of the bill before the House Judiciary Committee.

The HCPA is strongly supported by President Clinton, the Department of Justice, 22 state Attorneys General, and a broad range of national civil rights groups, state and local government associations, and law enforcement organizations.

ADL originally drafted model hate crimes legislation in 1981, and to date more than 40 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws similar to or based on the ADL "penalty enhancement" concept. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of this concept in a 1993 decision.

In publishing this report, its 20th annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, ADL pledges to maintain its vigorous program of vigilance, exposure and counteraction of those who spread the poison of hate and the violence, pain and strife it generates.



1999 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents Front Page | Combating Hate Front Page

1998 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents Front Page | ADL On-line Home | Search | About ADL | Contact ADL

2000 Anti-Defamation League