After a three-year decline, the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported to the Anti-Defamation League rose to a
total of 1,611 incidents from 1,571 in 1997, a more than 2 percent increase. Of the instances of anti-Semitism in 1998,
there were 896 cases of harassment and 715 acts of vandalism, representing 56 percent and 44 percent of the total incidents,
respectively, virtually the identical proportion as in the prior year. ADL's 1997 Audit reported 898 incidents of harassment
(57 percent of the total) and 673 (43 percent) instances of anti-Semitic vandalism.
Although the number of vandalism incidents increased from 673 in 1997 to 715 in 1998, the total for 1998 is lower
than it was in 1996 (781), or 1995 (727). In 1998, the number of vandalisms was lower than the average of the previous
three years (727).
Once again, the five states reporting the most anti-Semitic incidents in 1998 are New York (324), New Jersey (229), California (223), Massachusetts (107) and Florida (102). Together, these states account for 985 of the 1,611 incidents reported (61 percent). New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts showed increases, while New York and Florida showed decreases in the number of reported incidents.
Continuing an eight-year trend, there were more acts of anti-Semitic harassment (896) than vandalism (715) in 1998. Most of the targets of harassment were individuals (714, or 80 percent of the total), while the remaining cases of harassment (182, or 20 percent of the total) were directed against Jewish institutions, including synagogues, Jewish schools and community centers.
The increase in vandalism incidents in 1998 is mainly due to an increase in attacks against Jewish institutions. Last year, this type of vandalism accounted for 86, or 13 percent of all vandalism incidents, whereas in 1998, that number increased to 130, or 18 percent. Vandalism against private Jewish-owned property increased as well (308 incidents in 1998, 249 in 1997).
After a 14 percent increase in 1997, in 1998 anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses decreased by 17 percent, to 86. This represents the fewest number of campus incidents since 1989, when 69 incidents were reported to ADL. As in the past, the majority of campus incidents in 1998 fell under the category of harassment.
Next: Serious Incidents