New York: Anti-Semitic Incidents Decline Statewide in 2006
New York, NY, March 14, 2007 … Anti-Semitic incidents -- assaults, threats, vandalism, harassment and other acts of hatred directed at Jews -- declined in New York City and statewide, according to the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) 2006 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, issued today. Even so, New York State continues to rank first in the nation for anti-Semitic incidents.
In New York City, 177 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2006, down from the 219 incidents reported in 2005. The decline was primarily due to a dramatic decrease in Manhattan and Queens, where there were a total of 84 incidents reported in 2006, down from 149 the previous year (56 in Manhattan, down from 112, and 28 in Queens, down from 37). Each of the other three boroughs experienced increases, with Brooklyn in particular seeing a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents: 67 in 2006, up from 51. On Staten Island, 13 incidents were reported, up from 8 last year; the Bronx also had 13 incidents, up from 11.
Long Island reported 74 incidents, down from 107 in 2005. Westchester County experienced a decrease, with 13 incidents, down from 23.
A total of 284 incidents were reported across New York State in 2006, with 119 incidents of harassment and 165 incidents of vandalism. By comparison, 380 incidents were reported statewide in 2005, according to the 2005 ADL Audit.
"While anti-Semitic incidents in New York have decreased in 2006, following the nationwide trend, we must remain vigilant against those individuals who feel brazen enough to act out their anti-Jewish animus," said Rachel Robbins, ADL New York Regional Board Chair, and Joel J. Levy, ADL New York Regional Director. "We remain concerned about the violent nature of some of the anti-Semitic assaults and the 'in your face' anti-Semitic statements made to victims. While some of the activity is the kind we see every year -- swastikas on synagogues and school campuses -- many of the incidents are actual assaults or confrontations by individuals apparently acting out their personal hatred of Jews."
Nationwide, the ADL Audit reported a total of 1,554 incidents in 2006, marking a 12 percent decline from 1,757 in 2005. The 2006 ADL Audit comprises data from 44 states and the District of Columbia, including official crime statistics and information provided to ADL's 30 regional offices by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders. The Audit identifies both criminal and non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate literature, threats and slurs.
New York: Anti-Semitic Acts by County and Borough
The most dramatic decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in New York State was reflected on Long Island, with a total of 74 incidents, down from 107 in 2005. Westchester County also experienced a decrease, with 13 incidents, down from 23.
According to the Audit, New York State experienced 119 incidents of harassment, reflecting a decrease from 231 in 2005. The category of harassment includes verbal intimidation, threats, and physical assaults. Physical assaults were specifically on the rise, with 23 reported, up from 16 in 2005. There were 165 incidents of vandalism, up from 149 incidents in 2005. The majority of incidents consisted of swastikas or other graffiti on synagogues, schools, and public property.
The following are the total number of anti-Semitic incidents in specific regions:
• Long Island: 74, down from 107
• Manhattan: 56, down from 112
• Brooklyn: 67, up from 51
• Queens: 28, down from 37
• Bronx: 13, up from 11
• Staten Island: 13, up from 8
• Westchester: 13, down from 23
• Upstate New York: 20, down from 31
Sampling of Anti-Semitic Incidents in New York State in 2006
• In Forest Hills, Queens, a young Jewish man was eating in a Muslim-owned deli with a friend when he was approached by a group of men demanding to know if he was Jewish. After replying yes, he was ordered the leave the store, being told, "We don't want your kind here!" When he refused, he was punched in the face and head repeatedly and then thrown to the ground and kicked. His friend was also beaten after also being asked if he was Jewish. (August).
• In Manhattan, a student called a fellow classmate a "kike holocaust boy Jew faggot" and saluted him with a Sieg Heil motion (January).
• In Long Island, swastikas and images of male genitalia were spray painted on Congregation Kehillas Bais Yehudah (January).
• In Brooklyn, a complainant received a voicemail message which stated, "You f-----g Jew, I will get you. You are a dead Jew. I will kill you and send Sarin gas. I know how to make it, you f-----g Jew" (March).
• A Jewish woman in Brooklyn was told by three unknown black males, "You kike Jew bitch, I'm going to kill you and your kike daughter" (March).
• Teachers at an upstate New York school received anti-Semitic e-mails from an unknown sender (May).
• A Jewish woman on the subway was assaulted by a man who said, "Hitler should have killed all the Jews," and then punched her as she tried to exit the train (September).
• At a Bronx bus stop, Hispanic teenagers threw a rolled-up paper bag at a man wearing a yarmulke and shouted, laughing, "A Jew!...A Jew!...Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!" while giving the Nazi salute (December).
In New York, campus and school incidents sharply decreased, with 25 incidents in 2006, as compared with 77 incidents in 2005. The distribution of hate literature or leaflets also declined to 3 incidents, from 11 in 2005. Likewise, there was only one recorded e-mail/Internet incident in 2006, as compared with 30 in 2005.
About the ADL Audit
The Audit identifies both criminal and non-criminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats and slurs. Compiled using official crime statistics, as well as information provided to and evaluated by ADL's professional staff by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders, the Audit provides an annual snapshot of a nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported. This information assists ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.