Los Angeles: Anti-Semitic Incidents Decline Slightly in 2006
Los Angeles, CA, March 14, 2007
While the number of anti-Semitic incidents nationwide and in California declined slightly in 2006, they remain at a disturbingly high level, according to newly issued statistics from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The League's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, issued today, reported a total of 1,554 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide in 2006, a 12 percent decline from 2005. In California, the number of reported incidents was down from 247 to 204.
The decline came in a year marked by the shooting at the Greater Seattle Jewish Federation in July by an Islamic extremist, in which staffer Pamela Waechter was killed and three others were seriously wounded. That attack and others underscored the continuing threat to Jewish community institutions, particularly at a time of heightened conflict in the Middle East. These events prompted ADL to offer expanded security training to Jewish institutions in Greater Los Angeles.
"We continue to be alarmed that anti-Semitic incidents remain at a disturbing level," said Amanda Susskind, Director of ADL's Pacific Southwest Region. She noted that hate crime figures released by the California State Attorney General's office and the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations consistently show Jews to be far and away the most frequently targeted religious group.
Incidents in Greater Los Angeles reflected the infusion of anti-Jewish harassment into the mainstream. This includes graffiti, name-calling, bullying and verbal abuse of Jews in the schools, the workplace and in society in general, as well as continued vandalism at Jewish community institutions.
"With anti-Semitic epithets more common in schools, the workplace and every day life, it's a reminder to redouble our efforts to counteract and prevent root causes of hate," said Susskind. ADL focuses on teaching anti-bias training starting in preschool and continuing through high school, college and the workplace. "We hope to see this trend reversed."
The most publicized incident in the Los Angeles-area last year was the anti-Semitic tirade by Mel Gibson in Malibu in July.
Among the incidents reported to the ADL Pacific Southwest Region in 2006:
An arson attack on Temple Beith David Educational Center in Tarzana with anti-Semitic graffiti on the exterior of the synagogue building (photos available), as well as numerous reports of vandalism at area synagogues including graffiti on a synagogue door in Los Angeles "SWP" (for "Supreme White Power") and a swastika (photo available), anti-Semitic slurs at a San Fernando Valley synagogue and swastikas painted outside a Westside synagogue.
Swastika flags flown on portions of at least four Southland freeways on the day before the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah
A Chanukah menorah repeatedly vandalized in Stevenson Ranch
Graffiti saying "F*** Jews" and swastikas found on the wall of a UCLA campus restroom.
"No Jews Parking" drawn on the street in front of a condominium owned by Jews in Monrovia.
More than 30 harassing phone calls saying "Heil Hitler" and anti-Semitic epithets to an Encino family; numerous messages saying "F*** kikes" and other anti-Semitic language to a Woodland Hills family; repeated harassing phone calls to a Riverside student with anti-Semitic comments.
Verbal assaults from a neighbor in Palm Springs including "f***ing kike" and "I still have an oven
do you like gas or electric"
Swastikas on Jewish-owned residences in Chatsworth and Tarzana (photo available) and "F*** Israel" spray-painted in Studio City (photo available)
An automobile spotted in Chatsworth with "4 Nazis No Jews" painted on it
Numerous incidents of school-based harassment, including: a middle school student in Los Angeles being taunted by another student saying, "F*** the Jews," a high school student in the San Fernando Valley being taunted by another student making the Nazi salute and saying, "I will kill the Jews," and a middle school teacher making anti-Semitic comments to a San Fernando Valley 8th grader
Denigrating comments in the workplace such as "You Jews owe us something" and disagreement with a store owner in West Covina resulting in being called, "Dirty Jew"
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.
Anti-Semitic incidents included in the Audit include both criminal acts, such as vandalism, violence and threats of violence; and non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation, including hate propaganda leafleting and verbal slurs. For reporting purposes, the ADL Audit divides anti-Semitic incidents into two categories: Vandalism, such as property damage, cemetery desecration or anti-Semitic graffiti; and Harassment, including violent acts of anti-Semitism, and physical or verbal assaults directed at individuals and institutions.
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.