Orange County, CA: Anti-Semitic Incidents Remain A Concern
Costa Mesa, CA March 5, 2008 … The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Orange County and Long Beach, California decreased in 2007, according to ADL's Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.
A total of 33 incidents were reported in 2007, a decrease of five incidents from 2006.
"The Jewish communities in Orange County and Long Beach remain the religious group most targeted for attack. Unfortunately, many of these incidents continue to occur on school campuses. We are particularly disturbed by those incidents that occur in the lower grades," said Kevin O'Grady, ADL Orange County Regional Director. Incidents across the region included vandalism, hate mail sent to community leaders and organizations, and white supremacist newspapers distributed throughout Orange County.
Most disturbing, in the Orange County and Long Beach region, is existence of anti-Semitic speakers and faculty members on university campuses. The continued willingness of the Muslim Students' Union at the University of California, Irvine to invite highly anti-Semitic speakers to campus remains a concern. These speakers continue to blame Jews for controlling American foreign policy, the world's media and banking systems and for the U.S. involvement in Iraq. Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic professor at California State University, Long Beach continues to promote his version of academic anti-Semitism; a version that is supported by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. While the leaders of both schools have broadly condemned hate speech, neither school has condemned speakers by name.
The swastika was predominant in a large number of incidents and remained the symbol of choice for anti-Semites, according to the ADL Audit. The Nazi symbol, one of the most powerful and enduring emblems of religious and ethnic hatred, was present in hundreds of attacks against buildings, synagogues, cemeteries and private homes.
Incidents recorded in Orange County and Long Beach in 2007 include:
• A middle school student who was told that his school is a "This is a Jew Free Zone. You don't belong here."
• Legal counsel for UCI received hate mail at home and at work.
• A man was called a "dirty Jew" by his neighbor who then threw a bowl of salsa on him.
• A synagogue in Westminster had swastikas painted on the sidewalk outside of the main entrance.
• A Yorba Linda resident had swastikas painted on her home.
• The Jewish Community Center received threatening phone calls.
• The Orange County Register ran a blog response to a story in which the writer said he was "coming down to Orange County for a cleansing of the Jews."
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.