Illinois: Anti-Semitic Incidents Significantly Declined in 2007
Chicago, IL, March 5, 2008 … The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Illinois significantly declined, according to newly issued statistics from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The League's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, issued today, counted a total of 21 incidents of vandalism, harassment and other acts of hate against Jewish individuals, property and community institutions in Illinois in 2007, representing a 62.5 % decline from the 56 incidents reported in 2006.
Nationally, anti-Semitic incidents declined to 1,358 incidents, representing a 13 percent decline from the 1,554 incidents reported in 2006.
"We are encouraged that this year there has been a significant decrease in anti-Semitic incidents, however we must continue to be pragmatic and vigilant in our fight against intolerance. The incidents may be fewer in number but the affects continue to reverberate throughout the community," said Lonnie Nasatir, ADL Chicago Regional Director.
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.
Of the 2007 incidents in Illinois, 13 involved harassment, and 8 involved vandalism. These numbers also include 4 incidents at public schools, 2 at college campuses and 1 cemetery desecration.
Among the more troubling incidents in 2007:
- Chicago: At least 70 headstones and 5 benches overturned and swastika etched onto a mausoleum (May).
- Chicago: An employee was called "Jehudi," a "typical Jew" and a "f—ing Jew" by his supervisor (September).
- Wheaton: Jewish student at local high school found note in his locker with swastikas, profanity and the statement: "The Jews killed Christ and we're going to kill you" (May).
The significant decrease may be a result of increased security in Jewish institutions as well as educational programming, like ADL's A World of Difference® programs that address these issues.
The Upper Midwest office of the Anti-Defamation League, located in Chicago, covers a six-state region which includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. In 2007 there were 44 anti-Semitic incidents reported regionally, representing a 32 % decline from 65 incidents reported in 2006.
The breakdown of Anti-Semitic incidents regionally in 2007:
- Illinois: 21 incidents; 13 harassment, 8 vandalism.
- Wisconsin: 12 incidents; including 1 hate group related and 1 synagogue related.
- Indiana: 8 incidents; 6 harassment, 2 vandalism.
- Minnesota: 3 incidents; 2 harassment, 1 vandalism
- North Dakota: 0 incidents reported
- South Dakota: 0 incidents reported
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 officer 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.