11% Increase in Anti-Jewish Incidents
Since Jan. 1, 2002 there have been a total of 626 anti-Semitic incidents reported to the Anti-Defamation League. This marks approximately an 11% increase in anti-Jewish incidents from the first five months of 2001, when the total was 564.
To date, the anti-Semitic activity reported in 2002 is comprised of 435 acts of harassment (intimidation, threats and assaults), a 43% increase from the five months of 2001, when the total was 304. Harassment made up nearly three fourths of all the incidents reported (approximately 69%). Also, 191 acts of vandalism were reported, which reflects a decrease of 27% from 2001, when 260 incidents were reported in the same time period.
Incident Level Increasing Steadily
The number of incidents in 2002 steadily increased for four straight months. There were 81 incidents in January, 98 in February, 124 in March, and 222 in April (101 in May). The 222 anti-Semitic incidents in April 2002 mark the highest total in three years for that month (138 in 2001 and 118 in 2000) and the highest single month total since October 2000. The rising level of anti-Semitic incidents in the US over the past four months comes at a time of tremendous proliferation of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe.
Through May, the five states reporting the most anti-Semitic incidents in 2002 are California (130 - 8 more than in all of 2001), New York (111), Massachusetts (62), New Jersey (48) and Florida (35). Together, these states account for 386 of the 626 incidents reported (62%).
Campus Incidents More Than Triple
Campus Incidents: In the first five months of 2002, a total of at least 63 anti-Jewish incidents were reported on college campuses nationwide, a 320% increase from 2001, when there were 15 incidents reported in the same time period. There were 5 incidents in January, 7 in February, 9 in March, 33 in April, and 9 in May. This finding continues an upward trend from 2001, when campus incidents increased 23% over 2000.
Examples of Serious Anti-Semitic Vandalism and Personal Assaults:
- May 5 - Alameda, CA. - Arson at Temple. Serious damage caused.
- April 26 - Brooklyn, NY. - Six youths threw rocks at the car of a Hasidic Jew and yelled, "All Jews must die, we will get you." When the Hasidic man stopped to make a call on his cell phone, one of the youths punched him in the back of the head.
- April 16 - Key West, Fl. - Significant damage caused by arson at Congregation B'nai Zion.
- April 12 - Omaha, NE. - Swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted on Beth Israel Synagogue.
- April 9 - Sacramento, CA. - After being followed by a man wearing a headdress, man with skullcap was asked, "Do you support Israel?" He said, "Yes." Then the man with the headdress attacked him. A second man joined in, yelling statements about innocent Palestinian children, and pulled out an electric stun gun.
- March 30 - Las Vegas, NV. - Swastika burned into front lawn of Jewish-owned senior care home in a residential neighborhood.
- February 9 - Nashville, TN. - A bullet was fired through the office window at West End Synagogue.