2010 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents
Overview: About the 2010 Audit
Posted: October 4, 2011
The Anti-Defamation League's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents recorded 1,239 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in 2010, which represents a 2.3% increase over 2009.
• 22 physical assaults on Jewish individuals;
• 900 cases of anti-Semitic harassment, threats and events;
• 317 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism.
This slight increase in incidents shows that anti-Semitism in the U.S. remains unacceptably high. From assaults to online hate content, from vandalism to harassment, the U.S. is far from immune to the world's oldest hatred. Taken together with the fact that anti-Semitism routinely appears in online environments, the 2010 ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents demonstrates that anti-Semitism is a serious, persistent and ingrained phenomena in America.
The 2010 Audit comprises incidents from 45 states and the District of Columbia, including official crime statistics as well as information provided to ADL's regional offices by victims, law enforcement offices and community leaders and members.
The 2.3% increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents follows several years of decline. Although no single factor explains this slight increase, it occurs within the context of the continued expansion of online anti-Semitism and hate. While, on the one hand, this provides an outlet for people who may have otherwise expressed themselves in non-virtual environments, on the other hand this may be leading to a coarsening of attitudes and beliefs that has infected real world behavior.
It is also important to note that 2010 saw fewer incidents relating to the anti-Semitic activities of the Westboro Baptist Church.
The Audit encompasses criminal acts, such as vandalism, violence, and threats of violence, as well as non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation. The latter is comprised primarily of hate propaganda, leafleting and verbal slurs.
Continuing an adjustment made last year, the Audit continues to include swastikas targeting Jews or Jewish institutions, but no longer includes swastikas that are used without specifically attacking Jews, which is a more conservative approach to counting such graffiti. This approach recognizes that the Nazi swastika is no longer exclusively used as a hate symbol against Jews; rather, it is used in vandalism incidents targeting others or for its shock value.
The Audit has never included, and does not now include, thousands of anti-Semitic events that occurred in cyberspace. This decision was made because anti-Semitism in cyberspace, a matter of great concern to ADL, is virtually impossible to quantify.
While the Audit does not typically include expressions of opposition to Zionism or Israel, it does include them if they are accompanied by the invocation of classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as Nazi imagery or analogies, or references that delegitimize, demonize or reflect a double standard about Israel.