2007 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents
Posted: March 5, 2008
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States declined for the third consecutive year in 2007. The League's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents counted a total of 1,460 incidents of vandalism, harassment and other acts of hate against Jewish individuals, property and community institutions in 2007, representing a 6 percent decline from the 1,554 incidents reported in 2006.
The swastika was predominant in a large number of incidents and remained the symbol of choice for anti-Semites. 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. In one of the most noteworthy instances, a massive swastika the size of a football field was carved into a New Jersey cornfield.
Anti-Semitic acts last crested in the U.S. in 2004, when 1,821 incidents were reported. In 2005, the total number of incidents decreased to 1,757 incidents.
For reporting purposes, the Audit divides anti-Semitic incidents into two categories: Vandalism, such as property damage, cemetery desecration or anti-Semitic graffiti; and Harassment, including physical or verbal assaults directed at individuals or institutions.
Continuing a longtime trend, the states with the highest totals were New York, (351, up from 284 in 2006); New Jersey (247, up from 244); California (186, down from 204); Florida (127, down from 179); Massachusetts (95, down from 96 in 2006); Pennsylvania (99, up from 94 in 2006); and Connecticut (49, down from 77).
The 2007 Audit comprises data from 40 states and the District of Columbia, including official crime statistics as well as information provided to ADL's regional offices by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders. The Audit identifies criminal acts, such as vandalism, violence and threats of violence, as well as non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation, including hate propaganda, leafleting and verbal slurs.