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Press ReleaseAnti-Semitism: USA
ADL Audit: 1,239 Anti-Semitic Incidents Reported Across the U.S. in 2010

States With Highest Totals Include CA, NY and NJ

New York, NY, October 4, 2011 Following a consistent trend over the last several years, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States remained constant in 2010, with a total of 1,239 incidents of assaults, vandalism and harassment reported during the calendar year, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released today, found that the number of anti-Semitic incidents increased slightly in 2010, to a total of 1,239 incidents, compared to 1,211 incidents reported in 2009.  It is the first increase reported by ADL since the numbers hit a record high in 2004, when the U.S. experienced 1,821 incidents of anti-Semitism.  Since 2004, the total number of anti-Jewish incidents had declined incrementally each year.

The ADL Audit tracks incidents of vandalism, harassment and physical assaults against Jewish individuals, property and community institutions across the U.S., using reports and data gathered by the League's 30 regional offices and law enforcement.

"While we have come a long way in society as Jews have been accepted into the mainstream, America is still not immune to anti-Semitism and bigotry," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "The good news is that we have continued to enjoy a period of relative calm, where the overall numbers are mostly unchanged and the incidents isolated.  But the bad news is that for all our efforts to educate, to raise awareness and to legislate, anti-Jewish incidents remain a disturbing part of the American Jewish experience."

The 2010 ADL Audit identified: 

  • 22 physical assaults on Jewish individuals (down from 29 in 2009);
  • 900 cases of anti-Semitic harassment, threats and events (up from 760 in 2009);
  • 317 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism (down from 422 in 2009).

The 2010 Audit comprises data 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 officers and community leaders and members.  The Audit encompasses criminal acts, such as vandalism, violence and threats of violence, as well as non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation.

Majority of Incidents Concentrated in Handful of States

Continuing a longtime trend, the states with the highest totals were those with large Jewish populations.  The top four states were California, with 297 incidents in 2010, up from 275 in 2009; New York, with 205 incidents, down from 209; New Jersey, with 130 incidents, down from 132; and Florida, with 116 incidents, up from 90.

According to the ADL Audit, other states with double-digit totals in 2010 include Massachusetts (64, up from 55 in 2009); Pennsylvania (42, down from 65 in 2009); Colorado (38, up from 14); Connecticut (38, up from 24); and Texas (37, up from 28).

The Audit has never included the thousands of anti-Semitic events and expressions occurring in cyberspace, as it is virtually impossible to quantify.

"As a barometer of anti-Semitism in America, the Audit helps us to identify trends across the country and to take stock of how and where anti-Semitism is manifested," said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair.  "This information helps us to work with law enforcement and others in cities and communities to address the problem of hatred of Jews."

Selected Incidents in 2010

Assaults (Total 22 incidents reported, or 2 percent of the total):

Illinois: Two suspicious packages, later determined to be explosive devices, were intercepted on cargo planes were addressed to Chicago-area Jewish institutions.  The packages were thought to have originated in Yemen as part of a terror plot by Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula. 

California:  At a high school party in someone's home, one boy said to another, "you kike" and punched him in the face, breaking his jaw.
New York:  A man was approached by another man on the street who pushed him and yelled "Go Back to Aushwitz."

Florida:  On the day before Yom Kippur, a group of students said to a Jewish student, "Jews starve themselves because they hate G-d."  The victim was struck six or seven times in the head and suffered a concussion.

New Jersey:  Two identifiably Jewish individuals were walking down a street when a pick-up truck drove past them and approximately five paintballs were fired from the driver-side window.

Vandalism (Total 317 incidents reported, or 25 percent of the total):

Indiana: One campus saw a spate of incidents where a rock was thrown into the window of a Jewish facility, a menorah was vandalized, a display case in the Jewish studies department was smashed and several Hebrew-language texts (including some sacred texts) were stolen and were urinated on.

California: Vandals spray painted anti-Semitic graffiti on the wall of a Jewish institution's parking lot. Vandalism included a swastika with "88,"which is a commonly used number symbol meaning "Heil Hitler"
Massachusetts: A 10th grade student found a swastika, "F--- the Jews" and "Hitler was right" written on a bathroom stall.

Connecticut: Graffiti written on stone in Jewish section of a cemetery, stating "Damn right you kikes aren't gonna forget," with a swastika below the words.

New York:  Eight posts were defaced with blue magic marker reading: "Down with Jews (3 times)," "Down with the racist Jews, exterminate them all the world will be a cleaner place," and "Down with racist Jews."

Harassment, Threats and Events (Total 900 incidents reported, or 73 percent of the total):

Georgia:  Someone posted "stupid Jewish bitch" on a teenager's social networking page.

Florida:  A cantor received a threatening phone call that said, "Be careful Hitler's behind you, and he's going to put an axe in your neck."

Colorado:  3 Boulder Jewish communal organizations had their websites hacked and language including "Jews are terrorists. Child Organ Smugglers. F--- The Jews! and F--- Israel" was posted.

New Jersey: A father and 12-year-old son, both identifiably Jewish, were walking to synagogue when a driver stopped and shouted anti-Semitic comments.

New York:  Slips of paper with the words "kill Jews" were found scattered across New York City and Nassau County.
California: Complainant received an anonymous letter at her work address that said "F--- you kike, too bad Hitler didn't finish the job."

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 by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders and evaluated by ADL's professional staff, 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.

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