Florida Reports Anti-Semitic Incidents: Anti-Defamation League

Posted By on May 21, 2020

Image via Shutterstock The Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2019 spiked to the highest level in at least 40 years. Here's a look at some incidents in DC and Virginia.

FLORIDA Anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2019 spiked to the highest level in at least 40 years, with a record 2,100 acts of assault, vandalism and harassment against Jews reported across the United States, including in Florida, according to a report released last week by the Anti-Defamation League. Niney-one such incidents were reported last year in the state.

Anti-Semitic incidents increased 12 percent in 2019 from the prior year, including a 56 percent increase in the number of assaults against Jews more than half of them occurring in New York City, the report said. All U.S. states except Alaska and Hawaii reported at least one anti-Semitic incident last year.

The report speaks to the lived experience of Jewish people in the United States, Aryeh Tuchman, the associate director of the Anti-Defamation Leagues Center on Extremism, told Patch.

The 2,107 incidents of anti-Semitic incidents dont mean that every Jewish person needs to look over their shoulder all the time, Tuchman said. In terms of victims affected directly, thats a very small percentage of the population. But at the same time, because of reporting, social media and word of mouth, that can have an outside impact on the sense of security, sense of confidence and the possible fear of American Jews.

The audit includes both criminal and non-criminal acts of intimidation and harassment. In the 61 assault incidents, 95 people were harmed and five were killed. Those attacks included the 2019 shooting at Chabad of Poway in California, where one person was killed; the shooting at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey, where six people, including three Jews, were killed; and a stabbing during a Hanukkah celebration in which one person died of his injuries and several others were wounded.

The assaults also included the really concerning state of violent attacks on Jews that took place in Brooklyn at the end of the year, Tuchman said.

In general, the assaults we documented in 2019 ranged from confrontations not involving weapons pushing, punching and throwing of objects with evidence of anti-Semitic intent to the really alarming deadly use of weapons, such as guns and knives, Tuchman said.

On average, there were as many as six anti-Semitic incidents in the United States each day in 2019, the highest level of anti-Semitic activity since the Anti-Defamation League began collecting statistics in 1979.

In Florida, incidents included:

The Anti-Defamation League report showed 1,127 harassment incidents, 919 vandalism incidents and 61 assault incidents. The five states with the highest number of anti-Semitic reports were:

Combined, those states had 45 percent of the total number of anti-Semitic incidents last year in the United States. More than half of the assaults nationwide occurred in the five boroughs of New York City, including 25 in Brooklyn alone, the report said.

The report does not draw conclusions about the motivation behind the anti-Semitic incidents. Tuchman said its important not to generalize.

Every case needs to be assessed on its own, he said. When we know who perpetuated a particular assault, we need to understand the motivation of that perpetrator may not be what motivated another perpetrator.

Typically, he said, the number of assaults in a given year range from 30 to 60, and 2019 is the latest high-mark year. Because the number of American Jews reporting anti-Semitic incidents is relatively small, its harder to extrapolate broader trends, he said.

In an earlier report, the Anti-Defamation League reported an uptick in extremism at stay-at-home protests urging governors to reopen states for business after coronavirus-related closures, but Tuchman said anti-Semitism isnt an overarching theme.

Its a very, very small number of people at these rallies who exhibit bad behavior related to ideological extremism, let alone anti-Semitism, he said. He pointed out that the presence of swastikas on some signs is more a condemnation of governors stay-home orders than anti-Jewish sentiment.

We view that as offensive, Tuchman said, but not necessarily anti-Semitic.

He said extremists find anti-government activity generally very attractive, so its not surprising a small number were able to glob on to these protests.

Anti-Semitic incidents may be reported on the organizations website.

The report doesnt cover 2020 anti-Semitic incidents, but the Anti-Defamation League keeps a running count as they are reported. In Florida this year, incidents include:

Read more here:
Florida Reports Anti-Semitic Incidents: Anti-Defamation League

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