U.S. News


Recent Wave Of Incidents Is A Reminder Anti-Semitism Is Nothing New

The total number of incidents has mostly dropped in the past two decades, but the Anti-Defamation League has seen an uptick in the past few years.
Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 22, 2017

We've been hearing about a new wave of anti-Semitic incidents.

The most recent occurred Feb. 20, with 11 Jewish Community Centers — or JCCs — receiving phoned-in bomb threats.

Feb. 20 marked the fourth day in 2017 that JCCs received bomb threats. In total, there have been 68 threats in the United States and another one in Canada in 2017 alone. Luckily, no actual bombs have been found.

And between 180 and 200 headstones were recently vandalized in a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, Missouri.

But these incidents are, unfortunately, nothing new.

The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking anti-Semitic incidents since 1979. The total number of incidents appears to have peaked at over 2,000 in 1994. After a spike in the mid-2000s, the total number of anti-Semitic incidents continued on a mostly downward trend until 2014.  

The league's most recent audit from 2015 reported a 3 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents from the previous year. But the number of assaults rose at a much greater rate: over 55 percent from 2014.

The Southern Poverty Law Center recorded a total of 1,094 hate incidents — which include anti-Semitic ones — in the month following President Trump's election. About 40 percent of those incidents were "directly connected" to Trump's campaign.

The center deemed those incidents "directly connected" if they mentioned Trump's name or used his campaign slogans.