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Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Are Rising Across The US

The Anti-Defamation League has documented a surge in harassment and vandalism targeting Jews.
Posted at 1:59 PM, Oct 16, 2017

For many Jews in America, a scary new reality: Overt anti-Semitism is surfacing more often online and in real life.

Anti-Semitic incidents surged between 2016 and 2017, mostly in the form of harassment and vandalism, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

"We have a disturbing amount of people who subscribe to conspiracy theories and who embrace the most hardened prejudice views," said Brian Levin, director at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

Levin said there was an "alt-right" insurgency after President Barack Obama was elected. That’s far-right ideology that often advocates white nationalist and anti-Semitic views. Such views gained traction during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"We saw internet trolling directed at journalists primarily focused on a small number of Jews,"  he said. "And there was a relatively small number of people doing a tremendous number of anti-Semitic trolling."

Experts tracking hate speech say the current political and digital-media climate has allowed anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery to spread into the mainstream.

"They're chanting Nazi chants from the 1930s: blood and soil, etc." said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. "They knew exactly what they were doing."