New data released in November by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported a 67% increase nationwide in anti-Semitic incidents in the first 9 months of 2017 compared with the same time period in 2016.
ADL’s mountain states region, which includes Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, experienced a doubling of incidents during the first nine months of 2017. This was particularly marked for Colorado which reported 46 incidents as compared to 23 for the same time frame last year. New Mexico’s numbers were lower. Seven incidents were reported in 2017, as compared to five for the same time frame in 2016. No incidents were reported for either year in Wyoming.
Scott L. Levin, ADL mountain states regional director, issued the following statement: “The increase in anti-Semitic incidents is alarming, especially since this is the second year in a row that the number of incidents in the mountain states region has doubled. It is deeply disturbing that some individuals feel emboldened and empowered to act upon their anti-Semitic beliefs by targeting Jewish individuals and institutions with vandalism, harassment and even assault.
“The Jewish community is not alone in experiencing a significant increase in hate incidents and hate crimes. Refugees, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ individuals, Latinos and African Americans are also experiencing increased incidents of hate.”
In New Mexico, there were six cases of harassment and threats and one case of vandalism, including two bomb threats received by the Jewish Community Center and anti-Semitic threats of violence received by a Jewish blogger.
Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents Across the Nation
ADL’s Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents reports that from January 1 to September 30 there were 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, including physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions. That total represents a 67 percent increase over the same period in 2016 and already exceeds the 1,266 incidents reported all of last year. In addition to the significant bump in the first quarter of this year, there was also a distinct increase after August 11th.
On that day, ADL recorded a “meta-event” rarely seen in America: the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which featured shocking and violent expressions of anti-Semitism and racism, including the display of swastika flags, chants of “Jews will not replace us!” and other overt anti-Semitic acts. Anti-Semitic incidents spiked on and immediately following Charlottesville. Of the 306 incidents reported in the third quarter, 221 took place on or after the August 11th rally, which was one of at least 33 public white supremacist events in the U.S. so far this year. In addition, 188 incidents of white supremacists using fliers to spread their message to new audiences, especially on college campuses, were reported.
Of the incidents reported, there has been a disturbingly high number of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism in K-12 schools and college campuses across the U.S. Consistent with prior reports, the states with the highest number of incidents tend to be those with the largest Jewish populations. Incidents recorded from January through September include 703 incidents of harassment, including
162 bomb threats against Jewish institutions; 584 incidents of vandalism, including 52 against Jewish institutions and 12 physical assaults.
To report an anti-Semitic or bias-motivated incident, contact the Anti-Defamation League mountain states regional office at (303) 831-7177 or submit a report online at www.adl.org/report-an-incident.