Anti-Defamation League: Physical Assaults on Jewish People Tripled in NYC in 2013

Anti-Defamation League: Physical Assaults on Jewish People Tripled in NYC in 2013

The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents finds a national downward trend in anti-Semitic behavior but a sharp increase in the number of physical attacks on identifiably Jewish individuals in New York City, the Daily News reports.

The organization noted that New York City suffered 22 incidents of Jewish residents being attacked physically for being identified as Jewish, compared to 6 incidents in 2012. While incidents of verbal harassment, bullying, and vandalism all fell this year, physical attacks in New York City were on the rise. ADL New York regional director Evan Bernstein told the Daily News that the organization cannot pinpoint an individual reason for such a spike: “What we have seen in the past is that when things happen in Israel, for example, it could stir things up here. But that wasn’t the case last year.”

The ADL’s New York website notes that incidents of vandalism in New York City dropped 22% and incidents of harassment, threats, and events dropped 35%. Only incidents of physical attacks on Jewish people where reports showed a clear intent to attack a Jewish person for their ethnicity/faith increased. In addition, the report analyzed the different areas of the state in which these events were more likely to occur. Jewish people in Brooklyn and Long Island were overwhelmingly more likely to experience an anti-Semitic event this year than those elsewhere in New York. Long Island was more likely to see an act of vandalism, such as swastikas painted on property, than Brooklyn.

New York state leads the nation in assaults on Jewish people, with 203 such incidents in 2013. This is still lower than the 248 incidents occurring the year before, a 23% drop. California took second place with 143 incidents, a drop from the 185 in 2012. Nationally, the ADL found a 19% drop in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, though the number of incidents, 751, was still significant.

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, reminded those reading the audit that, while a decrease in anti-Semitism in the public square is positive news, any instance of anti-Semitism is hurtful and has no place in American society. “We must remember that there are people behind every one of these numbers, and every incident represents one person or an entire community affected by the trauma of anti-Semitism,” he said.

Read the ADL’s full report on aggression against Jewish Americans here.