ADL Reports Increase in Anti-Semitic Incidents

Jonathan Greenbelt, ADL national director (JTA/Courtesy Anti-Defamation League)

On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League reported an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the first quarter of 2017 compared with 2016.

In the ADL’s Washington region, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia, there were 37 incidents reported in this year’s first quarter, compared with 2016’s year-end total of 26 incidents. Nationwide, the ADL reported that anti-Semitic incidents jumped 86 percent in the first quarter after increasing one-third in 2016 compared with 2015.

“The increase in incidents is widespread and not solely attributable to the waves of bomb threats — 2017 incidents other than bomb threats are still on pace to exceed 2015 and 2016 annual totals by the end of the second quarter of 2017,” Doron Ezickson, regional director of the ADL’s Washington, D.C., office, said in a prepared statement. “What is most concerning is the uptick in anti-Semitic harassment incidents in our schools. Implementing anti-bias programming in schools across the region continues to be a top priority for ADL.”

Of the 37 incidents reported in the D.C. region, 28 were categorized as harassment, threats or events and nine were acts of vandalism, with no recorded assaults. Nationwide, there were 541 anti-Semitic incidents, which includes 161 bomb threats.

“There’s been a significant, sustained increase in anti- Semitic activity since the start of 2016, and what’s most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a prepared statement. “Clearly, we have work to do and need to bring more urgency to the fight. At ADL, we will use every resource available to put a stop to anti-Semitism. But we also need more leaders to speak out against this cancer of hate and more action at all levels to counter anti-Semitism.”

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