Anti-Semitism down locally, up nationally, ADL says


Anti-Semitic incidents decreased in greater Washington from 2014 to 2015, according to a report released Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

There were 30 incidents in 2015 in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, compared to 34 in 2014.

Nationally, the ADL found a 3 percent increase, from 912 incidents in 2014 to 941 incidents in 2015.

“We are disturbed that violent anti-Semitic incidents are rising,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL. “And we know that for every incident reported, there’s likely another that goes unreported. So even as the total incidents have remained statistically steady from year to year, the trend toward anti-Semitic violence is very concerning.”

The incidents are classified into three categories: assaults; vandalism; and harassment, threats and events.

The report noted that incidents on college campuses doubled. In 2014, there were 47 incidents on 43 campuses. In 2015, there were 90 incidents reported on 60 campuses. College campuses accounted for 10 percent of all incidents reported nationally.

“Despite the increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus, such incidents are still relatively rare and the vast majority of Jewish students report feeling safe on their campuses,” said Greenblatt. “When such incidents do occur, they are generally condemned by administrators and the wider campus communities at their respective colleges.”

The ADL noted two local incidents, including three swastikas drawn inside a George Washington University residence hall in February and a swastika and anti-Semitic epithets drawn on a student’s dry-erase board at the University of Maryland, College Park in November.

The New York Times reported that an analysis of data by the FBI found the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is the most likely group to be the target of a hate crime, surpassing the number of hate crimes committed against Jews.  It also found the LGBT community is twice as likely to be targeted as are members of the African-American community.

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