ADL: US anti-Semitic incidents reach third-highest total on record during pandemic
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported on Tuesday that 2020 was the third-worst year for anti-Semitic incidents since the organization first began tracking such data in 1979.
According to the organization, 2,024 incidents of anti-Semitic assault, harassment and vandalism were reported last year. The majority were harassment, with a 10 percent increase in the category observed when compared to 2019, which had the highest number of total incidents recorded in ADL’s history.
Acts of vandalism and assault declined 18 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
“While any decline in the data is encouraging, we still experienced a year in which antisemitic acts remained at a disturbingly high level despite lockdowns and other significant changes in our daily lives and interactions with others,” ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said in the report. “We can’t let our guard down. As communities begin to open up and people spend more time in person with others, we must remain vigilant.”
The ADL says that anti-Semitic incidents dropped in schools after classes were moved online, but instances of “Zoombombing” subsequently rose. The organization recorded 196 such instances in which videoconferencing meetings were purposefully interrupted and harassed.
Overall, anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 47 U.S. states last year as well as Washington, D.C.
The group called on lawmakers and government officials a all levels to speak out against hate crimes and for the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act to be passed. The bill would establish multiple grants in the Department of Justice for state and local governments to better address hate crimes and report them to relevant national systems.
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