by Pam Zubeck
In case you thought this state and country were growing more civil, here's a wake-up call.
The Anti-Defamation League reports that an audit shows the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the nation increased slightly in 2010 over the previous year, with a total of 1,239 incidents of assaults, vandalism and harassment reported during the calendar year. In 2009, 1,211 incidents were reported.
"This was the first increase reported since the numbers hit a record high in 2004, when the United States experienced 1,821 incidents of anti-Semitism," the league said in a press release. "Since 2004, the numbers have declined incrementally each year."
But in Colorado, the increase from 2009 to 2010 was remarkable. The number of incidents rose from 14 in 2009 to 38 in 2010, 35 of which were acts of anti-Semitic harassment and three acts of anti-Semitic vandalism.
From the press release:
Among the incidents in Colorado was the hacking of the websites of three Boulder Jewish communal organizations where the perpetrators posted language that included, “Jews are terrorists,” “Child Organ Smugglers,” “F—- The Jews!” and “F—- Israel.” In another incident, a student in a Colorado high school was reportedly bullied with anti-Semitic text messages, one which allegedly read, “Jews are really hot when they’re on fire.”
Scott Levin, ADL’s Mountain States Regional Director, released the following statement: “The sharp regional increase in anti-Semitic incidents is extremely troubling and reinforces the harsh reality that anti-Semitism, like all forms of hatred, remains a problem in the Mountain States region. Every member of our community deserves to feel safe and welcome.”
Stuart Pack, ADL’s Mountain States Regional Board Chair, said, “We will not be satisfied until anti-Semitism and hatred in all its forms are eradicated. ADL will continue to lead the fight ‘to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.’ The Mountain States region is no place for hate.”
The ADL Audit tracks incidents of vandalism, harassment and physical assaults against Jewish individuals, pr operty and community institutions across the U.S., using reports and data gathered by the League’s 30 regional offices and law enforcement.
“While we have come a long way in society as Jews have been accepted into the mainstream, America is still not immune to anti-Semitism and bigotry,” said Levin. “The bad news is that for all our efforts to educate, to raise awareness and to legislate, anti-Jewish incidents remain a disturbing part of the American Jewish experience.”
The 2010 ADL Audit identified:
— 22 physical assaults on Jewish individuals (down from 29 in 2009);
— 900 cases of anti-Semitic harassment, threats and events (up from 760 in 2009);
— 317 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism (down from 422 in 2009).
The 2010 Audit comprises data from 45 states and the District of Columbia, including official crime statistics as well as information provided to ADL’s regional offices by victims, law enforcement officers and community leaders and members. The Audit encompasses criminal acts, such as vandalism, violence and threats of violence, as well as non-criminal incidents of harassment and intimidation.
The news release noted that the highest totals came in California, with 297 incidents in 2010, up from 275 in 2009; New York, with 205 incidents, down from 209; New Jersey, with 130 incidents, down from 132; and Florida, with 116 incidents, up from 90.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.