A bullet shell recovered at the attack on a kosher supermarket in Jersey City that left four dead, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP/Seth Wenig) (AP/Seth Wenig)
Shooting Jersey City anti-semitic attack

Anti-Defamation League shows anti-Semitism up in America, skyrocketing in New Jersey to ‘levels of bigotry unmatched in the past 40 years.’

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said Tuesday that anti-Semitic incidents in New Jersey shot up by 73 percent last year, the most ever recorded in the state and the second-highest number recorded in any state across the country

An ADL report shows 345 incidents in 2019, including the shooting attack on a kosher supermarket in Jersey City that killed three Jews at the store and a local police officer.

There were dramatic increases in anti-Semitic incidents across all categories. Vandalism increased 72 percent from 104 incidents in 2018 to 179 incidents in 2019; harassment increased 71 percent from 94 incidents in 2018 to 161 incidents in 2019; and physical assaults increased 150 percent from 2 assaults in 2018 to 5 assaults in 2019, including December’s deadly shooting attack in Jersey City.

“The data is clear: Anti-Semitism is on the rise, and it is growing more dangerous,” said Shira J. Goodman, regional director of the ADL’s Philadelphia Regional Office, which serves southern New Jersey. “Jews in New Jersey are dealing with levels of bigotry unmatched in the past 40 years. As we have seen in Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City, Monsey and elsewhere, anti-Semitism in America can be deadly, and we cannot afford to leave it unchecked.

“This is not a Jewish problem; this is an American problem, and we need all Americans to join the fight against anti-Semitism.”

Troubling as well was the increase in anti-Semitic incidents in schools from 63 in 2018 to 97 in 2019. That 54-percent jump outpaced the 19-percent increase in school-based incidents nationwide and was the second year in a row that anti-Semitic incidents increased in New Jersey’s K-12 schools. Incidents at colleges and universities in the state nearly doubled from 8 iin 2018 to 14 last year.

Nationwide, the ADL documented 2,107 anti-Semitic incidents in 2019, a 12-percent rise relative to 2018 and the highest year on record since the ADL began tracking anti-Semitic incidents in 1979. There were 61 violent assaults across the country, a 56-percent increase compared to 2018. Acts by known extremist groups or by individuals inspired by extremist ideologies accounted for 270 of the incidents, the highest level of anti-Semitic incidents with known connections to extremism in nearly two decades.

“We are alarmed by the dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents in New Jersey,” said ADL regional deputy director Alexander Rosemberg. “The deadly shooting attack in Jersey City, followed by the subsequent stabbing attack at a rabbi’s home just across the border in Monsey, New York, demonstrate that incidents are not only increasing, but they are becoming more violent as well.”

“The rise in incidents in New Jersey’s K-12 schools and college and university campuses tells us that there is much work to be done to educate young people about hate, bias, and stereotypes more broadly,” Rosemberg said, adding that New Jersey Attorney General Grewal has prioritizing the issue with a new task force and guidance to law enforcement officials on how to investigate and report bias incidents.

The ADL said it has a comprehensive approach to addressing anti-Semitic incidents and behavior that includes youth education and working with law enforcement to apprehend perpetrators. The organization also works to enact laws to improve federal, state, and local prevention tactics and responses to anti-Semitic hate crimes and all forms of hate violence.

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