Antisemitic Incidents Surged in 2021 in the USA

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Antisemitism is on the rise in the United States. An annual audit by a Jewish civil rights organization found a sharp uptick in antisemitic incidents in the U.S., with reports of assaults, vandalism, and harassment against Jewish communities and individuals reaching a record high last year. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said that it counted 2,717 incidents in 2021, which is a 34 percent increase from 2020, and the highest number since the organization began tracking antisemitism in 1979. 

The annual audit is compiled from reports from law enforcement, the media, and community groups. The report specifically does not consider general sentiments against Israel to be the same as antisemitism. 

The fighting in May 2021 between Israeli forces and Palestine is what the group believes gave a rise to incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism. 

CEO of the ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement that while there is typically a rise in antisemitic activity in periods of hostilities, the violence that came with the conflict last May was “shocking.” He said that Jewish people were being attacked in the street for being Jewish, and being blamed for things happening “half a world away.” 

All Jewish people are being blamed as being responsible for the State of Israel, whether they support the State of Israel or not, he said. 

Large-scale protests took place across the U.S. in response to the conflict between Palestine and Israel in the Gaza Strip last year. Anti-Muslim vandalism was also reported in May of last year. 

The ADL says that the May conflict, which lasted 11 days and ended with a ceasefire agreement, was only one of several spikes in 2021 of antisemitism. The ADL also pointed to a near-record year of incidents of white supremacist propaganda as reasoning for a high in antisemitism. 

Earlier this year, experts called antisemitism a “growing crisis” in the United States. 

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