Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in the U.S. — with a spike of reports of assaults, vandalism and harassment surrounding the 2016 election that has continued through the first three months of 2017, according to an annual report released Monday by the Anti-Defamation League.
The Jewish civil rights group found a 34% increase in incidents on American Jews and Jewish institutions in 2016. Nearly 30% of the total 1,266 acts happened in November and December, according to the ADL report.
The surge continued into the beginning of 2017 with 541 incidents reported — a spike of 86% in the first three months of the year when compared to last year’s data, which showed 291 incidents in the first quarter of 2016.
This year’s numbers include at least 100 damaged headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia and more than 150 bomb threats on Jewish community centers and day schools. An Israeli-Jewish hacker was blamed by authorities for the bomb threats.
Oren Segal, the director of ADL’s Center on Extremism, said those threats like that should still be seen as anti-Semitic as it targets Jews.
“Extremists and anti-Semites feel emboldened and are using technology in new ways to spread their hatred and to impact the Jewish community on and off line,” Segal said in a statement. “The majority of anti-Semitic incidents are not carried out by organized extremists, as the bomb threats in 2017 demonstrate. Anti-Semitism is not the sole domain of any one group, and needs to be challenged wherever and whenever it arises.”
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