Wednesday, May 13, 2020

U.S. Anti-Semitic Incidents Highest in 40 Years 

When considered in total, the individual numbers in the Anti-Defamation League's annual audit of anti-Semitic activity built a framework for understanding the scope of the problem in the United States.

Take 2,017, for example, the number of incidents in the United States in 2019 that met the ADL's criteria as being anti-Semitic. That figure is 12 percent greater than the 2018 count and the highest since the ADL began its annual audit in 1979.

Within the audit released May 12 is a reported 6 percent increase in incidents of harassment, a 19 percent rise in vandalism, and 56 percent more physical assaults on Jews in this country – more than half of the assaults taking place in New York City.

Head South and numbers 29 and 52, respectively, represent the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Georgia in 2019 and in the four-state region handled by the ADL regional office in Atlanta, which comprised Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.

In both cases, the numbers for Georgia and the four-state region were fractionally lower in 2019 than 2018.

Noticeably absent from the list of Georgia incidents was April 2019 events at Emory University, when pro-Palestinian activists posted mock eviction notices on doors in dormitories and at an off-campus residence as a protest against Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses.

"We categorize the mock eviction notices at Emory as anti-Israel political speech and those flyers didn't include traditional anti-Semitic tropes," Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the Southern division, said May 12. "If they had included tropes or if they had targeted Jewish students directly, we would have included them, but the audit generally doesn't include anti-Israel political activism. We do include anti-Israel content, just not political activism that doesn't have anti-Semitic tropes or target Jewish students."

On April 12, 2019, Emory president Claire Sterk issued a statement that included: "Although Jewish students were not singled out, they and their families justifiably felt targeted, given the world in which we live."

Two days later, a statement issued by Padilla-Goodman called that response "a step in the right direction," that still "falls short of what is needed . . . to make sure that anti-Semitism has no place at Emory moving forward."


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