Anti-Defamation League report says anti-Semitic incidents up sharply since presidential election

A protest against anti-Semitic incidents.
(Image credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

A new report by the Anti-Defamation League finds that there has been a spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States since the 2016 presidential election.

The ADL has recorded 541 anti-Semitic incidents in the first quarter of 2017, up 86 percent from a year earlier, with six physical assaults; 380 episodes of harassment, including 161 bomb threats; and 155 acts of vandalism, including destruction at three cemeteries. "There's been a significant, sustained increase in anti-Semitic activity since the start of 2016," said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, "and what's most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months."

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that in New York City this year, through March 5, 55 anti-Semitic crimes were reported, up 189 percent from the same time period in 2016. Both of these studies say the election and political climate are partly to blame for the increase in incidents, and Oren Segal, director of the ADL's Center on Extremism, told NBC News that technology is also making it easier to commit hate crimes. "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.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.