New research by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), shows that the number of anti-semitic incidents in the US has increased by nearly 86%. Harassments include everything from a person screaming “”Heil Hitler”’ during a Jewish funeral in South Brunswick in New Jersey to violent assault crimes in San Francisco, California. More neo-Nazi’s have gained the courage to use hateful language and commit hate crimes, especially in places with less protection. Many Jewish cemeteries have been attacked, for example, one in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia on February 26th, 2017 and one in St. Louis during the weekend of February 18, 2017. Cemeteries are vulnerable targets as there is no 24/7 protection and safety.
Even public areas aren’t safe. In New York City the subways are the most used public transportation. Research by the NYPD Transit Bureau shows that anti-semitic graffiti is the most common hate crime found on subways. The reports also mentions the sharp increase compared to the seven last year during the same time period.
CEO of ADL Jonathan A. Greenblatt stated in a report on the ADL website that,“There’s been a significant, sustained increase in anti-Semitic activity since the start of 2016 and what’s most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months”. The organization states that the number of hate crimes against Jewish people on college campuses stayed the same when comparing the first quarter of the 2016 and 2017 year, however, there was an increase at the elementary-high school age levels and groups.
Online, where people tend to be more bold about their beliefs, these harassing trolls are not subject to any real consequences except a suspension of their Twitter accounts. Researchers at Tel Aviv University found 2.6 million tweets with anti-semitic language. Because of online mediums, the number of anti-semitic physical assaults has decreased worldwide. However, the internet lets hundreds of people express their hateful and terrible thoughts at the expense of the Jewish community.
So why are these numbers increasing? For one, social media has given neo-nazis a platform to spread their hate and made them more visible. Furthermore, the recent rise of the alt-right worldwide, which can be seen through the success of Trump’s campaign, the emergence of other far-right parties in Europe and the rise of far-right media such as Breitbart News, has normalized anti-semitic hate.
On April 18th, 2017, a Neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer was sued, after the founder published personal information of a Jewish Woman’s family. The woman who is suing says that the publication led to a hate campaign launched online and many internet trolls harassed her endlessly with crude anti-semitic insults.
To all readers, please call out and report hate crimes to your local police or the FBI Civil Rights Division. Thank you to the Muslim Activists who raised funds to fix the damages of the cemetery attack in St. Louis.