Antisemitic incidents reached new all-time high in 2023: ADL

Antisemitic incidents spiked last year to an all-time record, with the bulk of the surge coming in the days following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel, according to data compiled by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The U.S. saw more than 8,800 antisemitic incidents in 2023, according to the annual survey by the ADL, a category that includes assaults, harassment, and vandalism. It was the second consecutive year of record-breaking antisemitic incidents.

The figures represent a 140 percent jump in antisemitic incidents over what the group tracked in 2022, which likewise was a record-setting year.

“Antisemitism is nothing short of a national emergency, a five-alarm fire that is still raging across the country and in our local communities and campuses,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO  of the ADL said in a statement.

“Jewish Americans are being targeted for who they are at school, at work, on the street, in Jewish institutions and even at home. This crisis demands immediate action from every sector of society and every state in the union. We need every governor to develop and put in place a comprehensive strategy to fight antisemitism, just as the administration has done at the national level.”

Some 5,200 of the incidents tracked by the ADL came after war broke out between Hamas and Israel, highlighting the role the conflict has played in spurring anti-Jewish sentiment across the globe.

The group said it saw “an explosion of anti-Israel activism” following the attack, including messaging “that could be perceived as supporting terrorism or attacks on Jews, Israelis or Zionists.”

“A significant portion of post-October 7 Israel-related incidents occurred at anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian rallies, where ADL observed antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric in the form of signs, chants and speeches from protest leaders. In the months of October, November and December, ADL tracked 1,352 incidents associated with anti-Israel rallies. In 172 cases, incidents at anti-Israel rallies included classic antisemitic elements, such as swastikas and claims that Jews control the media,” the group wrote.

Harassment and vandalism in particular jumped in 2023.

More than 6,500 people were targeted with antisemitic slurs, stereotypes or conspiracy theories, a 184 percent jump from 2022.

Vandalism also jumped 69 percent, with swastikas used in more than half the reported incidents.

But the biggest spike was seen in bomb threats made to Jewish institutions, jumping more than tenfold from 91 such threats in 2022 to more than 1,000 last year.

The group called it “the largest antisemitic bomb threat spree ever recorded” by the ADL.

In the days after the Oct. 7 attack, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the conflict came in the midst of what was already “historic” levels of antisemitism.

“The reality is that the Jewish community is uniquely targeted by pretty much every terrorist organization across the spectrum. And when you look at a group that makes up 2.4 percent, roughly, of the American population, it should be jarring to everyone that that same population accounts for something like 60 percent of all religious-based hate crimes, and so they need our help,” Wray said last October.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.