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Report: Anti-Semitic Attacks in the U.S. Are at a 20-Year Low


"...we have made progress as a society in confronting anti-Semitism and pushing it to the far fringes."

In October 2011, TheBlaze reported on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization that fights against anti-Semitism, and the group's annual study that, at the time, observed an increase in anti-Jewish crimes. This year, however, the same study has some encouraging results: Anti-Semitic crimes have decreased and are at a 20-year-low.

The ADL's 2011 "Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents" found that the number of annual incidents decreased by 13 percent last year. With 1,080 assaults, acts of vandalism and instances of harassment occurring in 2011, a major decrease is observed (there were 1,239 of the same incidents reported in 2010).

While this decline is a positive step, a more notable benchmark has been reached -- the 2011 report marks the lowest number of incidents reported by the ADL in the last 20 years.

Photo Credit: Councilmember David Greenfield's Twitter account

While the numbers have been trending downward over the past few years, the 2010 audit shocked some when it found that the 1,239 reported anti-Semitic instances marked a slight uptick from the 1,211 that were reported in 2009. However, this year, the downward trajectory is back in place and has fallen to a level of assaults unforeseen over the past two decades.

The incidents that were observed by the ADL were recorded in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Of the cases included in the 2011 numbers were 19 physical assaults on Jewish peoples, 330 cases of vandalism and 731 instances of threats and harassment. A press release further explains the audit:

The annual Audit tracks incidents of vandalism, harassment and physical assaults against Jewish individuals, property and community institutions across the United States, using data gathered by the League's 30 regional offices and law enforcement agencies across the country. The Audit provides an annual snapshot of the problem of anti-Semitism and assists with the identification of national trends and changes in the types of activity reported. The 2011 ADL Audit includes incidents recorded in 45 states and Washington D.C....

"It is encouraging that over the past five or six years we have seen a consistent decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents across the country and that the numbers are now at a historic low," explained ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman. "To the extent that these incidents serve as a barometer, the decline shows that we have made progress as a society in confronting anti-Semitism and pushing it to the far fringes, making expressions of anti-Jewish hatred unacceptable."

Of course, Foxman noted that some crimes, like anti-Semitic content on the internet, cannot be qualified. While progress has been made, more work is needed to combat anti-Jewish bias. Read the 2011 "Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents" here.

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