BALTIMORE (WJZ)– New research shows a significant rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S.
Some are blaming the new wave of harassment against Jews on partisan politics.
These new stats say cases of hate incidents against Jews are on track to be even worse than last year’s. The president is also addressing this subject.
Images of toppled headstones at a Jewish graveyard purposefully damaged in St. Louis and anti-Semitic flyers with swastikas imprinted on them littered across one Harford County neighborhood are examples of the hate crimes that have occurred this year.
The Anti-Defamation League says complaints about hateful acts against Jews have spiked significantly from 291 in the first quarter of 2016 to 541 so far this year.
The Anti-Defamation League said complaints ranged from harassing Jews to Vandalism.
“Of course we have a political environment that’s been particularly charged the last several months, we think that’s part of the reason. Others feel emboldened perhaps to express views,” says Doron Ezickson, regional director of the ADL.
There was also a wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers. Some of those calls were blamed on a 19 year old in Israel with dual citizenship.
“It was definitely a very very intense time,” says Barak Hermann, CEO of the JCC of greater Baltimore.
After that suspect was arrested, leaders at the JCC in Owings Mills said the threats immediately stopped, but they’ve continued with existing security procedures which includes armed guards.
“And I tell our staff often, we can’t control everything that goes on in the world around us, but we can control the culture we want to have at the JCC,” Hermann said.
[Reporter: “And what culture is that?”]
“That everybody is welcomed, we embrace diversity.”
President Donald Trump has been accused of not condemning antisemitism, but this week he made a pledge to the Jewish people:
“We will confront anti-antisemitism. We will stamp out prejudice, we will condemn hatred. We will bear witness and we will act,” Trump said Tuesday.
Hermann says they have not received another bomb threat since that teen was arrested in Israel.
Based on the trend so far this year, the ADL says complaints of anti-Semitic incidents are on track to surpass 2,000 this year.