100 percent increase in incidents in Colorado since 2016, including targeting of Jewish individuals, synagogues, schools
Denver, CO, November 2, 2017 … The number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in Colorado doubled in the first 9 months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, according to new data released today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). ADL’s latest Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents reports that from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2017 there were 46 incidents in Colorado compared to 23 for the same time frame last year.
ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott L. Levin issued the following statement:
“The sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Colorado is alarming, especially since this is the second year in a row that the number of incidents has doubled. It is deeply disturbing that some individuals feel emboldened and empowered to act upon their anti-Semitic beliefs by targeting Jewish individuals and institutions with vandalism, harassment and even assault.
Anti-Semitism is often a bellwether for hate in a community. We know that the Jewish community is not alone in experiencing a significant increase in hate incidents and hate crimes. Refugees, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ individuals, Latinos and African Americans are also experiencing increased incidents of hate.”
The Q1-Q3 2017 ADL Audit identified:
▪ 24 cases of harassment and threats in Colorado
▪ 21 cases of vandalism in Colorado
▪ 1 physical assault on a Jewish individual in Colorado
The audit includes these specific incidents:
Colorado Springs, Colo.: Temple Beit Torah was targeted with a swastika and other anti-Semitic graffiti that was spray painted on its property. (August 2017)
Lafayette, Colo.: The apartment door of a Jewish couple was vandalized twice within two days when swastikas were carved into the door. (September 2017)
Fort Collins, Colo.: The words “Heil Hitler” were written on a white board outside a Jewish student’s door in a residence hall at Colorado State University during the Jewish High Holy Days. (September 2017)
RISE IN ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENTS ACROSS THE NATION
Colorado is not alone in experiencing an increase in anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. remain significantly higher in 2017 compared to 2016, according to the ADL Audit. In addition to the significant bump in the first quarter of this year, there was also a distinct increase after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
ADL’s Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents reports that from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 there were 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions. That total represents a 67 percent increase over the same period in 2016 and already exceeds the 1,266 incidents reported all of last year. Of the incidents reported, there has been a disturbingly high number of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism in K-12 schools and college campuses across the U.S.
“We are astonished and horrified by the rise in anti-Semitic harassment, incidents and violence targeting our communities,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “While the tragedy in Charlottesville highlighted this trend, it was not an aberration. Every single day, white supremacists target members of the Jewish community—holding rallies in public, recruiting on college campuses, attacking journalists on social media, and even targeting young children. For over a century, ADL has worked tirelessly to protect any community targeted by hatred – and we’re not about to stand down now. No matter how emboldened these fringe elements of society may feel, they will never threaten our mission.”
Compared to 2016, each of the first three quarters of 2017 had a higher number of incidents year over year. These incidents peaked during the first quarter of 2017, and the pace slowed somewhat in the second and third quarters. Of all 1,299 anti-Semitic incidents so far in 2017, a majority (667) occurred in the first quarter of the year. An additional 632 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the second and third quarters of the year, surpassing the 488 incidents reported during the same period in 2016.
Since 1979, ADL has counted anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. and reported the numbers in its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. This year, in response to concerns about rising anti-Semitism, ADL has stepped up the frequency of reporting, issuing semi-annual reports to share data more frequently.
From January through Sept. 30, according to ADL, there were:
703 incidents of harassment, including 162 bomb threats against Jewish institutions;
584 incidents of vandalism, including 52 against Jewish institutions;
12 physical assaults.
These incidents took place across the country, but consistent with prior reports, the states with the highest number of incidents tend to be those with the largest Jewish populations. These include New York State (267 incidents); California (197); Massachusetts (117); Florida (69) and Pennsylvania (58).
In August, ADL recorded a “meta-event” rarely seen in America: the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., which featured shocking and violent expressions of anti-Semitism and racism, including the display of swastika flags, chants of “Jews will not replace us!” and other overt anti-Semitic acts.
Anti-Semitic incidents spiked on and immediately following Charlottesville. Of the 306 incidents reported in Q3, 221 took place on or after the August 11 rally.
The Charlottesville rally was one of at least 33 public white supremacist events in the U.S. so far this year, which were supplemented with 188 incidents where white supremacists used fliers to spread their message to new audiences, especially on college campuses.
INCIDENTS IN SCHOOLS ON RISE
Anti-Semitism continues to be a serious concern on college campuses and in public, private and parochial grade schools. Incidents in K-12 grade schools in 2017 more than doubled over the same period in 2016 (269, up from 130). Of those, 142 incidents of harassment and 114 incidents of vandalism were reported. On college campuses, a total of 118 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the first three quarters of 2017, compared to 74 in the same period of 2016 – an increase of 59 percent.
“We are deeply troubled by the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents, bullying, and hate in our nation’s schools and we don’t think the statistics paint a full picture of what is happening,” Greenblatt said. “Many school-based incidents still go unreported. As a country, we have to do more to ensure that our schools remain places where students can learn safely without fearing bullying and hate.”
The ADL Audit includes both criminal and non-criminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats, and slurs. Compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement, and community leaders, and evaluated by ADL’s professional staff, the Audit provides a regular snapshot of one specific aspect of a nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported. This information assists ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.
The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias curricula for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all. Follow us on Twitter: @ADLDenver