ADL Audit: Anti-Semitic Incidents Down 14 Percent in 2012

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 12:43 PM

By Melanie Batley

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The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States fell by 14 percent in 2012, marking the third consecutive year of decline, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents reported that in 2012, there were 927 anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S., including assaults, vandalism, and harassment, down from 1,080 in 2011.

"It is encouraging that in the past few years we have seen a fairly consistent decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States," said Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, in a statement.

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"Still, it is disturbing that there are so many incidents in America, and we must remain vigilant in responding to them and in encouraging law enforcement and the public to report these incidents as much as possible," he said.

At the same time, the group pointed out that despite the overall decline, some types of anti-Semitic abuse — such as online attacks, vandalism, and physical assault — have either remained the same or increased substantially.

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL national chairman, said there has been a "proliferation of hatred online."

"Unlike years ago, when racists handed out pamphlets on street corners or sent them through the mail, the Internet provides racists and bigots with an outlet to reach a potential audience of millions," said Curtiss-Lusher.

"This explosion of viral hate is impossible to quantify, but it may have led to a migration of sorts where the haters and bigots are more likely to take to the Internet to express themselves anonymously, rather than acting out in a public setting. The danger, of course, is that these online expressions can inspire and fuel real-world violence."

The annual audit, started in 1979, includes both criminal and non-criminal incidents reported to ADL in 35 states and Washington, D.C.

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