Tags: ADL | NewYork | assaults | Jews | Brooklyn

Assaults on New York Jews Tripled in 2013

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 01:27 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Physical attacks on Jews in New York state more than tripled in 2013, and experts are struggling to come up with an explanation.

The Anti-Defamation League said in its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents that the number of assaults jumped to 22 in 2013 from six in 2012.

However, the anti-Semitic incidents, which also includes vandalism, harassment, threats and other events, fell in the Empire State overall by 18 percent for a total of 203 incidents, down from 248 in 2012.

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"We are pleased to see a decrease in the overall number of anti-Semitic incidents in our state," Evan Bernstein, the ADL regional director in New York, said in a statement.

"However, the rise of assaults in certain areas of New York City – in particular Brooklyn — is both disturbing and a sobering reminder that anti-Semitism is not just history but remains a current event," he added.

Sixty-four of the 203 anti-Semitic New York incidents occurred in Brooklyn, 62 on Long Island and 43 in Manhattan.

According to the ADL, part of the reason there was a rise in assaults was due to what is called the "knockout game," in which attackers targeted Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn and posted videos of the attacks via social media. The point of the "game" is to cause someone to become unconscious with one punch to the head.

Story continues below video.



"The bottom line is that Jews were targeted because they were Jews," Bernstein told the New York Daily News. "With the advent of social media, the game picked up speed last year."

However, Bernstein said that the "knockout game" only explains seven of the 22 reported assaults.

"There's not always a specific reason [for the assaults]," he said. "What we have seen in the past is that when things happen in Israel, for example, it could stir things up here. But that wasn't the case last year."

The nationwide number of anti-Semitic incidents fell in 2013 by 19 percent, with a total 751 incidents across the country, down from 927 in 2012, marking one of the lowest numbers of incidents since ADL began keeping track in 1979.

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