Apr 16, 2024 - Politics & Policy

ADL says antisemitic incidents in U.S. surged 140% in 2023

Jewish students at El Camino Real Charter High School walkout to protest antisemitic incidents at the Woodland Hills school on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

Jewish students at El Camino Real Charter High School walkout to protest antisemitic incidents at the Los Angeles school on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Photo: Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. more than doubled last year and set another record primarily driven by the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel, according to the final tally of cases by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The big picture: There were 8,873 antisemitic cases of assault, harassment, and vandalism across the country in 2023, representing the highest level recorded since ADL started tracking this data in 1979, the group said Thursday.

By the numbers: "The ADL Audit of Antisemitic Incidents" found that the nation saw a 140% increase from 2022 in antisemitic cases.

  • The surge came after a dramatic spike of 5,204 antisemitic acts post-Oct. 7, the report said.
  • The 12-month total surpassed that of the past three years combined and averaged about 24 anti-Jewish incidents in the U.S. per day.
  • Incidents of harassment increased by 184%, acts of vandalism rose by 69%, and physical assaults went up by 45%.

Context: The data collected by the ADL's Center on Extremism not only includes hate crimes — defined as violence stemming from a victim's race, color, sexuality, religion or national origin — but also cases involving verbal harassment and speeches on college campuses.

  • The ADL faced criticism for including campus protests against Israel's actions in Gaza and disapproval of those actions along with incidents of anti-Jewish hate in its tallies.
  • The group says it takes into account the "glorification of terrorist groups and extreme anti-Zionism."

What they're saying: "Antisemitism is nothing short of a national emergency, a five-alarm fire that is still raging across the country and in our local communities and campuses," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.

  • Greenblatt said governors in every state need to come up with a strategy to fight antisemitism and protect Jewish residents at work and school.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it received 8,061 complaints about anti-Muslim cases nationwide in 2023, marking the highest number the group has ever recorded in its 30-year history.

What we're watching: Most of the nation's 10 largest cities saw significant surges in hate crimes in 2023, increases that averaged 11%, according to another preliminary report.

  • It was the third straight year of spikes in the big cities' overall average number of hate crimes and came as the Israel-Hamas war sparked jumps in antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes in the last months of 2023.

Go deeper: Top elite colleges get failing grades on campus antisemitism

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