U.S. still experiencing nearly record-high-number of anti-Semitic incidents

Image: Hannah Kaye, along with Jewish community leaders and mourners, stand
Hannah Kaye, along with Jewish community leaders and mourners, stand near the coffin of her mother, Lori Kaye, at El Camino Cemetery in San Diego on April 29. Kaye was fatally shot at a synagogue in Poway. Copyright Sandy Huffaker AFP - Getty Images file
By Tim Stelloh with NBC News U.S. News
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The Anti-Defamation League said this year's numbers nearly matched the first six months of 2018.


The United States is on track to record another year with a "historically high" number of anti-Semitic incidents, the Anti-Defamation League said Sunday.

In the first six months of 2019, the Jewish civil rights group counted 780 cases that include vandalism, arson and the distribution of white supremacist propaganda at synagogues and other Jewish institutions, according to a news release.

The group said this year's numbers nearly matched the first six months of 2018, with 785 incidents.

The worst year for anti-Semitic acts in the United States since the ADL began counting three decades ago was 2017. The group documented nearly 2,000 cases of physical assaults, vandalism, bomb threats, and other incidents, including the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

That number represented a nearly 60 per cent increase over 2016, the organization has said.

The group's CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, attributed the spike to "a rising climate of incivility, the emboldening of hate groups and widening divisions in society."

States with large Jewish populations like California, New York and New Jersey saw the greatest number of anti-Semitic acts.

The release Sunday came almost six months after a deadly attack at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, and nearly a year after the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the deadliest attack ever on Jews in the United States.

The Tree of Life shooting, which left 11 people dead and seven wounded, was allegedly carried out by a man who repeatedly threatened Jews online and posted frequently about conspiracy theories involving the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

The suspect, Robert Bowers, has pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

On Sunday, the ADL said that 12 white supremacists have been arrested since the synagogue attack for their alleged roles in anti-Semitic terrorist plots, attacks and threats.

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