Washington, D.C., March 23, 2023
ADL’s (the Anti-Defamation League) annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, released today, shows disturbing levels of antisemitic incidents reported in North Carolina, with a 30 percent increase in 2022.
Nationally, antisemitic incidents in 2022 surged to the highest levels ever recorded, with a total of 3,697 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism reported to ADL. This represents an increase of 36 percent compared to 2021 – also a record setting year – an average of more than ten incidents per day.
In North Carolina, 39 antisemitic incidents were reported in 2022, a 30 percent increase from the 30 incidents reported in 2021 and a 200 percent increase from the 13 incidents reported in 2020. North Carolina registered with the 23rd highest number of antisemitic incidents reported in the country for 2022.
- Harassment: 28 incidents – up 12 from 16 in 2021 (75% increase)
- Vandalism: 10 incidents – down 4 down from 14 in 2021 (29% decrease)
- Assault: 1 incident – up 1 from 0 in 2021
“We are deeply troubled by the surge in antisemitic incidents reported in North Carolina in 2022,” said Meredith R. Weisel, Regional Director, ADL Washington, D.C. “These numbers are completely unacceptable. And while we can’t point to any single factor or ideology driving this increase, the surges in organized white supremacist propaganda activity like banner drops and flyer distribution, and significant increases in antisemitic incidents in K-12 schools and on college campuses, all contributed to these unusually high numbers. We must work together to combat the spread of bigotry and hate in our communities.” said Weisel.
ADL’s full Audit of Antisemitic Incidents can be found here.
Antisemitic incidents tied to opposition to Israel or Zionism remained at concerning levels with 241 incidents across the country, accounting for 6.5 percent of the total in 2022. This is higher than the 178 incidents reported in 2020, but a decrease from the 345 reported in 2021, which was unusually high due to incidents linked to the Israel-Gaza war in May of that year.
The largest number of incidents – 70 – was associated with hostile anti-Israel groups such as Witness for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine, an increase of 19 percent from 2021. Sixty-nine of the incidents were cases of harassment. Of the 241 anti-Zionist/anti-Israel-related incidents, 36 incidents took the form of white supremacist groups’ use of propaganda to foment anti-Israel and antisemitic beliefs.
Mainstreaming of Antisemitism in Popular Culture
Some incidents were directly linked to events in the news. For example, hip-hop artist Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) was directly referenced in 59 incidents, an example of how his highly publicized antisemitic statements last year resonated with or motivated perpetrators. Extremist Black Hebrew Israelite groups were responsible for eight incidents, most notably surrounding the controversy involving basketball player Kyrie Irving.
The ADL Audit includes both criminal and non-criminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats and slurs, as well as vandalism and assault. 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 antisemitism and other forms of bigotry.
The complete dataset for antisemitic incidents for 2016-2022 is available on ADL’s H.E.A.T. Map, an interactive online tool that allows users to geographically chart antisemitic incidents and extremist activity.
The Audit offers a snapshot of one of the ways American Jews encounter antisemitism, but a full understanding of antisemitism in the U.S. requires other forms of analysis as well, including public opinion polling, assessments of online antisemitism and examinations of extremist activity, all of which ADL offers in other reports, such as the ADL Survey of American Attitudes Toward Jews, Survey on Jewish Americans’ Experiences with Antisemitism, ADL Global 100, Online Hate and Harassment: The American Experience, Murder and Extremism and White Supremacist Propaganda.
Photo Caption: Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt speaks at the group’s 2018 National Leadership Summit in Washington, DC. (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)