ADL: Despite a year in isolation, antisemitism in 2020 stayed at record levels

Last year was the first time in 3 years that there was not a deadly antisemitic attack in the United States.
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Alexander Rappaport holds up a “MeJew” sign in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn, at the “No Hate. No Fear” solidarity march, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. (Photo: John Kunza/Unpacked)

The number of overall antisemitic incidents in the United States in 2020 remained basically at the same levels as 2019 despite a year spent by many in isolation due to the global pandemic.

The findings were released by the Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday. With most of Jewish communal life shutdown in the United States, the ADL’s annual report still recorded 2,024 antisemitic incidents in 2020, which is only down 4% from the previous year. Antisemitism in the United States remains at record levels, 2020’s number is the third-highest since 1979, when the ADL began releasing its annual reports, and last year is more than double the number of incidents in 2015.

The report notes one big change– the number of deadly assaults. Last year was the first time in 3 years that there was not a deadly antisemitic attack in the United States.

“We still experienced a year in which antisemitic acts remained at a disturbingly high level despite lockdowns and other significant changes in our daily lives and interactions with others,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release. “We can’t let our guard down.”

There were fewer violent in person attacks in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, but the ADL notes that there was a shift to digital with a dramatic rise in digital attacks, particularly the Zoombombing of Jewish events. The ADL said there were nearly 200 reported antisemitic Zoombombings, making up about a third of the total antisemitic harassment incidents aimed at Jewish organizations.

The ADL’s annual audit is compiled from reports by victims, law enforcement and community leaders.

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