Less than two percent of the American population is Jewish, yet a new FBI report concludes that more than half of all hate crimes against a religious group are committed against Jews.
Jewish people have been the victims of a majority of hate crimes that target a religious group since the FBI started tracking the numbers in 1996.
But according to the new FBI report, hate crimes against the American Jewish population are on the rise. In just one year, there was a 20 percent increase in hate crimes that targeted Jews.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
The hate crime rate come from the FBI’s report, “Hate Crime Statistics, 2016,” the latest release from its Uniform Crime Reporting system. The overall report shows a five percent increase in hate crimes between 2015 and 2016.
Hate crimes targeted at Jewish Americans, meanwhile, increased by 20 percent in that same time period. The number of victims affected by those crimes also rose, by 17.9 percent. Hate crimes targeting Jews accounted for around 11 percent of 2016 hate crimes overall.
Jewish Americans have been the victim of the majority of religiously motivated hate crimes continuously since 1996, the earliest year for which the FBI has reported statistics. The number of offenses in 2016—833—is notably lower than those through the first ten years of reporting, which averaged more than a thousand offenses per year.
However, the number of hate crimes targeting Jews have increased year-on-year for the past two years. This represents a deviation from past trend, as said crimes decreased continually between 2008 and 2014. 2015 saw a 9 percent increase over the preceding year, and 2016’s 20 percent bump confirms this change in trend.
For the second year in a row, hate crimes against Jews have steadily increased.
The Washington Free Beacon concludes that we’re seeing “a concerning increase in targeting of America’s Jews.”
Many of these crimes were committed against places where the Jewish community congregate. Bomb threats make up a significant margin of these “property crimes.”
The Free Beacon continues:
Threats against synagogues and Jewish community centers have caused concern among many Americans. More than a hundred community centers have dealt with bomb threats, CNN reported in March. That wave of threats led eventually to the arrest of two men, including former Intercept journalist Juan Thompson.
Congress is considering H.R. 1730, the Combating Anti-Semitism Act of 2017, in response to the threats. That bill would increase criminal penalties for targeting religious buildings. The Muslim Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC), a joint project of the American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America, applauded H.R. 1730 in its response to the new hate crime numbers.
“We look forward to this bill’s adoption by the Congress in order to send a signal of zero tolerance for hate crimes against people of faith,” said Stanley Bergman, co-chair of the Council.
“The Department of Justice should increase its coordination with the states in public education and community relations, as well as in prosecutions and reporting of hate crimes,” said Co-Chair Farooq Kathwari.
As Bergman, Kathwari, and Congress all express concern about rising hate crimes against Jewish Americans, anti-Semitism is receiving a different hearing among some partisans on the left. Later this month, the New School in New York City will host Linda Sarsour, women’s march organizer and controversial activist for a talk on “Antisemitism and the Struggle for Justice.”
Sarsour may argue at the event that anti-Semitism is more often a charge used to silence than to name real problems. “When anti-Semitism is redefined as criticism of Israel,” the event’s description reads, “critics of Israeli policy become accused and targeted more than the growing far-right.”
Linda Sarsour seems to suggest that “critics of Israeli policy” aren’t to blame and claims of hate crimes against Jewish communities are just a ruse to denounce critics of Israel. Namely, Muslims.
A study by Pew Research Center says the American Muslim population is on the rise, and Muslims could outnumber Jews in America by 2050.
Sarsour has reason to defend “critics of Israeli policy.” She’s one of them.
She’s noted for praising violence against Israeli soldiers and even defending Palestinian terrorists. The Free Beacon notes that she’s denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “waste of a human being.”