2014-04-02 / Editorial

ADL report on antisemitism has good news and bad news

EDITORIALS…

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has good news and bad news for New Jersey residents. The good news is that the Garden State saw a 55 percent decline in antisemitic incidents from 2012 to 2013. The bad news is that there were still 78 incidents in 2013.

We agree with Shayna Alexander, ADL’s New Jersey community director, who said, “While the drop in antisemitic incidents is encouraging, 78 incidents of antisemitism are 78 too many.” Alexander noted that 78 antisemtic incidents is more than one per week. New Jersey’s number placed it third among states, only behind New York (203) and California (143).

In New Jersey in 2013, there were 47 cases of vandalism, 29 cases of harassment and threats, and two cases of assault. The ADL also noted that the real number of antisemitic incidents is much higher as many incidents are never reported to authorities.

The ADL report detailed a number of scary situations that occurred in our own region of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. Among them were the painting of the word “Hitler” on the sign of a synagogue in Cherry Hill in March; the yelling of “Heil Hitler” at two men walking to synagogue on Shabbat; and someone sticking 40 post-it notes with swastikas on them on a car in Medford. Imagine how frightening it is to personally experience incidents like these.

In light of these antisemitic incidents, the Jewish community must remain vigilant. Our history demands nothing less.

The ADL’s report reminds us all of the need to be aware of what is going on around us and to never cease in our struggle against bigotry and hatred. .

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