Antisemitic incidents spiked during Squad’s anti-Israel rhetoric, blue states at top of list

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Antisemitic incidents spiked last year around the same time members of the progressive “Squad” were ramping up anti-Israel rhetoric, with blue states being the hardest hit by the surge.

The Anti-Defamation League’s annual report on antisemitic incidents observed a surge in incidents in May of last year, coinciding with anti-Israel rhetoric from members of the Squad that were strongly condemned by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., last may.

The report noted that the surge in antisemitic incidents also coincided with Israel’s military conflict with Hamas around the same time period.

“For the entire month, 387 antisemitic incidents were tabulated by the ADL, 297 of which occurred between May 10 — the official start of military action — and the end of the month, an increase of 141% over the same period in 2020,” the report said. ” Of the 297 incidents, there were 211 cases of harassment, 71 cases of vandalism and 15 assaults.”

McCarthy drew a direct line between the surge in incidents and the comments of some lawmakers.

“Over the past several weeks a growing number of House Democrats wrongly blamed the violence in the Middle East on Israel,” McCarthy said in May of last year. “In fact, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush irresponsibly tried to delegitimize our closest ally in the region, calling it an ‘apartheid state.'”

“Within days, this same sentiment of bigotry spilled into several major U.S. cities,” he continued.

The report found that blue states led the country in antisemitic incidents, with New York reporting the most at 416. But adjusted for population size, New Jersey led the country with 3.98 antisemitic incidents per 100,000 population. New York came in with the third most incident adjusted for population, with 2.06 incidents per 100,000.

People attend the "NO FEAR: Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish People" event in Washington, Sunday, July 11, 2021.

People attend the “NO FEAR: Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish People” event in Washington, Sunday, July 11, 2021.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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Other states to crack the top ten in antisemitic incidents were Vermont, which recorded 2.33 incidents per 100,000 population, Colorado (1.59), Rhode Island (1.55), Massachusetts (1.53), Minnesota (1.31), Nevada (1.16), Michigan (1.11), and Nebraska (0.97).

Of the states to crack the top 10, only Nebraska voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, awarding four of its five electoral votes to the former president. The nine other states were won by President Biden.

The ADL, which began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979, breaks down incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault. There were 2,717 antisemitic incidents across the U.S. in 2021, which was a 34% increase compared to 2020.

Harassment led the way in 2021, with 1,776 incidents fitting the category; vandalism came in at number two, with 853 recorded incidents; assault, which ADL defines as “cases where Jewish people (or people perceived to be Jewish) were targeted with physical violence,” tallied 88 incidents.

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An Israeli Air Force F-15I fighter jet.

An Israeli Air Force F-15I fighter jet.
(Reuters)

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., both represent states that had antisemitic incident rates in the top 10 last year, New York (third) and Michigan (ninth).

Another member of the so-called Squad, Rep. Ihan Omar, D-Minn., generated controversy around the same time period for the U.S. and Israel to the Taliban and Hamas.

“We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” Omar said last June.

Omar’s comments drew the ire of members of her own party, with Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., leading a group of Democratic lawmakers who condemned the remarks.

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the group wrote. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.

“False equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups,” the group added.

Omar’s home state of Minnesota also ranked in the top 10 for antisemitic incident rates (seventh).

Members of the progressive Squad.

Members of the progressive Squad.

The offices of Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

Many of the states topping the list of antisemitic incidents have higher proportions of Jewish populations, with both New York (8.94% Jewish) and New Jersey (5.9%), holding the highest percentage of Jewish people in the country. But Minnesota, which ranked seventh in incident rates, ranks 18th in the nation in Jewish population, with 1.15% of Minnesotans being Jewish.

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The ADL report lists numerous policy recommendations to help fight against the uptick in incidents, with the first being a call for lawmakers and civic leaders to speak out against antisemitism.

“Public officials and civic leaders — from the President, to governors, attorneys general, mayors, other civic leaders, and law enforcement authorities — must use their bully pulpits to speak out against antisemitism and all forms of hate and extremism,” the report said. “Regardless of its origins — from the far left to the far right and anywhere in between — leaders must call out antisemitism, including anti-Zionist antisemitism, and rally their communities to action.”

Mojtaba Sadira

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