Jewish Community Relations Councilof San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

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Backgrounder: The Surge of Antisemitism and What Can Be Done to Fight It

January 6, 2020
Posted by: JCRC Staff

In the last 5 years, according to the ADL’s annual audit, there has been a 150 percent increase in antisemitic incidents in the United States – from 751 in 2013 to 1879 in 2019.

There are many factors contributing to the surge of antisemitism, which has included more violent incidents such as the recent heinous attack at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, on the 7th night of Chanukah. They include hate spread on social media, a political climate in our country that has emboldened extremists, loss of memory about the lessons of the Holocaust and virulent animosity toward Israel spilling over into antisemitism (e.g. alleging that the Jews control Congress or the media).

In the Bay Area during this time we have faced multiple bomb threats at Jewish institutions, broken windows and other acts of vandalism at synagogues, swastikas spray painted in parks and antisemitic leaflets on public transit, robocalls targeting Jewish political candidates with hateful smears, and an increase in bullying of Jewish students at public schools.

Antisemitism is not limited to one extreme and there is increased danger that it will seep into the mainstream from the far left and the far right. In this atmosphere, it is vitally important that we understand the urgency of better educating ourselves about the challenge and stepping up our fight. Toward that end, JCRC has assembled a small number of editorials and articles (links below) that present a range of important perspectives on the current surge of antisemitism. We urge our stakeholders to read them and to step up their efforts to educate others about the danger antisemitism poses to the Jewish community and our society.

JCRC will continue to work actively to combat antisemitism, hate and bigotry. We will continue to join with other Jewish institutions and communities to meet the growing threat. Our work reaching out to civic, faith and community leaders, building coalitions on issues of mutual concern, is more critical than ever. And, we will continue to urge leaders at every level to use their platforms and influence to say “no to antisemitism and hate.”

Thoughtful Analyses on the Surge of Antisemitism

It’s an Old and Insidious Hatred. And New Yorkers Can’t Stand for It., New York Times

The keys to understanding American anti-Semitism — and fighting back, JTA

The Right Response to the Anti-Semitic Attack in Monsey, N.Y., New York Times

Jews Are Going Underground, The Atlantic

I hate talking about anti-Semitism, The Times of Israel

How Anti-Semitism Rises on the Left and Right, The New Yorker