Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Antisemitic Hate Crime Crimes Spiked in 2017

The FBI has released its hate crimes data for 2017. Jews remain, by far, the most frequent victims of religious-based hate crimes (58% of the total, Muslims were the second-most common victims at 18.6%) -- that's been true since the FBI began recording data in 1992.

Antisemitic hate crimes also surged in 2017, rising 37% from the previous year.

It's unclear whether the FBI figures include the bomb threats that terrorized JCCs early in 2017. Some have tried to argue that these threats (which it turned out were made by an Israeli-American teenager and an African-American journalist) were not antisemitic and that it is thus misleading to include them in a list of antisemitic incidents (I argued strenuously against that position here). My guess, though, is that they were included -- if only because the Department of Justice itself made the decision to indict the Israeli-American culprit on hate crimes charges. I'm not normally one to brag about being backed by the Sessions DOJ, but ....

In any event, assuming the bomb threats were included in the figure (and accounted for 163 discrete incidents), removing them from the total would yield an increase in antisemitic incidents of about 13% -- roughly the same rate as the overall increase in hate crimes across all victim groups.

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