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How ADL’s 2022 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents in US is Flawed

The ADL have released their 2022 Audit of antisemitic incidents in the US. They tabulated 3,697 antisemitic incidents, representing a “36% increase from the 2,717 incidents tabulated in 2021 and the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.”

While the findings are important, they are also lacking.

ADL is still too focused on White Supremacism

Reading the report, it is clear to me that the ADL is still focused on antisemitism from the far Right. For instance, towards the top of their Executive Summary they admit “The dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents in 2022 in almost all categories cannot be attributed to any one cause or ideology”, yet they single out “organized white supremacist propaganda” without mentioning any other groups/types of antisemitism in the paragraph:

The dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents in 2022 in almost all categories cannot be attributed to any one cause or ideology. Significant surges in incidents include high volume increases in organized white supremacist propaganda activity (102% increase to 852 incidents), K-12 schools (49% increase to 494 incidents) and college campuses (41% increase to 219 incidents), as well as deeply troubling percentage increases in attacks on Orthodox Jews (69% increase to 59 Incidents) and bomb threats toward Jewish institutions (an increase from eight to 91 incidents).

It is even more apparent if you look at their Heat Map. The only group represented in an incident type are White Supremacists:

The ADL should break down antisemitic incidents by perpetrator type

The ADL breaks down the antisemitic incidents into Harassment, Vandalism, and Assault.

There is absolutely no further breakdown of these categories into the perpetrator types, which I think is necessary if you want an effective action plan.

For instance, for each of these categories, it would be useful to see how many of the incidents were perpetrated by:

  • African-Americans (with further breakdown into ideology if known e.g. Farrakhan followers, Black Hebrew Israelites)
  • Islamic extremists
  • White supremacists
  • “Anti-Zionist individuals and groups”
  • Unknown

This is not politically correct and the ADL have also shown themselves to be rather ‘woke’ in recent times, so I am not sure they would be willing to go there. But they should.

For instance, the report mentions a “deeply troubling percentage increases in attacks on Orthodox Jews” and “The states with the highest number of incidents are New York (580).” I know from reading the news that almost every time an Orthodox Jew was physically attacked in New York, the perpetrator was African-American and not a White Supremacist. And my guess is the majority of actual assaults were not committed by White Supremacists, but I have no way of knowing from this report.

The report does mention different perpetrator types at various stages, and even has a section on Black Hebrew Israelite (BHI) extremists. But I do not think this is good enough. The focus is on White Supremacism, and the incident types should be broken down by perpetrator type. This way, the requisite amount of resources can be dedicated towards combating the different types of antisemitism within different communities, in the right proportions.

Audit excludes a huge amount of online antisemitism

Among the audit’s exclusions is “Antisemitic activities or statements which take place in private venues (e.g., at a private meeting) or in a manner that requires potential victims to “opt-in” in order to access them (e.g., by going to websites where unmoderated discussion occurs, looking at specific individuals’ social media pages, etc.).” By doing so, they are excluding a huge amount of antisemitic harassment and incitement. Not only that, but I suspect a huge amount of the actual antisemitic assaults and vandalism are tied to this online activity.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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