Washington: The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States surged by 57% last year, according to a tally by the Anti-Defamation League, an increase the advocacy group’s chief executive blamed in part on President Donald Trump.
The group’s Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents counted 1,986 such incidents last year, including physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions, up from 1,267 incidents in 2016, making it the largest single-year increase on record.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said that Trump bore some responsibility for the increase for not condemning events like last summer’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as scattered incidences of bomb threats, cemetery desecration and school bullying.
“Some of his tweets and rhetoric have emboldened and given encouragement to the worst segments of society, anti-Semites and bigots,” Greenblatt said in a phone interview.
“The president’s comments on the rally, saying there were good people on both sides, was a low point under his leadership and during his presidency.”
A White House representative did not respond to a request for comment.