Hate in the Empire State: Extremism &
Antisemitism in New York
The ADL Center on Extremism (COE) and the Community Security Initiative (CSI), a project of UJA-Federation of NY and JCRC-NY, jointly researched and authored a new report called Hate in the Empire State: Extremism and Antisemitism in New York. This report examines extremist and antisemitic trends and incidents across New York state during the two-year time period from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021, and provides recommendations for combatting these threats as follows:
The last two years have seen a significant proliferation of hate incidents both nationwide and in New York State. These incidents have been rooted, in part, in widespread campaigns of disinformation and conspiracy theories, some of which have animated extremists and fueled antisemitism, resulting in unrest and violence, from the January 6, 2021 insurrection in Washington, D.C. to white supremacist activism to a spike in hate crimes and rising antisemitism.
New York also leads the nation in antisemitic incidents, according to ADL’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents. In 2021, the number of reported incidents increased 24% over 2020 numbers, rising from 336 to 416. This included 51 assaults motivated by anti-Jewish bias, the highest number ever recorded by ADL in New York. These numbers also include a spike in antisemitic incidents driven by extreme anti-Israel sentiments during the May 2021 Israel-Hamas war. During this time, incidents motivated by anti-Zionist sentiments included assault, arson threats, and harassment.
This report: Profiles key extremist groups and individuals in New York, providing details on organizations and activities that have taken place from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021; Analyzes the trends of hate crimes against marginalized groups in New York City; and provides recommendations to elected officials, law enforcement, and the Jewish community.
Antisemitic hate crimes continued to rise in New York state over the last two years. According to the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report, 55% of the reported religion-based hate crimes in 2020 targeted the Jewish community nationally. In New York State, hate crimes against Jews accounted for 88.3% of the religiously motivated incidents in 2020.
As noted in ADL’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, 2021 marked the highest number of antisemitic incidents since tracking began in 1979, with more than 2,700 acts of assault, vandalism and harassment targeting Jews across America – a 34% increase over the 2020 numbers. As in 2020, New York led the nation in antisemitic incidents in 2021, accounting for 15% of the total reported data and representing 416 incidents. This is a 24% increase over the 336 reported in 2020. There were 62 reported incidents at Jewish institutions such as synagogues, Jewish community centers and Jewish schools in 2021, an increase of 41% from 2020. One hundred and sixty-one incidents involved a swastika and 51 incidents involved assault, the most ADL has ever recorded in New York State.
To combat such a diverse threat landscape, a whole-of-government approach is needed to address the threat of extremism and hate.
The framework that ADL has created – the PROTECT plan – is a comprehensive, seven-part framework to mitigate the threat posed by domestic extremism and domestic terrorism while protecting civil rights and civil liberties. Together, focusing on these seven categories can have an immediate and deeply significant impact in preventing and countering domestic terrorism – more so than any one action, policy or law – and can do so while protecting civil rights and liberties and ensuring that government overreach does not harm the same vulnerable people and communities that these extremists target.
The Protect Plan: Prioritize Preventing and Countering Domestic Terrorism; Resource According to the Threat; Oppose Extremists in Government Service; Take Domestic Terrorism Prevention Measures; End the Complicity of Social Media in Facilitating Extremism.
ADL has released the REPAIR Plan to provide policymakers with a comprehensive framework to take meaningful action to decrease online hate and extremism: Create an Independent Clearinghouse for Online Extremist Content: Target Foreign White Supremacist Terrorist Groups.
The report recommends that elected officials, law enforcement and the Jewish community in New York State must: Address the threat of domestic violent extremism; Launch a Commission on Antisemitism: Increase and Expand Criteria for New York State Hate Crimes Grant Funding; Ensure Effective Holocaust Education; Display Political Courage; Prepare election officials for violent threats.
The Jewish Community should: Secure physical and online infrastructure: Have the Community Security Initiative (CSI) complete a physical security assessment for your institution(s). Also, connect with CSI’s Cyber-Security Specialist to ensure your online infrastructure is secure; Connect with your local law enforcement; Apply for Grant Funding; Engage the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service; Conduct Active Threat Training; Report Incidents; Utilize Jewish Volunteer Communal Security: Consider utilizing and partnering with a Jewish volunteer communal security organization like the Community Security Service (CSS) to help protect your institution.
To review the full report go to adl.org/resources/report/hat-empire-state-extremism-antisemitism-new-york-2020-2021