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April 13, 2006 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-04-13

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April 13 • 2006

Bias Drops

Anti-Semitic incidents down, but
still too high, new report says.

Beautifully Laundered

10 %




New York/JTA
chat rooms were not counted in the
he number of anti-Semitic
audit, specific e-mail threats aimed at
incidents in the United States
synagogues and Jewish institutions
decreased slightly in 2005,
were included.
according to a new report. But the
The Michigan Regional Office of
picture is still bleak, the annual audit
the Anti-Defamation League reported
from the Anti-Defamation League says. a total of nine incidents in Michigan
"While any decline is encouraging,
— five incidents of harassment and
we remain concerned because too
four vandalism incidents — up from
many people continue to act out their
seven total incidents from the year
anti-Jewish hatred," Abraham Foxman, before, said Betsy Kellman, ADL
the ADL's national director, said. "The
regional director based in Bloomfield
numbers remain sobering because we
know from painful experience that it
"But the numbers are not really
only takes one incident of
'indicative of the real story,'
anti-Semitism to affect an
Kellman said. "Dozens of
entire community."
people report incidents to
The audit recorded 1,757
us but then do not follow up
anti-SemitiC incidents last
on the paperwork required,
year. These numbers are
or they do not return phone
down slightly from 2004's
calls or they are not inter-
1,821 incidents, which con-
ested in using their names or
stituted the highest level
lacing' their perpetrator.
of anti-Semitic activity in
"Many times, we
nine years.
Betsy Kel !man:
read about a story in the
The audit breaks down
Michigan higher.
paper or hear about a case
anti-Semitic incidents into
but we do not go after a story
two categories. The first
or an incident, so our num-
is harassment, which ADL defines as
bers do not nearly represent the num-
"threats and assaults directed at indi-
ber of incidents that actually occur."
viduals and institutions." The other is
In addition to the audit, the national
vandalism, which includes cemetery
ADL also compiles statistics on
desecration or anti-Semitic graffiti.
anti-Semitic attitudes. In 2005, the
. The report's findings show that:
ADL's "Survey of American Attitudes
• Acts of vandalism decreased by 4
Towards Jews in America" found that
percent in 2005 — from 644 in 2004
14 percent of Americans — nearly
to 617 in 2005.
35 million adults — maintain views
•Acts of harassment decreased by 3 about Jews that are "unquestionably
percent in 2005, with 1,140 incidents
Foxman said American attitudes,
• Harassment acts constitute 65
for the most part, are better than
percent of the total incidents reported. those in European nations. "In Europe,
Vandalism incidents make up the
the numbers are higher and more
remaining 35 percent.
serious," he said. "But while America's
• Ninety-eight anti-Semitic inci-
different and better, it's not immune!'
dents were reported on college cam-
Foxman said the annual audit is
puses in 2005. This constitutes an
useful in determining where and how
almost one-third increase from the 74
to allocate resources combating anti-
incidents reported in 2004.
• States with the highest total
"As much progress as we think
incidents included New York (381),
we've made with legislation, litigation
New Jersey (266), California (247),
and education, anti-Semitism still
Florida (199), Massachusetts (93) and _continues to be the No. 2 hate crime in
Connecticut (57).
the United States:' Foxman said. "You
• The Internet continues to play a
can't eliminate it, but you can try to
"substantial role" in the propagation
keep a lid on ell]
of anti-Semitism. Though Internet
- Staff Writer Harry Kirsbaum
messages on bulletin boards and in
contributed to this report.

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