Antisemitic incidents involving harassment, vandalism and assaults increased in Southern California and the rest of the state in 2022, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League.
The Jewish civil rights organization counted 237 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Kern counties, a 30% increase from the previous year. Statewide, the ADL tallied 518 incidents last year, up 41% from 2021.
California ranked No. 2 in the number of incidents in the United States, behind New York’s 580 incidents.
Nationwide, the ADL uncovered 3,697 incidents of anti-Semitism last year, a 36% increase from 2021. The organization said it was the highest number of incidents since she began tracking anti-Jewish hatred in 1979.
“In a year when anti-Semitism has been accepted by the general public like never before, anti-Semites have been encouraged to act on their animosity,” said Oren Segal, vice president of the Center on Extremism at the United Nations. ‘ADL, in the report. “From the anti-Semitic ‘Great Replacement’ theory to Ye’s assertions of Jewish power, these conspiracies have fueled real-world hate incidents.”
The Holocaust Museum LA said it received anti-Semitic threats on social media after Kanye West publicly rejected an invitation for a private tour of the museum in October. The institution wanted West, who now goes by the name Ye, “to understand how words can incite horrific violence and genocide” after the rapper’s incendiary remarks about the Jewish community.
West has embraced anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in social media posts and TV interviews.
In October, a well-known hate group demonstrated in favor of West on an overpass off the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. Protesters gave Nazi salutes to passing motorists and unfurled a banner that read: “Kanye is right about the Jews,” according to footage collected by anti-discrimination organizations.
At UC Davis in August, campus police searched for four white men dressed in black who were displaying Holocaust denier banners on a bicycle overpass, according to Chancellor Gary May.
Antisemitic incidents on US college campuses have increased by 41%, with 219 incidents reported on more than 130 campuses in 2022, according to the study.
“It is deeply disturbing that there has been such an increase in anti-Semitic acts in school and college,” ADL chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.
“It reminds us of the need for more targeted education efforts aimed at rooting out hate and teaching acceptance,” Greenblatt added. “Holocaust education is increasingly important, which is why we advocate for state laws to make Holocaust education mandatory so that schools are equipped to teach this history and ensure that its lessons endure.”
Reported anti-Semitic propaganda material was distributed in the United States at a higher rate in 2022 than in previous years, with 852 incidents, compared to just 422 in 2021, according to the ADL.
Racist flyers were distributed in several neighborhoods in 2022, including in the San Gabriel Valley at the start of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, authorities said.
In May, a group of people dressed in clothing reminiscent of Nazi brownshirts drove a rental truck displaying hate messages on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, according to watchdog group StopAntisemitism. The organization said the Goyim Defense League, which has been identified as a hate group by the ADL, was behind the incident.
The ADL report claims that racist activities by organized groups have increased in recent years.
Harassment jumped 29% from 2021, with 2,298 reported incidents where anti-Semitic slurs, stereotypes or conspiracy theories were recorded, the ADL said. The report claims that a Jewish-owned restaurant received a call from someone who asked for the “Kanye special” and then said, “Death to all Jews.”
On the first night of Hanukkah, a Texas man was arrested on suspicion of carving anti-Semitic and Nazi symbols on the base of a large menorah in Beverly Hills. It was one of 1,288 vandalism incidents reported in 2022, an increase of 435 from the previous year, according to the ADL. Swastikas appeared in 792 of these incidents, up 37% from 2021.
Los Angeles Times