The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s newly released hate crime statistics show that Jews, who make up approximately 1.8 percent of the U.S. population, were overwhelmingly the most targeted in anti-religious hate crimes in 2019.
The FBI’s report says 60.2 percent of the 1,715 victims of anti-religious hate crimes in 2019 were targeted based on the offenders’ anti-Jewish bias. This percentage is up from 56.9 percent of victims motivated by offenders’ anti-Jewish bias. The next most frequently targeted group in the anti-religious category are Muslims, at about 13.2 percent of the hate crimes recorded in 2019.
While racial/ethnic/ancestral hate crimes have dropped slightly since 2018, anti-religious hate crimes were up from 18.7 percent in 2018 to 20.1 percent in 2019. In total, the FBI recorded 8,812 victims of hate crimes in the United States in 2019.
Earlier in the year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio came under fire for comments singling out Jewish communities for gathering despite COVID-19 lockdown orders.
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed,” he wrote. “I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”
My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
De Blasio did not deliver the same threats to any of the people who protested and rioted in the streets following the death of Geoge Floyd, a black man, despite the ongoing pandemic.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also targeted New York Jews, using decade-old photos from a rabbi’s funeral in 2006 to justify singling out the religious community for gathering despite lockdown orders.
“We know religious institutions have been a problem,” Cuomo said during a Monday press conference. “These are pictures from the past couple of weeks. And these are just emblematic. … What did you think was going to happen?”
Cuomo warns that if the Jewish community will not cooperate with the state on enforcing social distancing, services at houses of worship will be prohibited and greater enforcement will be in place on all gatherings.
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) October 5, 2020
As the New York Times noted in February, “Anti-Semitic violence in the New York area has been more frequent lately than at any time in recent memory, with three people killed in a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, N.J., and five injured in a knife attack at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, N.Y,” causing more and more Jews to grow anxious about their well-being.
In 2018, the New York City Police Department reported that more than half of the city’s hate crimes were in Orthodox Jew neighborhoods. The Federalist’s New York Correspondent David Marcus noted in 2019, a significant contributor to failing to address anti-Jew violence is the failure to acknowledge that many of those attacking Jews have been black.