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Delaware records 11 anti-semitic incidents in 2022, harassment, vandalism and assault on the rise nationwide

Dave Wilson, Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company

The Anti-Defamation League says anti-semitic incidents in the U.S. are on the rise, including in the First State. The group found 2022 had the second highest number of incidents since 2015.

A record audit performed by the Anti-Defamation League shows 11 total incidents in Delaware during 2022, up from just three the year prior. Six were categorized as harassment, and five as vandalism.

Other states in the region recorded all time highs – Pennsylvania’s incidents spiked by 65% from 69 to 114. And New Jersey saw a 10% rise from 370 to 408. New Jersey’s numbers put them in third for highest number of incidents nationwide.

ADL Philadelphia Regional Director Andrew Goretsky says they’re seeing spikes nationwide.

“There’s been three times in the last five years that the number has reached the highest ever," he says. "So last year was the highest ever, this year is the highest ever. So those are our national numbers and it's a significant increase as we’re talking about over 3600 compared to 2700.”

Goretsky says actual numbers are likely higher because the incidents often go unreported.

“A lot of times they’re not sure that it reaches criminal behavior and so they don’t think they should report it to the police," Goretsky says. "And as I’ve spoken with police officers and others, if it doesn’t feel right, we encourage you to report it. Let police determine if it’s criminal activity, let ADL determine if it’s anti-semitic.”

Even if incidents aren’t considered criminal, Goretsky says having data on them helps ADL understand the scope of anti-semitism.

He adds an increase in organized white-supremicist propaganda is likely contributing to rising incidents, and they’ve also observed an increase in harassment in K-12 kids, who Gortesky says often repeat what they see in pop culture and political figures.

Some incidents were directly linked to anti-semitisim in the news – Kanye West was referenced in 59 incidents.

Cases from the top five states – New York, California, New Jersey, Florida, and Texas, account for 54% of total incidents across the country, according to ADL.

Antisemitic activity reported on college campuses increased by 41% in 2022, with 219 incidents reported at more than 130 campuses across the country. In non-Jewish K-12 schools, 494 incidents were reported, an increase of 49%.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.