Jewish Hate Crimes Top All in the anti-Religion Category, FBI Says
by Yehudit Garmaise
Anti-Jewish hate crimes, which numbered 676 nationwide, comprised the lion’s share of the US 1,174 hate crimes that fell into the category of religion in 2020, according to statistics released by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
Although since 2019, the total number of crimes that were motivated by religious bias dropped a bit from 1,536, and the number of anti-Jewish incidents dipped to 963, what remains the same, year after year, is that of all religious groups, Jews are the most vulnerable to hate crimes.
While many in the US are often continually called out for “Islamophobia,” television shows, books, and articles that depict harmful stereotypes and straight-out lies about Jews and Jewish communities continue to proliferate and influence those who have no ways of knowing better.
The number of national hate crimes has been steadily increasing since 2014, federal data reveals, however, in 2020, the number of hate crimes, rose to 7,759, which the highest level the country has seen in the last 12 years, reported the FBI, which attributed that increase to an increased attacks on blacks and Asians.
From 2019 to 2020, attacks that targeted blacks rose from 1,930 to 2,755, and the hate crimes that targeted Asians jumped from 158 to 274, the data showed.
Civil rights groups not only attribute the spike in hate crimes perpetrated against minorities to an increase in violent crime levels nationwide, a rise in white nationalism, and a rise in hostility toward minorities, but those groups, along with many members of Congress say that the number of hate crimes in the US are vastly undercounted.
Civil rights groups also say that local police are poorly trained in identifying and cataloguing hate crimes and that police departments lack sufficient resources and sometimes, even interest, in investigating them.
In May, Congress approved the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which requires the Justice Department to appoint an official to expedite investigations into hate crimes reported to federal authorities.
The bill also seeks to improve the accuracy of the reporting of hate crimes, by providing opportunities for victims of hate crimes to report their incidents online and in many languages.