October 16, 2023 — New York, NY
Today, in response to findings in the FBI’s 2022 Hate Crime Statistics Report, American Jewish Committee (AJC) expressed grave concern over the staggering number of hate crimes committed against the American Jewish community last year. Hate crimes against Jews increased by 37% in 2022, according to the data released by the FBI.
“Violence toward the Jewish community continues to escalate, and we sadly see surges in attacks against the Jewish community when Israel is under attack. Hamas’ brutal terror rampage against Israel and the Jewish people has put the global Jewish community on high alert. Elected officials, law enforcement, and civil leaders must prioritize keeping the Jewish community safe and implementing the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism to curb this scourge of anti-Jewish hate,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch.
As the unprecedented war between Hamas and Israel continues, hate crimes against Jews are expected to continue their upward trajectory in 2023.
"Hamas’ war against Israel has raised the fears of Jewish and Israeli communities in America, but it has also put others at risk. The tragic and hate-fueled murder of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a six-year-old Palestinian Muslim boy in Illinois this weekend, shows the necessity of working together to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of hate," added Deutch.
Hatred toward the Jewish community can take many forms, which is documented in the findings of AJC’s 2022 State of Antisemitism in America report and AJC’s Translate Hate guide for identifying antisemitism - some of the many resources AJC has shared with FBI and law enforcement officials. AJC has a long-standing relationship with FBI leadership, which has enabled the organization to provide antisemitism awareness training to the Bureau. These trainings have helped to increase understanding of antisemitism, including its anti-Zionist and conspiratorial nature, Bureau-wide.
Despite Jews only accounting for 2% of the population in the United States, the FBI report found that more than half of religiously motivated hate crimes were committed against the Jewish community in 2022.
Given that the FBI depends on voluntary reporting from law enforcement agencies across the country for the annual Hate Crime Statistics Report, the data continues to reflect only a partial understanding of the state of hate in America as many populous localities continue to underreport or fail to report hate crimes.
Underreporting of hate crimes–by law enforcement and victims–remains a serious problem. Several large localities with significant Jewish populations did not provide numbers or reported zero hate crimes for 2022, including Newark, New Orleans, Tucson, Grand Rapids, and Scottsdale. The 2022 FBI Hate Crimes report documents that antisemitic crimes are up from 817 in 2021 to 1,122 in 2022, though actual figures are presumed to be much larger.
The White House National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism outlines several measures to enhance hate crime reporting, strengthen community outreach, and protect vulnerable people. As outlined in the National Strategy, AJC continues to call on Congress to fully fund the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request to support Department of Justice grant programs including the Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Program, and Community-based Approaches to Prevent and Address Hate Crimes. AJC, along with its coalition partners, was instrumental in the passage of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which received widespread bipartisan support in Congress and was signed into law by President Biden in 2021.
In 2022, the FBI faced numerous delays in the publication of its annual hate crimes report as localities struggled to comply with reporting data to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The aforementioned federal programs assist state and local efforts to implement the NIBRS, create state-run hate crime reporting hotlines, train officers, and develop protocols for identifying, investigating, and reporting hate crimes.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit www.ajc.org.