An annual audit by the Anti-Defamation League shows antisemitic incidents in the U.S. rose by 36% in 2022, with thousands more cases of harassment, vandalism and assaults nationwide over the previous year, NPR reports. It is the third time in five years that the tally has been the highest number ever recorded since the ADL first began collecting data in 1979. "This escalation in antisemitic incidents comes just as ADL has reported on Americans' highest level of antisemitic attitudes in decades," the report says, adding that public officials, famous artists and social media stars have been influential in normalizing longstanding antisemitic tropes. According to the latest ADL analysis, surges in each of the major audit categories occurred in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. New York is the state with the highest number of reported incidents: 580. California follows with 518, New Jersey with 408, Florida with 269, and Texas with 211. Combined, these five states account for 54 % of the total incidents.
The study cites a number of factors contributing to the surge, but the organization singled out one in particular: the spread of anti-Jewish propaganda "largely due to the growth of the Goyim Defense League," known as the GDL. The GDL network, which has significant crossover with other white supremacist groups and movements, was responsible for at least 492 propaganda incidents in 2022, a significant increase from the 74 recorded in 2021. NPR's Here & Now reported, "GDL members have been accused of stalking, aggravated assault, murder, terror threats, threatening public officials, vandalism, soliciting sex from minors and defacing a memorial for the Pulse nightclub shooting victims in Florida." The audit, the organization said, should serve as a warning to government officials, whom ADL expects to condemn antisemitic incidents. It also urged them to launch "a concerted whole-of-government, whole-of-society response" that would include blocking antisemitism online. "Public officials and civic leaders — from the President, to governors, attorneys general, mayors, other civic leaders, and law enforcement authorities — must use their bully pulpits to speak out against antisemitism and all forms of hate and extremism," the report said.