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In 'Tectonic Shift,' Hate Crimes Against Jews, Muslims Both Rise

Shots fired in the parking lot of a New York synagogue. A 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy fatally stabbed outside Chicago. Violent assaults on people in religious and cultural attire. Police in major cities including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco have seen a rise in reports of hate crimes after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the nation’s military campaign in Gaza, reports the Wall Street Journal. Jews are often on the receiving end, according to cities that have broken down data, while reported attacks on Muslims—which include some of the most violent instances reported recently—are also on the rise. Preliminary data from major cities show that in the 32-year-history of tracking these numbers, the U.S. this year will likely top the national record for reported antisemitic incidents, 1,140 in 1993, said Brian Levin, founder of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. Hate crimes against Muslims are on track to hit their highest level since 2016, when there were 310. That marked the second worst year, behind 2001.

“What I think we’re seeing here is a tectonic shift in what’s going on with hate crime, and it’s not going to get better,” Levin said. Many cities are showing increases both from a year ago and since the period immediately before the Hamas attack in Israel. Jumps around big events like the Middle East conflict are common, as are seasonal bumps around religious holidays or celebrations such as Pride Week. New York City has seen a significant increase in recent months, including a combined 131 antisemitic incidents in October and November, nearly double the number counted in those months last year. Hate-motivated incidents targeting Muslims there also increased, to a 15 total in October and November from none during the same period last year, according to police data. Reported incidents against Black people are also up in recent months.

Among recently reported incidents, police were seeking a man responsible for an attack on and robbery of a 40-year-old Jewish man on Thursday. The attacker made an anti-Jewish statement stole a cellphone and punched the victim in the head, sending him to the hospital. The victim was wearing traditional Jewish attire.


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