NEW YORK - The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States dropped slightly in 2005, but the extent of the problem remains significant and alarming, the Anti-Defamation League said Wednesday in its annual report on anti-Semitic hate crimes.
The report, based on reports to ADL regional offices in 42 U.S. states, concludes that there were 1,757 anti-Semitic incidents in 2005 - down 3 percent from the record number of incidents reported in 2004 (1,821).
"While any decline is encouraging, we remain concerned because too many people continue to act out their anti-Jewish hatred," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said.
The report, considered the most reliable gauge of anti-Semitism in the United States, also indicates that the motives and forces behind the anti-Semitic incidents in 2005 were similar to the trends that characterized previous years. One factor is the activity of neo-Nazi organizations and groups that disseminate racist hate.
Another troubling factor is anti-Semitic activity on college campuses. In 2005, ADL received reports of 98 anti-Semitic incidents on campuses - an increase of nearly one-third, from 74 incidents in 2004.
The year 2005 saw a decline in vandalism against synagogues and Jewish institutions, from 644 in 2004 to 617. There was also a slight drop in the number ofreported anti-Semitic assaults and harassment - from 1,177 incidents in 2004 to 1,140 in 2005.
"We have always said that America is different, that the Jewish communities here are fortunate to be largely immune from the kind of anti-Semitic violence experienced by some European Jewish communities," Foxman said. "But the numbers remain sobering because we know from painful experience that it only takes one incident of anti-Semitism to affect an entire community."
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