Anti-Jewish Hate Crimes in U.S. Rose by 37 Percent in 2017, FBI Says

Hate crimes rise for third year in a row, with religion-based hate crimes increasing by 23 percent

Demonstrators carry confederate and Nazi flags during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017.
Emily Molli / NurPhoto

The FBI says hate crimes reports were up about 17 percent in 2017, marking a rise for the third year in a row.

An annual report released Tuesday shows there were more than 7,100 reported hate crimes last year. There were increases in attacks motivated by racial bias, religious bias and because of a victim's sexual orientation.

The report shows there was a nearly 23 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes. There was a 37 percent spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who was appointed last week following the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions, says the report is a "call to action." He says the offenses were "despicable violations of our core values as Americans." 

The FBI says although the number of attacks has increased, so has the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate-crime data.

The report comes two weeks after the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The gunman, Robert Bowers, yelled "all Jews must die," before killing 11 people. Six others, including four police officers, were wounded before the perpetrator was arrested.