Today, the FBI published its annual report cataloging hate crimes for the previous calendar year. This year, as has been the case every year since the bureau began collecting these statistics in 1992, Jews topped the list. And it wasn’t close. Of 1,564 anti-religious hate crimes in 2017, 938 targeted Jews. In other words, Jews were subject to 60 percent of anti-religious hate crimes, despite constituting just 2 percent of the American population.
These numbers mark a 37-percent increase from 2016, when Jews were the targets of 54 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes and 684 incidents. While this indicates that anti-Semitic crimes have increased since Donald Trump’s election, it also isn’t exactly a historical aberration. In fact, anti-Jewish attacks comprised 60 percent of all such crimes in 2014, 61 percent in 2013, 61 percent in 2012, 63 percent in 2011, 67 percent in 2010, and a whopping 71 percent in 2009. In other words, it’s not that American anti-Semitism has reached unprecedented levels under Trump; it’s more that people are finally starting to notice it.
At the same time, in more welcome news, the FBI found that anti-Muslim incidents had dropped in 2017, from 307 to 273, after spiking in 2016.
That said, the Anti-Defamation League cautions that all of these statistics are still incomplete: “As with past FBI reports, there remains a serious gap in reporting. At least 91 cities with populations exceeding 100,000 people either did not report any data to the FBI or affirmatively reported zero hate crimes.”