Anti-Defamation League: Anti-Semitic incidents in Colorado rose by 27 percent in 2017

DENVER - The number of incidents of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assault reported in Colorado continued to rise last year, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League.

The advocacy organization reported 57 incidents in the state in 2017, including 30 cases of harassment and threats, 26 cases of vandalism and one assault. 

Those numbers represent a 27-percent increase over 2016 and the third straight year of increases, ADL said. The organization said that since 2015, the number of incidents in Colorado has more than tripled.

"Anti-Semitic incidents are real and are growing in Colorado and nationwide," said ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott L. Levin. "The steep increase in anti-Semitic incidents has coincided with decreasing civility and rising hyper-partisanship and xenophobia in this country. Unfortunately, hate groups, white supremacists, students and others feel emboldened and are taking ugly action in public and social media. As a state and a country, we must heed the clarion call for greater understanding, respect, dialogue and education."

Cases highlighted in the report include anti-Semitic messages written in a residence hall at Colorado State University and swastikas carved into the door of a Lafayette couple's home.

Nationwide, ADL logged nearly 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, which represents an increase of 57 percent over 2016's numbers. That's the second-highest number of any year since ADL started tracking such incidents in the 1970s and is the largest increase the organization has ever seen in a single year.

Of those nearly 2,000 incidents, 457 occurred at non-Jewish schools and college campuses, up from 235 incidents last year, ADL said. Incidents at Jewish schools increased from 170 in 2016 to 342 in 2017.

The group's report lists a number of recommendations for fighting anti-Semitic bias, including expanding federal protections for religious institutions that receive bomb threats and improved training for faculty and staff at educational institutions.

Read the full report at

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