I-Team: Anti-Semitic incidents in North Carolina up in 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina's Jewish community has endured a striking surge of anti-Semitic incidents, including harassment, vandalism and assault.

The new data, released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League, shows a 113 percent increase in the number of incidents between 2017 (16) and 2018 (34). In 2016, there were only four reported incidents of anti-Semitism in the state.

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"We are deeply concerned by the interpersonal nature of the anti-Semitic incidents in our region, whether perpetrated by classmates, neighbors, or strangers," said Doron F. Ezickson, ADL Washington D.C. Regional Director. "We all have a responsibility to remain vigilant and to realize in our own lives and social interactions the values and principles we want our society to demonstrate."

Nationally, the ADL's 2018 audit of anti-Semitism in America counted 1,879 incidents, including the massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. History. The total of 2018 incidents decreased by 5 percent from the 1,986 incidents ADL recorded in 2017, but the 2018 total is still 48 percent higher than the number of incidents in 2016 and 99 percent higher than in 2015.

"We've worked hard to push back against anti-Semitism, and succeeded in improving hate-crime laws, and yet we continue to experience an alarmingly high number of anti-Semitic acts," said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. "We unfortunately saw this trend continue into 2019 with the tragic shooting at the Chabad synagogue in Poway. It's clear we must remain vigilant in working to counter the threat of violent anti-Semitism and denounce it in all forms, wherever the source and regardless of the political affiliation of its proponents."

"Hitler did nothing wrong"

According to the audit, many of the reported incidents came from college campuses across North Carolina, including when a swastika was plastered across a memorial at Duke University last November. Jewish students at Duke also reported seeing swastikas in bathrooms, and pumpkins during Halloween.

At Davidson College in Charlotte, someone found a message on a campus building that read "Hitler did nothing wrong." Also in Charlotte, a Jewish student reported a classmate saying "You don't understand it because you're a dirty Jew and all Jews deserve to die."

References to Hitler and Nazis were also found at Appalachian State University, where students found a painting of a Nazi flag and writing that said "Heil Hitler" and "the Holocaust was a good thing."
The audit, which surveyed incidents only in 2018, did not include the recent controversy surrounding a conference on Gaza at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Anti-Semitism in the Triangle

Anti-Semitic incidents occurred in nearly 20 cities in towns in North Carolina, including several in the Triangle.

In Raleigh, ABC11 reported on pedestrians finding racist graffiti in downtown Raleigh. That's where a mural sponsored by the ACLU was defaced with a Confederate battle flag and a rant linking Jews to slavery, among other anti-Semitic references.

In Cary, police confirmed they were investigating the distribution of anti-Semitic fliers in the time leading up the Hanukkah.

Anti-Semitism was also reported in Fuquay-Varina, where a Jewish person said he was beaten up and called a "kike" and "hooked nose bastard."
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