BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — The Anti-Defamation League released new data Thursday showing that Connecticut had a record number of antisemitic incidents in 2022.
According to the annual audit, 68 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Connecticut last year, a stark contrast to the 34 incidents recorded in 2021.
“Each incident impacts an entire community,” said Stacey Sobel, Connecticut regional director for the Anti-Defamation League. “Imagine you’re a young child going to school, and you’re intimidated or frightened because of your religion. So, it doesn’t just impact that child, it impacts the whole class, it impacts the whole neighborhood, it impacts the whole community. So, each of these incidents represents more hate than just the one statement.”
Not only has the volume of incidents increased, but the Anti-Defamation League also noted the variety of locations being targeted. There have been problems in grade schools, universities, major corporations and public vandalism, with incidents in schools seeing a particularly sharp increase of 32%.
More than 20 swastikas have been seen in public spaces like coffee shops, parks and car dealerships. Two Jewish institutions, including a synagogue, have received bomb threats and multiple students have been harassed on campus.
The antisemitic incidents in the state are alarming but not unique, according to the report. The Anti-Defamation League recorded 3,697 antisemitic incidents nationally in 2022. This is the highest total since the Anti-Defamation League started tracking the data in 1979. In the last year, the Anti-Defamation League has found antisemitism in every state and the District of Columbia, including 111 acts of physical violence targeting Jewish victims.
Specific news items were cited in some of the Anti-Defamation League’s findings, most prominently the views of musician and fashion designer Ye’ (formerly Kanye West). While 2021 also saw a steep increase, Ye’ was directly referenced in 59 antisemitic incidents in 2022.
On the rise of anti-zionist speech, Anti-Defamation Leaguenational director Johnathan Greenblatt said, “It is disturbing to continue to see both anti-Zionists on the far left and white supremacists on the far right using similar memes and tropes to spread antisemitism and hate, underscoring the fact that extremists from all sides rely on similar ideas to spread their hate.”