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FBI: Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Rose Again Last Year

(JTA) — The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the United States rose slightly in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to FBI statistics.

The data released Monday show there were 684 anti-Semitic hate crime incidents last year, a 3 percent increase from the 664 recorded in 2015.

Overall, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent from the previous year. In both years, anti-Semitic incidents accounted for just over half of religious hate crimes and about 11 percent of hate crimes of all types.

Muslims were the second-most common targets of religious hate crimes in 2016 with 307 anti-Islamic incidents.

The Anti-Defamation League expressed “disappointment” at the trend and also pointed to a lack of voluntary reporting by police agencies around the country, saying that “nearly 90 cities” with more than 100,000 residents either reported no hate crimes or did not respond to the FBI’s request for data.

However, the FBI statistics seem to belie a number of reports by the ADL and others that suggested a spike in anti-Semitism in the United States last year.

In April, the Anti-Defamation League reported 1,266 anti-Semitic incidents in 2016, a 35 percent increase from 2015. The report included a rash of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country that were later traced to a teenager in Israel.

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