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Antisemitic Incidents Nearly Double In Orange County And Long Beach

A map highlighting antisemitic incidents in Southern California. Blue circles cover a number of cities in Orange County, including Huntingdon Beach and Newport Beach.
Screenshot of ADL Tracker of Antisemitic Incidents.
(Anti-Defamation League)
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Antisemitism rose considerably in Orange County and Long Beach in 2021.

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League found 62 cases in those areas last year — nearly double the amount from 2020. The audit included incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism.

The count included 22 businesses, places of worship, public spaces and schools that were vandalized with anti-semitic graffiti, and 40 incidents of targeted online and in-person harassment.

Peter Levi, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League in Orange County/Long Beach, said he's seen an increase in people reaching out to the organization after encountering harassment.

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"They're not wearing hoods like they used to generations ago," said Levi, comparing perpetrators to the Ku Klux Klan. "They're just openly showing their faces and insulting people and in public spaces. When this is what's happening, we have a problem in our society, we have a problem in our communities."

Levi pointed to how easy it is to access hate in online spaces, especially through social media, which has led to a steady increase of extremist ideas and ideologies adopted into the mainstream.

"We see extremists that used to run as third-party candidates are now running as mainstream candidates," Levi said.

He said more people need to step up and call out these incidents, adding that anti-semitism is often the bellwether of other forms of prejudice.

"We need our schools, particularly K-12 schools, but also our college campuses, to take proactive efforts to teach about antisemitism and other expressions of bigotry," Levi said.

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