FBI agent
FBI agent iStock

The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the United States rose slightly in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to FBI statistics released Monday and quoted by JTA.

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

Overall, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent 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, according to the statistics.

The FBI report comes several weeks after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report detailing anti-Semitic the first nine months of 2017. That report found that anti-Semitic incidents in the first nine months of 2017 have risen 67 percent since the same period last year, though it also noted that in general, anti-Semitic assaults have fallen sharply since last year.

The ADL report said that in addition to the waves of bomb threats against Jewish institutions at the beginning of the year, the main driver of anti-Semitic incidents was the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.

In April, the ADL 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.

The ADL on Monday issued a statement addressing the FBI report, which focused on the overall increase in reported hate crimes.

The statement 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.

“There’s a dangerous disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported,” ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Police departments that do not report credible data to the FBI risk sending the message that this is not a priority issue for them, which may threaten community trust in their ability and readiness to address hate violence.”

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