2019 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents in Wisconsin

Antisemitic incidents reported in Wisconsin increased 55 percent from 2018 to 2019 and have soared by 329 percent since 2015, according to a new report released today by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

Since Republican Donald Trump ran for election in 2016, and particularly since his election, there has been a significant increase in antisemitic incidents, with nearly 70 bomb threats against Jewish institutions in America in the first two months of 2017.

“The rhetoric around the presidential election not only legitimized bigotry against all minorities, as we’ve seen through a variety of statistics, but also included specific coded and overt anti-Semitic expressions. That climate on the national level affects the local community too,” as Ann Jacobs, current JCRC chairman, noted in February 2017. 

Her comments came as the group released its audit of 2016, which found the number of antisemitic incidents was three-times higher than five years before that. The latest report shows incidents have continued to skyrocket, with big increases in 2019 compared to 2018: 

  • Harassment, threats, and assault increased by 150 percent (from 16 to 40 incidents)
  • Hate group activity (900 percent increase)
  • References to the Holocaust, Nazi, and Hitler (94 percent increase)
  • Middle school activity (250 percent increase)
  • Conspiracy theories (67 percent increase)
  • Pejorative references to Israel and Zionism (160 percent increase; the report distinguishes between “legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism” and statements where “all Jews are held responsible for the actions of Israel; when Israel is denied the right to exist as a Jewish state and… when traditional antisemitic symbols, images, or theories are used”.)
Source: milwaukeejewish