*We can now confirm: This was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. Previously, the deadliest anti-Semitic attack was in 1985, when white supremacist David Lewis Rice attacked Charles Goldmark and his family in Seattle, Washington, killing four, erroneously thinking that Goldmark was Jewish.
*While the horror of this massacre is shocking, it is not entirely surprising. Note: We learned that in the suspect’s social media posts, he railed against Jewish organizations, including HIAS and ADL.
*At ADL, we have been tracking and fighting anti-Semitism for over a century. Recent trends have been alarming. Last year we a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017. These incidents include high-profile ones such as neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, Va., chanting “Jews will not replace us,” physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions.
*Part of this sharp rise comes from a large increase in anti-Semitic incidents in grade schools and on college campuses, which nearly doubled for the second year in a row.
*Feeding this upsurge in hate is the toxic soup of anti-Semitism found online. According to a report ADL released just a day before the Pittsburgh attack, far-right extremists and the so-called “Alt-Right” have stepped up their efforts on social media to attack and intimidate Jews, and especially Jewish journalists, in the run up to the upcoming midterm elections. These radicals engaged in “Twitter bombing” of Jews, barraging our community with 7.5 million highly politicized and anti-Semitic tweets and 8 million denigrating — all in a span of just two weeks.
*We are concerned that Anti-Semitism is being normalized in public life. There are television ads being run by mainstream political candidates and parties that invoke the specter of Jewish philanthropist George Soros to instill fear in voters’ hearts. This year, there are a record number of right-wing extremists and bigots running for office.