HomeCrimeAntiSemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes skyrocket in Florida

AntiSemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes skyrocket in Florida

The latest numbers reveal hundreds of antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents were reported in Florida last year, especially in the wake of the ongoing violence in Palestine and Israel.

These incidents were documented by reports released by The Council on Islamic-American Relations earlier this month, and by the Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday. According to both reports, over 341 Islamophobic incidents occurred last year, while 463 antisemitic incidents were reported.

These numbers represent a large spike of both antisemitism and Islamophobia throughout the U.S., especially in the wake of Hamas’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7, and the subsequent siege and invasion of Gaza by the Israeli military. Hamas’s attack on Israel left 1,200 dead, and hundreds taken hostage. The actions of the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip over the last six months have killed over 30,000 Palestinians.

The CAIR recorded over 8,061 complaints in 2023 nationwide, surpassing the previous high of 6,700 in 2021. Previously, 269 and 190 antisemitic incidents were documented in Florida in 2022 and 2021 respectively. Palm Beach County saw the greatest number of documented incidents at 84, a 320% increase from last year.

Sarah Emmons, the ADL’s regional Florida director, said that “Here in Florida, we have not been immune to the wave of antisemitism that has swept our country, This is not a position in which you want to rank.”, in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat.

The number of antisemitic incidents recorded nationally by the ADL far exceeds previous tallies from the last 45 years, with over 8,873 incidents reported last year, 140% increase from 2022. However, the ADL has received criticism from Pro-Palestine groups that have accused it conflating criticism of Israel’s actions with antisemitism. The report documents “observed, explicitly antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric”, at rallies, and even when those incidents are removed, the report still shows a 65% uptick in antisemitic incidents.

The CAIR’s report that documented over 8,000 Islamophobic incidents across the U.S. represents the highest recorded in the organization’s 30 year history. The organization explains that “primary force behind this wave of heightened Islamophobia was the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine in October 2023.”. The report also mentions that “Employers, universities, and schools were among the central actors suppressing free speech by those who sought to vocally oppose Israel’s genocidal onslaught on Gaza and call attention to Palestinian human rights”.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis attempted to disband two pro-Palestinian university student organizations after he accused them of “material” support to Hamas, and even boasted that his efforts succeeded. However, DeSantis’s top higher educational official said that it didn’t happen, and the universities found evidence that the accusation was false.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.


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