California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office released their annual hate crimes report on June 28, finding that antisemitic hate crimes in the state increased by 32.6% in 2021 from the year prior.
The Jewish News of Northern California (The J) reported that, according to Bonta’s report, the total number of antisemitic hate crimes in 2021 was 152, topping the previous high of 141 in 2019. The J also noted that “the overwhelming majority of reported bias crimes” against members of a particular religion was against Jews in 2021, per the report.
“The report revealed startling increases across the spectrum of bigotry. We are disappointed though unsurprised to see that anti-Jewish bias saw the second highest increase with antisemitic events rising from 115 in 2020 to 152 in 2021 (a 32.3% increase),” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey I. Abrams said in a statement to the Journal. “This startling uptick corresponds with ADL’s Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, which reported that California saw an increase of 27% in total antisemitic incidents, jumping from 289 to 367 incidents in 2021. ADL, both nationally and through our five regional offices in California, is proud to serve as a trusted partner to the Attorney General’s office and grateful for the state’s commitment to fight hate for good. It is through elected leadership and community partnerships that we collectively can best call out, track, and prevent hate crimes from occurring in the Golden State.”
The report also found that hate crimes against Blacks and Asians increased by 12.5% and 177.5%, respectively, from 2020 to 2021; there were also increases in hate crimes against Hispanics and the LGBTQ community, per the J.
“Reported hate crime has reached a level we haven’t seen in California since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11,” Bonta said in a statement. “As our state’s top law enforcement officer, I will continue to use the full authority of my office to fight back,” Bonta said. “We will keep working with our local law enforcement partners and community organizations to make sure every Californian feels seen, heard, and protected.”
American Jewish Committee Los Angeles Regional Director Richard S. Hirschhaut also said in a statement to the Journal: “The California DOJ’s Annual Hate Crime Report, revealing that nearly 70% of all religiously motivated hate crimes targeted Jews, mirrors sharp increases in hate crimes against Asian Americans, Latinos, African Americans, and gay men. Sadly, the data is merely a barometer of a larger trend, as we continue to see gross underreporting of hate crimes. This year’s report underscores the urgency of bringing multiple resources to bear in our collective efforts to combat hate. We must continue to support legislation that bolsters institutional security, improves hate crime reporting, and assures appropriate prosecution. Fortunately, many of our state legislators are taking strong steps to support targeted communities. We eagerly await establishment of the Commission on the State of Hate and will continue to be ready partners in educating about antisemitism and good allies to our fellow targeted communities.”