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Anti-Semitic incidents down in 2013 but assaults up, audit says

The collective number of anti-Semitic assaults, acts of vandalism and reports of harassment declined in California -- and across the nation -- last year, according to an audit released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

The audit, which identifies both criminal and non-criminal acts of hate, reported an approximately 19% drop in the number of incidents nationwide -- from 927 in 2012 to 751 in 2013.

In California, the audit showed, the number of incidents declined about 23% -- from 185 to 143. 

But in a statement, ADL officials also pointed to a “dark spot” revealed by the audit. Taken alone, the number of assaults on Jewish individuals, or those perceived as Jewish, almost doubled – from 17 in 2012 to 31 in 2013.  

“We are pleased to see a decline in anti-Semitic incidents around the country and in California,” said ADL Pacific Southwest Regional Director Amanda Susskind. “Still, as we track crimes … we are troubled by the increasingly insurmountable challenge of monitoring cyberspace, where hate can be anonymous and ubiquitous.”

The audit is meant to provide “an annual snapshot of one specific aspect of a nationwide problem,” the ADL’s statement said.

The audit is compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement and community leaders, which is then evaluated by ADL staff, the statement said.

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matt.stevens@latimes.com

Twitter: @MattStevensLAT

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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