The New York Police Department announced Wednesday that there have already been 35 anti-Semitic hate crime incidents in New York City this year. That's a whopping 94 percent increase from the same time last year, which saw just 18 reported incidents at the end of February 2016.
The numbers seem to chart a growing trend of anti-Jewish hate growing across the nation in recent months. In the last two weeks, dozens of bomb threats were made to Jewish Community Centers (JCC) and schools across the country, and two major Jewish cemeteries were vandalized. According to DNA Info, it's not clear if the 35 incidents in New York City include the four recent unfounded bomb threats made toward two local JCCs, a Jewish museum, and the Manhattan headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League.
"We believe that's part of a nationwide pattern," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at a news conference Wednesday. "We've spoken with the FBI in regards to specific verbiage used in each one."
After initially being slow to respond to this new outbreak of hate crimes and avoiding journalists' questions about it, President Trump finally addressed the incidents last Tuesday, saying, "Anti-Semitism is horrible, and it's going to stop and it has to stop." A day later, Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to the Jewish cemetery near St. Louis where nearly 200 headstones had been knocked over.
The number of incidents against Jews account for the overwhelming majority of all hate crimes across the city, fueling a 55 percent increase from the same time last year, according to NYPD statistics. There have been 68 total hate motivated crimes in 2017—including incidents against black, Muslim, and LGBTQ New Yorkers—as opposed to 44 at the end of February 2016.
While hate crimes are on the rise in New York, crime in general was down 9.7 percent from the year before. Even though Trump cited the "carnage" of "inner cities" in his inaugural address, his hometown had 22 fewer shooting incidents last month than it did in February 2016.