Antisemitic Hate Crimes Skyrocket Nearly 60% in Los Angeles in First Half of 2021

A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) vehicle.

July 18, 2021

The number of antisemitic hate crimes in Los Angeles has jumped by almost 60 percent in the first half of 2021, according to police data compiled by the Crosstown non-profit group.

The 43 antisemitic incidents comprise 14.6 percent of all hate crimes in Los Angeles so far this year, making Jews the third-most targeted minority group, behind Blacks and Latinos, the Crosstown report — which can be read here — found.

Los Angeles is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, totaling around 600,000 people.

“Over the last four years, and leading into 2021, we have seen an emboldenment of extremists,” Anti-Defamation League Los Angeles Deputy Regional Manager Ariella Loewenstein was quoted by Crosstown as saying. “A central part of conspiratorial views that fuel extremist violence is antisemitism.”

Sam Yebri — a local Jewish community activist — noted, “What’s been especially troubling is the frequency, intensity and brazenness of the antisemitic hate crimes recently.”

One of the most disturbing of this year’s incidents occurred in In May, during the Israel-Gaza flare-up, when a pro-Palestinian mob violently attacked a group of Jews dining at a sushi restaurant on La Cinenega Boulevard. 

Jewish diners being assaulted by a pro-Palestinian mob, in Los Angeles, California, May 18, 2021.

This came amid a global surge of antisemitism that accompanied the Israel-Gaza violence.

“There has been an explosion of hate of all kinds, especially antisemitism, on social media over the last two years that has generated a focus, whether it’s on the far left or the far right, on Jews,” Yebri said.

Yebri commended the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for being “incredibly responsive” to antisemitic hate crimes, but added that its resources were “spread thin.”

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, of the Pico Shul, commented, “The good news is that crimes against Jews are investigated and taken seriously. But who wants to be in a situation where we’re always thanking the police for arresting the guys killing us?”