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The 2012 Hate Crime Report (www.ochumanrelations.org) released by the Orange County Human Relations Commission today shows that the total number of hate crimes in the county decreased in 2012 from 78 to 61. Likewise hate crimes targeting individuals based on their actual or perceived religion dropped slightly from 18 in 2011 to 16 in 2012 with the vast majority 11 out of 16 perpetrated against Jews and Jewish institutions.

This is consistent with findings of State and Federal agencies as well. California Department of Justice Report (http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/cjsc/publications/hatecrimes/hc11) shows that crimes against Jews comprised 66 percent of all religion-motivated hate crimes in the State of California in 2011. The FBI’s most recent report, (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2011) indicates crimes against Jews comprised 67 percent of religion-motivated hate crimes around the country.

All anti-Jewish hate crimes in 2012 involved vandalism and property damage. None involved violence against a person. Nearly all the crimes included the use of the swastika. “It is disturbing that, for the third consecutive year, the reported hate crimes against the Jewish community of Orange County have increased.” Said Melissa Carr, Regional Director of the Orange County/Long Beach office of the Anti-Defamation League. “It is also very troubling that year after year the overwhelming majority of hate crimes motivated by religion in the county, statewide and across the country is against Jews and Jewish institutions.”

“We remain concerned that African – Americans continue to be the most frequently targeted victims of hate crimes,” said Carr. “The sharp increase in hate crimes directed against the LGBT community—is also disquieting.”

Some examples of anti-Semitic incidents in Orange County reported to the ADL during 2012 include:

Vandalism:

• Flower pot thrown through the window of a Rabbi’s home in Irvine.

• Swastika made with tape was put on a car parked at a Jewish institution in Irvine.

• Swastika keyed into a car belonging to a Jewish woman living in Newport Coast

• Swastika drawn on the garage of a Jewish family in Irvine.

Harassment:

• A Huntington Beach middle school student was told by a classmate that he should be dead because he is Jewish.

• A Fullerton high school baseball coach was disciplined for using anti-Semitic slurs on multiple occasions to one of his Jewish players. (The coach also used anti-gay epitaphs.)

• A physician who specializes in the ritual of circumcision was harassed online by an unknown person who said the doctor should “kill yourself. You deserve to die. You are guilty of the crime of assault with a weapon, against infants…”

ADL is proud to have drafted the model hate crimes legislation on which hate crimes laws in 45 states, including California, are based, and serves as a resource both to aid and to train law enforcement agencies. ADL worked closely with a broad coalition of partners on the 2009 passage of the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act,” which expanded federal hate crime laws and provided for increased federal involvement in investigating and prosecuting hate violence in America.

In addition to responding to hate crimes and providing victim assistance after a crime has occurred, ADL works daily to prevent the spread of hate that can lead to such crimes. ADL’s anti-bias education programs from preschool through college help students: recognize bias and the harm it can cause to individuals and society; explore the value of diversity; improve intergroup relations; and combat racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry.

“We fee particularly fortunate to have OC Human Relations as a partner in our work to reduce hate crimes and increase public awareness of the impact of these message crimes,” said Carr. “The report of the OCHR is a reminder that the important work of ADL is still needed.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913 is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.