Drop in anti-Jewish hate crimes fits overall pattern

In a year in which the state’s reported hate crime activity dropped 10.1 percent from the totals of 2002, anti-Jewish hate incidents dropped accordingly, 11.4 percent.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced the hate crime tally in a San Francisco press conference on Friday, July 9. Overall, 1,491 hate crimes were reported in 2003, compared to 1,659 the year before.

The number of anti-Jewish hate crime events dropped from 175 in 2002 to 155 last year. Overall, Jews were the third-most harassed group behind African Americans and homosexuals.

Rose Gabaeff, regional assistant director of the Anti-Defamation League, was heartened at the decrease, but noted “there are still people behind every one of these incidents. It’s not down so much that it’s not a concern.”

In addition to fewer hate crimes, the severity of the crimes has also lessened. More than 90 percent of all reported incidents are “property crimes” such as vandalism — a trend Gabaeff called “good news.”