Anti-Semitic Attacks in 2020 Outnumbered Attacks Against Muslims, Asians, Transgender People Combined

A woman holds candles in solidarity with the victims of an attack at a rabbi's home / Reuters
September 27, 2021

More American Jews suffered hate crime attacks in 2020 than Asians, Muslims, and transgender people combined, according to FBI crime tracking data.

The agency recorded 676 instances of criminal offenses motivated by prejudice or hatred of Jews, making anti-Semitic hate crimes the third most common type of hate crimes, trailing anti-black and anti-white attacks.

While the media and politicians have focused on an increase of domestic hate crime attacks against Asians—a trend that has also been the centerpiece of Chinese Communist Party propaganda operations—the FBI recorded just 274 total incidents in 2020. Americans who identify as Asian make up roughly 7 percent of the U.S. population. Jews, who make up just 1.75 percent of the population, are more than twice as likely to experience hate crimes as Asian Americans.

Biden in March signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which seeks to make the reporting of hate crimes easier for the public and was written in the wake of the #StopAsianHate social media campaign. The bill also directs the Department of Justice to give grants to state and local governments to study ways to reduce hate crimes.

"My message to all of those of you who are hurting is: We see you. And the Congress has said: We see you. And we are committed to stop the hatred and the bias," Biden said at the bill signing ceremony.

Biden, who during his early days in the White House made hate-crime enforcement a top priority for his Department of Justice, has largely overlooked the disproportionate attacks on Jews. His late-May statement that denounced "despicable" anti-Semitic attacks came after a coalition of Jewish organizations sent a letter that called on the White House to do more to stem the violence.

The FBI recorded 196 hate crime incidents that singularly targeted transgender individuals, On the campaign trail Biden pledged that his administration would help eradicate the "epidemic of violence against the transgender community, particularly transgender women of color." Although the FBI has not released demographic information on victims of anti-transgender hate crimes, blacks make up a plurality of alleged offenders at 38 percent.

Offenses against Muslims made up just 1 percent of total hate crimes at 104 incidents, just 5 more than offenses against lesbians. Hate crimes against Muslims in 2020 significantly dropped from the previous year, when 180 instances of bias were recorded.

The FBI in 2020 received 7,759 recorded instances of hate crimes from more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide. Hate crimes that target an individual's race, ethnicity, or ancestry were the most common, representing 64 percent of all recorded incidents.