WASHINGTON — Dozens of Jewish groups and allies are uniting Sunday to bring awareness to the recent rise in antisemitism.
The event, called “No Fear: A Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish Community,” is taking place at 1 p.m. and a representative told WUSA9 that 1,000 attendees are expected. Author, columnist and TV host Meghan McCain is expected to address the crowd, while other guests speakers include victims of recent antisemitic attacks, prominent faith leaders, elected officials, celebrities, and grassroots activists. The event will take place on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
The rise in antisemitism has been especially notable in the D.C. metro area. Just last week on July 1, several cars were vandalized with swastikas in a Woodbridge, Virginia neighborhood.
Over a span of a couple of days, five cars were found vandalized with marked swastikas, according to Prince William County Police Department.
Officers were alerted of the destruction of property claims after responding to an incident in the area of the 5200 block of Aetna Springs Road Monday evening. Currently, they are still investigating the incident.
The 2020 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, unveiled earlier this year, found there were 2,024 reported antisemitic incidents in the country; a 4% decrease compared to 2019. While there was a slight decrease, it still is the third-highest year on record since the group began tracking in 1979. ADL is particularly concerned about the increase in harassment last year.
The District had 43 incidents reported in 2020, a 126% increase from the 19 incidents in 2019. There were 27 reports of harassment, a jump from 13 the year before. The number of assaults had a 200% spike, meaning there were two in 2020, but none in 2019. Cases of vandalism were up to 14 compared to 6 in 2019.
In Maryland, there were 47 reported antisemitic incidents in 2020, which was a 135% jump from 20 in the previous year. The state ranked 11th in the country with the highest number of reports. Vandalism stayed at 11 incidents, but harassment cases rose to 35 incidents from 8 in 2019. There was one assault case, which was the same as the year before.
The numbers were even higher in Virginia with reports of 49 antisemitic incidents last year. The cases were already 28 in 2019. Sixteen incidents accounted for vandalism in 2020, when it was 12 in 2019. The commonwealth saw a 106% increase in harassment, going from 16 in 2019 to 33 the following year. There were no reports of assault over the last five years.