NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Anti-Semitic acts are on the rise in New York and across the country, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The United States saw 1,266 biased-based acts targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in 2016, according to ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. But a third of those incidents happened in the last two months of the year. The first three months of 2017 had 541 incidents, he added.
The ADL said that New York State had 97 reported anti-Semitic incidents in the first three months of 2017 compared to 57 during the same period last year.
New York City had 122 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2016. The first quarter of 2017 has had 63.
The ADL believes the divisive political climate during the campaign and after played a major role in the escalating numbers. Greenblatt pointed out that white supremacists were issued press credentials for some election season events and anti-Semitic memes found their way into the Twitter feeds of the campaigns. The ADL said that a disturbing trend is the increase of anti-Semitic acts on college campuses.
The ADL and the European Jewish Congress continue to work with local, state and the federal government to impose tougher penalties.
"The punishment should be more severe than the crime," said Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress.