The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said more must be done to address the divisive climate of hate in America after newly released Federal Bureau of Investigation data showed hate crimes in the US jumped 17 percent in 2017 with a 37 percent spike in crimes targeting Jews and Jewish institutions.
The FBI said although the number of attacks has increased, so has the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime data.
There were a total of 938 hate crimes committed against Jews in 2017, up from 684 in 2016. At more than 900 incidents, anti-Semitic hate crimes accounted for 58 percent of all religious-motivated hate crimes.
Religious-based hate crime comprised about 20 percent of the total. Muslims were the second most frequent target, at 18.6 percent.
"You can't move what you can't measure; without accurate reporting we don't have a real sense of how widespread hate crimes are and what needs to be done to address bias in society", Greenblatt said.More news: Exceptionally large ‘Pink Legacy’ diamond sells for $50 million at Christie’s
An 18 percent increase in race-based crimes, accounting for 58 percent of all hate crimes a year ago. That number rose from 148 in 2016 and 118 in 2013.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said the numbers are a "call to action" and that the offenses were 'despicable violations of our core values as Americans'.
"The FBI data, in what is missing from it, also demonstrates the hate crime reporting system we have in place is failing to respond adequately to hate crime, and thus inform fully the policy remedies we must make to improve our response to hate", Berry said in a statement. The latest figures are also the third consecutive annual increase in bias incidents.
Critics say Trump's rhetoric has fomented a surge in right-wing extremism and may have even helped provoke the bloodshed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, which was the worst attack on America's Jewish community.
Reported hate crimes in Seattle have jumped from 118 in 2016 to 234 in 2017. African-Americans were by far the most targeted, with a reported 2,013 attacks against them, compared to 741 "anti-white" attacks.More news: Defense Secretary Mattis plans to visit U.S.-Mexico border
"I think our polarized environment. we see people bringing a kind of toxicity into the political conversations that we've never seen before", Greenblatt told CBS News' Meg Oliver.
While most of the crimes reported were against people and involved cases of intimidation or assault, around 3,000 were crimes against property. Most - 78.3 percent - targeted individuals, while others targeted businesses, government entities or religious organizations.
Participation tables from the years 2015 through 2017 show a steady increase in the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Last month, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the Justice Department's new hate crime initiative was "taking on the challenging task of addressing the gap in hate crime statistics" and officials were reviewing the "accuracy of those reports", the Associated Press reported. The 1,564 crimes reported in 2017 was the second highest number of religion-based crimes ever, surpassed only in 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.More news: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas to wed in Indian palace