Anti-Semitism saw a 21% rise in 2014, making it a particularly violent year for Jews both overseas and in the United States, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League.
According to the ADL's annual audit, 912 anti-Semitic attacks were carried out in 2014, a 21-percent increase from the 751 attacks a year earlier. It was one of the largest increases in anti-Semitism in almost a decade, the ADL said, explaining that the new anti-Semitic trends included the hacking of Jewish community and synagogue websites, committed by hackers overseas.
Another factor contributing to the upsurge was the Israel-Gaza conflict, which saw the deaths of 59 Israelis in 2014., the Times of Israel reports.
"While the Jewish community here did not experience anything like the attacks overseas, the Gaza war did have an impact in terms of creating a momentary spike in incidents in the US," said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL national chair.
According to a separate study by the National Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students, anti-Semitism ran particularly rampant on college campuses in 2014. The group, which surveyed 1,157 college students nationwide, revealed that 54 percent of Jewish students experienced some form of anti-Semitism on campus in the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year.
Most of the 54 percent who responded "yes" reported one incident, the researchers noted, which suggested that "Jewish students are not just being paranoid, because if they were, then we would expect each of them to identify more than one incident of anti-Semitism per year."
Despite the increase in anti-semitism, the ADL noted that the number of incidents in 2014 was nevertheless one of the lowest since the group began keeping records in 1979.
"While the overall number of anti-Semitic incidents remains lower than we have seen historically, the fact remains that 2014 was a particularly violent year for Jews both overseas and in the United States," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.
"The fatal shootings in Overland Park, Kansas at a Jewish community center building and senior residence by a white supremacist whose goal was to 'kill Jews' and other violent episodes were tragic reminders that lethal anti-Semitism continues to pose a threat to American Jews and larger society as well," said Foxman.
The audit did "not include criticism of Israel or Zionism," the ADL said in a statement, but "such reports are included when they cross the line from legitimate criticism to anti-Semitism by invoking classic anti-Jewish stereotypes or inappropriate Nazi imagery and/or analogies. Public expressions of anti-Israel sentiments that demonize Jews or create an atmosphere of fear or intimidation by targeting Jewish individuals or institutions in the US are counted."
This recent surge in anti-Semitism, in addition to the rise of Christian persecution worldwide and spiraling violence in the Middle East, are clear signs pointing to the end times, warns Rev. Franklin Graham.
"The Bible tells us that in the end times there will be "distress of nations with perplexity." This is certainly the case today," he wrote in a recent Facebook post. "The meltdown of the Middle East. The rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and here in the America...Israel is desperate to have peace, but the Bible says "they will seek peace but there shall be none." There is only one ultimate, eternal solution-Jesus Christ and Him alone.