Harassment: Anti-Semitic incidents are unacceptable

Plenty of explanations are being offered for a disturbing report issued last week. Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States last year were up 57 percent from 2016, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

A total of 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents, about half of them vandalism, were reported in 2017. Fortunately, just 19 of the total number of situations involved physical assault.

Discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, social status, physical characteristics, sexual orientation, political beliefs or heritage are simply not acceptable. This is the United States. It is the home of the brave — and such acts are the work of cowards.

We judge people based on character.

Most of us do, anyway. The small minority that has been emboldened to believe such reprehensible behavior is acceptable fall into the worst category of us-versus-them bullies. Certainly anti-Semitism is not the only form of discrimination, downright ugly talk and action that has made a resurgence. The ignorance and insecurity of those who carry out — or condone — such acts are a stain on this nation.

Ironically, many of those who do discriminate and harass claim to do so out of patriotism. That is nonsense, and it is an attitude revolting to real patriots.