The FBI apparently has to report how many hate crimes were based on Antisemitism.

On the other hand, the State Department has also adopted a definition of Antisemitism.

Is there any difference between these? I assume the FBI has a definition somewhere to be able to make those statistics, but I couldn't find theirs on a quick search.

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    I think I may have found it justice.gov/crs/highlights/2021-hate-crime-statistics But it seems they use a general definition of hate crime and "anti-Jewish" (the term they use) is just one of the instantiations. They also seem to consider Jewish to be just a religious category, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 5:34
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    Antisemitism is not necessary expressed in criminal activity - it can be on the level of sentiments, political activity, voting preferences, etc. State department is more likely to take this into account. With crime it is easier - if they kidnap a Jewish person for ransom, reasoning that "Jews are rich"...
    – Morisco
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 5:39
  • @RogerV., the point we began arguing about was not this case, it was about the logic that "kidnap[ping] a Jewish person for ransom, reasoning that Jews are rich", was presented as self-evidently anti-semitic. That was never made out. Instead, a specific case has been adduced, and a different logic adduced to show an anti-semitic connection - namely that one of the perpetrators expressed an anti-semitic grievance. Even if the ransom demand was not motivated by anti-semitism, it seems quite plausible to suppose the murderous brutality against the victim was motivated or enabled by it.
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 24, 2023 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


From what I can tell, they do not have a specific definition.

Compilation and release of the report is based on the Hate Crime Statistics Act. The text of the act itself is short. It just says to collect data:

about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, gender and gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity

Responsible for the methodology is the AG, who passed the job onto the FBI, who assigned it to the UCR. The data ultimately comes from law enforcement agencies, who submit it to the UCR.

The latest data can be seen in the Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Data Explorer. By going to Documents & Downloads, the "Hate Crime Statistics Annual Reports" can be downloaded. It contains excel spreadsheets, and PDF documents with additional information. In the methodology.pdf, there is some information on how data is collected:

the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program collects data regarding criminal offenses that were motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against the victim’s race/ethnicity/ancestry, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, and were committed against persons, property, or society.

Because motivation is subjective, it is sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a crime resulted from the offender’s bias. Moreover, the presence of bias alone does not necessarily mean that a crime can be considered a hate crime.

Only when a law enforcement investigation reveals sufficient evidence to lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that the offender’s actions were motivated, in whole or in part, by his or her bias, should an agency report an incident as a hate crime.

None of the documents define antisemitism. For that matter, none mention it. The category they use is religion-based crimes, in which they include anti-Jewish bias (they do not include anti-Jewish bias under race-based crimes).

None of the documents define any of the other categories either (anti-black, etc).

In the end, the report has a narrow definition and looks if the offender was motivated in their selection of the victim because of their religion/ethnicity/etc.

Because it's the motivation of the offender that matters, the IHRA definition might not be a good fit (it includes acts against "non-Jewish individuals" & of course includes a lot of acts which are antisemitic but not criminal).

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    The list also omits prejudice based on one's nationality/citizenship/country of origin.
    – Morisco
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 7:35
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    Does the term anti-Semitism even appear as such in FBI's stats? The DOJ page I found (see comment under Q) seems to suggest they use "anti-Jewish" and the White House 'translated' that term to the more usual one--anti-Semitic. Actually, I see the DOJ page you link (which is different from the one I had found) also uses "anti-Jewish bias", so I guess that's their preferred terminology. Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 7:49
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    @Fizz yes, I haven't found anything related to the report that even mentions antisemitism ("none mention it."). (religion-based) anti-Jewish bias is what they are working with.
    – tim
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 10:33

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