Attorney General Mayes Condemns Rise in Hate-Based and Antisemitic Incidents

PHOENIX – Attorney General Kris Mayes today vehemently condemned the recent and alarming rise in hate-based and antisemitic incidents in Arizona communities, including a deeply troubling episode at Arizona State University targeting Jewish students last week. The Chair of the Arizona Civil Rights Advisory Board has also called a special meeting today to explore potential actions and solutions to combat antisemitic and other hate-based crimes in Arizona communities.

"The recent surge in hate-based and antisemitic crimes is unacceptable. My office is dedicated to ensuring the safety and dignity of all Arizonans," said Attorney General Mayes. "We are closely monitoring the situation and are committed to prosecuting violations of the law to the fullest extent. I urge the public to report such incidents to my office or local law enforcement. With rising tensions boiling over, we must come together to uphold the values of our state and nation against those who seek to divide us with hate."

"At ADL, we have tracked antisemitic incidents since 1979, and last year saw a large increase over the year before," said Sarah Kader, Executive Director for the Anti-Defamation League of Arizona. "Sadly, we've seen a steep increase in antisemitic incidents across the country and in Arizona over the last month since the war in Israel began, with no end in sight. The incidents include harassment, vandalism, and assault and have occurred on Arizona campuses, at Arizona synagogues and Arizona community centers. We applaud the Attorney General for taking a strong stance against antisemitism and agree that individuals should report any concerning activity. Hate has no place in Arizona, and it takes every one of us to speak out and speak up to ensure a safe place for all."

"Acts of hatred and bigotry against any group undermine the values of diversity, inclusivity, and respect that are cornerstone of our society," continued Attorney General Mayes. "And while we value and defend the individual right to free speech, even for ideas and opinions that many of us find objectionable or even hateful – physical attacks and threats of imminent violence are not protected speech. They are criminal acts. Everyone should feel safe in their communities, and no one should face violence or retribution for who they are. Hate-based violence and antisemitism, in any form, is not just an attack on a single community but an affront to all Arizonans."

Attorney General Mayes' Remarks at the meeting are available here.