Experts in Greater Boston and the North Shore are concerned about increasingly widespread instances of casual antisemitism such as swastikas painted on sidewalks, or hateful messages over highway overpasses. Yet they largely hesitate to use the word “normalization” to describe the phenomenon.

“I think there’s a difference between ‘widespread’ and ‘normalization,’” said Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. “‘Normalization’ would imply that public civic leaders, leaders of the institutions, are accepting it or ignoring it.” Instead, he noted, in the wake of recent antisemitic messages in Stoneham, Andover and New Hampshire, “My impression is that local school districts, local magistrates and school officials are speaking out and condemning it.”

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