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October 25, 2023 6:01 am

‘Because You’re Jewish’: Antisemitic Incidents in US Since Hamas Pogrom Increase by Nearly 400%, ADL Reports

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avatar by Ben Cohen

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) raises her fist as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) addresses a pro-Hamas demonstration in Washington, DC. Photo: Reuters/Allison Bailey

Antisemitic incidents in the US have risen by nearly 400 percent compared with the same period last year, as American Jews deal with the global fallout of the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in southern Israel.

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published on Wednesday morning detailed 312 attacks in the days following the Hamas invasion, 190 of which were directly connected to rising tensions in Israel and Gaza. The figure marked a 388 percent increase compared with the same period last year. The civil rights organization also tracked 400 pro-Palestinian rallies held in the aftermath of the pogrom, 25 percent of which featured “explicit or strong implicit support for Hamas and/or violence against Jews in Israel.”

Incidents recorded by the ADL included assaults, vandalism, and verbal insults directed at Jews or those perceived to be Jewish. The list included an Oct. 15 physical assault on a Jewish woman at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal who, when she asked her assailant why he had punched her in the face, received the reply, “Because you’re Jewish.”

The harassment and violence have come from far right, far left, and Palestinian solidarity activists. In Walnut Creek, CA., a neo-Nazi group calling itself “White Lives Matter” unfurled banners along a highway overpass stating, “Save Gaza,” “No More US Wars for I$rael,” and “Watch Europa The Last Battle.” Other incidents included an assault on a group of Israelis by pro-Hamas protesters in New York City’s Times Square, an assault in Indianapolis upon a man carrying an Israeli flag, and a man who stood outside a kosher restaurant in Los Angeles shouting “I am Hamas” and making death threats to Jewish patrons.

“When conflict erupts in Israel, antisemitic incidents soon follow in the US and globally,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO, said in a statement accompanying the data. “From white supremacists in California displaying antisemitic banners on highway overpasses to radical anti-Zionists harassing Jewish people because of their real or perceived support for the Jewish state, we are witnessing a disturbing rise in antisemitic activity here while the war rages overseas.”

The report also noted a sharp uptick in antisemitic agitation online, reporting “a nearly 1,000-percent increase in the daily average of violent messages mentioning Jews and Israel on the messaging platform Telegram in the days following the massacre by Hamas.”

As well as in the US, Jewish communities in other countries have endured a precipitous increase in antisemitic incidents. In Britain, London’s Metropolitan Police recorded a 1,350% increase in hate crimes targeting Jews, while in France, police have made 336 arrests following nearly 600 antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7.

In Germany, antisemitic incidents have risen by 240 percent compared with the same period last year, according to data published by the Federal Association of Antisemitism Research and Information Centers (RIAS), a government funded body. A full 91 percent of those incidents were sparked by hatred of Israel, RIAS said.

In Spain, where the core Jewish community numbers less than 13,000, Spanish Jewish leaders emphasized that they were confronting “the greatest escalation of antisemitism in Spain in recent times” during a meeting with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, citing attacks on synagogues and inflammatory anti-Zionist statements made by far left government ministers serving in the country’s coalition government.

Alongside Europe, antisemitic incidents have been reported in South Africa, Australia, and in several North African countries, the ADL said.

The ADL urged national governments to condemn antisemitic outrages and to “prosecute perpetrators of antisemitic incidents to the full extent of the law.”

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