Antisemitic incidents in U.S. up by more than 350% since start of Israel-Hamas war

Students participate in a protest in support of Palestine and for free speech outside of the Columbia University campus on Nov. 15, 2023, in New York City. The university suspended two student organizations, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voices for Peace, for violating university policies. / Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

CNA Staff, Jan 12, 2024 / 17:08 pm (CNA).

The number of antisemitic incidents in the United States has surged by more than 350% in the 100 days since the Israel-Hamas war began, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said this month. 

ADL has been tracking a sharp rise in the number of antisemitic attacks and incidents since Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7 of last year. The group in November said those incidents were up by 316% year over year; by December that number was up to 337%. 

In a press release this month, ADL reported that between Oct. 7 and Jan. 7, those attacks were up by 360% year over year, for a total of 3,283 incidents, compared with 712 incidents during the same period the prior year. 

“The preliminary three-month tally is higher than the total number of antisemitic incidents tracked in any year in the last decade, except for calendar year 2022 when the total number of incidents reached a historic high of 3,697,” ADL said in the release. 

The group said that since Oct. 7, when Hamas invaded Israel, “there was an average of nearly 34 antisemitic incidents per day,” which put 2023 on track to be “the highest year for antisemitic acts against Jews since ADL started tracking this data in the late 1970s.”

The majority of those incidents, according to the group’s data, involved either “verbal or written harassment” or “rallies” involving antisemitic rhetoric and “expressions of support for terrorism against the state of Israel and/or anti-Zionism.” Dozens of instances of assault and hundreds of reports of vandalism were also recorded.

“The American Jewish community is facing a threat level that’s now unprecedented in modern history,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in the release. 

“It’s shocking that we’ve recorded more antisemitic acts in three months than we usually would in an entire year,” Greenblatt said, stating that “in this difficult moment, antisemitism is spreading and mutating in alarming ways.”

The group said at least 505 of the incidents took place on college campuses, while roughly 250 were reported in lower schools. 

“At least 628 incidents were reported against Jewish institutions such as synagogues and community centers,” the group said, while “about two-thirds of the total incidents could be directly related to the Israel-Hamas war.”

An interactive map on ADL’s website tracking antisemitic incidents that have taken place in the U.S. since Oct. 7 shows most of the reports occurring around Washington, D.C.; New York City; and other northeastern centers, with smaller clusters in California and Florida as well.

ADL this month also announced that it would soon release what it called “a new tool to evaluate the climate of antisemitism on individual campuses.”

The group said its “report card” would “offer students, parents, guidance counselors, admissions consultants, concerned alumni, and others with a comprehensive tool and comparative ranking to evaluate how colleges and universities are taking action to combat anti-Jewish hate on their campuses.”

“What has been allowed to happen on our campuses is unacceptable,” Greenblatt said in announcing the report card. “Colleges and universities must commit to No Tolerance for Antisemitism, and they must take clear, decisive action steps to achieve that.”

Title: Antisemitic incidents in U.S. up by more than 350% since start of Israel-Hamas war
Source: CNA Daily News
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Date: January 13, 2024 at 12:00AM
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