U.S. sees spike in antisemitic incidents since beginning of Israel-Hamas war, Anti-Defamation League says

Antisemitic incidents on the rise in weeks after Israel-Hamas war, Anti-Defamation League says

Since Hamas militants launched a deadly surprise assault on Israel earlier this month, there has been a significant rise in antisemitic incidents across the U.S., according to data released by the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday.

The group recorded 312 antisemitic incidents from Oct. 7, the day of the Hamas attack, through Oct. 23, up from 64 in the same time period last year. Of the 312 incidents, 190 were directly linked to the Israel-Hamas war, the ADL said.

According to the ADL, a nonprofit organization that fights antisemitism and extremism, the spike included a 388% increase in incidents of harassment, vandalism and/or assault compared to that same time period in 2022.

In one such assault cited by the ADL, a man allegedly punched a 29-year-old woman in the face on Oct. 15 in New York City's Grand Central Terminal. According to CBS New York, the woman told NYPD officers that when she asked the man why he assaulted her, he replied, "You are Jewish," before fleeing.

Analysts have also been tracking a surge in antisemitic hate speech among extremist groups in recent weeks. Since the war began, the messaging platform Telegram has seen a 1,000% increase in the daily average of "violent messages mentioning Jews and Israel in white supremacist and extremist channels," the ADL said.

"When conflict erupts in Israel, antisemitic incidents soon follow in the U.S. and globally," said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement. "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."  

Incidents of antisemitism have also been increasing in Europe since Oct. 7, the ADL said. In Germany, the Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism reported a 240% increase in antisemitic incidents in Germany in the week following the Hamas attack compared to the same period in 2022.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin reported Monday on social media that France has seen 588 antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7, resulting in 336 arrests.

The war has sparked tense protests in the U.S. and across the world. At least 139 people were arrested in an Oct. 20 protest in Midtown Manhattan calling for a cease-fire. The ADL said Wednesday there have been nearly 400 rallies held across the U.S. since Oct. 7 that it deemed to be "anti-Israel," including some that it said included explicit support for terrorism.

At the same time, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has also raised concerns about a rise in threats and violence against Muslim Americans and a "spike in Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric."  

Even prior to the latest Middle East violence there had been a notable increase in antisemitic incidents tracked by the ADL. In a report released earlier this year, the group said it recorded 3,697 antisemitic incidents nationwide in 2022, the highest such number since ADL began tracking the statistic in 1979.

Earlier this month, frequent antisemitic speech prompted the Northern California Bay Area city of Walnut Creek to halt online and phoned-in public comments during city meetings. Several other Bay Area cities, including San Francisco and San Jose, had already enacted similar policies.

A national poll released last week by the ADL and the University of Chicago found that about 10 million American adults hold what it describes as both high levels of antisemitism and support for political violence — a number it points out is "higher than the total number of Jews in the United States." 


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