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Antisemitism rising dramatically across the world — report

Timothy Jones
May 5, 2024

A global trend of increasing antisemitism has skyrocketed since Hamas' deadly October 7 attack, a new report has said. The Tel Aviv University report says many Jews across the world may soon be unable to live in safety.

A man in a yarmaluke designed like the Israeli flag standing in  crowd at the Brandeburg Gate in Berlin
Germany is also seeing a rise in antisemitism as well as protests against the trendImage: Michele Tantussi/AFP/Getty Images

Antisemitic incidents are rising across the world at a rate unseen since World War II, with the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza spreading "a fire that was already out of control," an annual report released on Sunday said.

The report, issued by the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the US, said that although antisemitism had increased since the atrocities carried out by the Islamist militant group Hamas in southern Israel on October 7 last year, the first nine months of 2023 also saw a rise in antisemitic incidents compared to 2022.

The report stressed that the increased hatred of Jews could not simply be put down to emotions raised by Israel's retaliatory offensive against Hamas in Gaza, saying that many "outrageous" expressions of antisemitism occurred before that campaign began.

The authors of the report said that if this situation persisted or deteriorated, Jewish people around the world would be unable to live normal lives in safety and freedom.

Report: Rise in antisemitic incidents in Germany

What else did the report say?

The report cited figures from various countries, including Germany, which reported 1,365 antisemitic incidents from January to September last year and 2,249 from October to December.

It said that in the United States, there were around 3,500 antisemitic incidents reported between January and September 2023 but almost 4,000 in the last three months of the year.

According to the report, last year, there were about three bomb threats per day on average against synagogues and Jewish institutions in the US.

One of the report's authors, professor Uriya Shavit from Tel Aviv University, said, "if current trends continue, the curtain will descend on the ability to lead Jewish lives in the West — to wear a Star of David, attend synagogues and community centers, send kids to Jewish schools, frequent a Jewish club on campus, or speak Hebrew."

The authors said that antisemitism made its way to the very center of society, often by means of social media, after first raising its head on the extreme right or extreme left of the political spectrum.

'Surge in antisemitic expressions' in Arab world

The report also looked at the Arab world, where, it said, "there has been a significant surge in antisemitic expressions" in the discourse there since the October 7 attack by Hamas.

The report said that discourse often demonized Jews for their religion and propagated anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, such as that global media was under Jewish control.

Narratives that denied or distorted the crimes committed by Hamas during its October 7 raid were also rife, the report said.

It cited figures from an NGO that monitors antisemitism on social media, CyberWell, that showed a doubling of highly antisemitic content on Arabic platforms between October 7 and October 31 in comparison with previous months.

tj/sms (DPA, AFP, EFE)