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New ADL report: Dramatic rise in antisemitism in the West since Oct 7

A rally against campus antisemitism was held to support Jewish students at George Washington University, May 2, 2024. (Photo: Robyn Stevens Brody/Sipa USA)

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League and Tel Aviv University documented a dramatic increase in antisemitism in Western societies in 2023. The report focused on countries with large Jewish communities, such as the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany.

France stood out as having the most dramatic increase of Jew-hatred, with antisemitic incidents in France almost quadrupling, from 436 in 2022 to 1,676 in 2023.

Furthermore, a large majority of the antisemitic incidents in France (74%) took place after the Hamas terrorist organization attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

France is home to Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim communities – numbering around half a million and some 7 million, respectively. Young individuals with a North African, Muslim immigrant background allegedly play a central role in the explosion of Jew-hatred in French society.

The report underscored that the Oct. 7 attack appeared to have facilitated the release of pre-existing antisemitism.

“For those whose views serve an anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist ideological and instrumentalist purpose, October 7 was a golden opportunity to advance further their hateful and racist fringe perspectives into mainstream conservative discourse, using it to attack rivals, mobilize supporters and attract new followers.”

According to the report, the number of antisemitic incidents in the United States doubled, from 3,697 in 2022 to 7,523 in 2023. It is noteworthy that 52% of all antisemitic incidents were registered after Oct. 7.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), described the explosion of antisemitism on American campuses as “most alarming,” and wrote: “We have seen instances where Jewish students barricaded themselves in a library because a pro-Palestinian mob was outside. We have heard stories of students being afraid to cross their campuses at night for fear of being attacked, or attending Shabbat dinners at their Hillels with armed guards posted at the doors.”

Greenblatt warned that “the Jewish community is facing a crisis unseen in generations,” noting a whopping 75% of university students had experienced or witnessed antisemitic incidents during the current academic year.

“Antisemitism today seems to have taken firm root in the academy,” American professor Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn wrote in the report. She stressed that the surge in antisemitism was largely facilitated by weak university management and considerable funding from Qatar and other Middle Eastern regimes.

In April, U.S. President Joe Biden called out the racism on campuses and said it has to stop.

“Even in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous – and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country,” Biden stated.

Antisemitic incidents in the United Kingdom more than doubled from 1,662 in 2022, to 4,123 in 2023, according to the report. In addition, demonstrations of Jew-hatred increased dramatically in Germany and Italy, two European countries with sizeable Jewish communities.

Professor Urya Shavit, the head of the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the Irwin Cotler Institute, nevertheless, cautioned against comparing modern antisemitism and the pre-Holocaust Jew-hatred in the 1930s.

“The year is not 1938, not even 1933,” he said. However, the professor warned that current anti-Jewish rhetoric indicates a slippery slope.

“Yet if current trends continue,” Shavit wrote, 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 All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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