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Rising Tides of Antisemitism: Unraveling a Global Menace Amidst the Aftermath of Hamas Terror

Written by:
Yishai Gelb

The aftermath of the October 7th terrorist attack by Hamas has triggered a global surge in antisemitic incidents, particularly in regions with substantial Muslim populations and significant Jewish communities. Preceding the conflict, the Anti-Defamation League reported balanced antisemitism in Europe across different faith groups. Since hostilities began, the ADL noted a drastic rise, especially in Western nations with significant Middle Eastern and North African immigrant populations. The United States experienced a 400% increase in antisemitic rhetoric, prompting heightened security measures. Online hate speech monitoring platforms observed spikes, while global protests and incidents of violence against Jews underscore the concerning escalation. Simultaneously, narratives denying Hamas atrocities and justifying violence against Jews have permeated various influential platforms, further contributing to the disturbing trend.

Rising Tides of Antisemitism: Unraveling a Global Menace Amidst the Aftermath of Hamas Terror

Incitement for violence against Jews

Before the war began, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported a relatively balanced distribution of antisemitism in Europe among different faith groups. In Western Europe, 22% of Christians held antisemitic views, while 25% of Muslims harbored similar sentiments. In the Americas, the figures were 19% for Christians and 29% for Muslims, respectively. In the Middle East and North Africa, a pronounced divide was observed, with 64% of Christians and 79% of Muslims expressing antisemitic views. 

Since the onset of the conflict, the ADL has observed a substantial escalation in antisemitic incidents, predominantly concentrated in Western regions, notably in countries characterized by significant populations of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants. Specifically, these trends have been discerned in Austria, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.

Anticipating and responding to the escalating tensions following the tragic events in Israel and the looming invasion of Gaza, Jewish communities in North America proactively fortified their security measures. Simultaneously, pro- and anti-Israel rallies burgeoned into a daily occurrence across U.S. cities. The ADL's CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, underscored the correlation between conflicts in Israel and the surge in global antisemitic incidents, calling for heightened security measures and support for Jewish communities. College campuses witnessed multiple protests in support of Hamas, fostering increasingly hostile environments for Jews.

In the realm of online discourse, entities dedicated to monitoring hate speech acknowledged a marked upswing in posts within the four days following the Hamas attack. Notably,, an online harms monitoring platform, meticulously tracked trends across various social media platforms, identifying a discernible surge in antisemitic rhetoric. Concurrently, legal actions were taken against social media accounts, exemplified by the Center for Information and Documentation Israel's formal complaint against the proprietor of the Instagram account CestMocro, citing allegations of incitement to hatred and violence against Jews.

Internationally, London reported a substantial surge in antisemitic incidents and offenses, prompting a strong condemnation from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Disturbing reports surfaced of Palestinian supporters tearing down posters depicting missing Israeli children, leading to heightened security measures in response to online threats and school closures. In Sydney, an investigation is underway into an incident where protestors allegedly chanted the inflammatory phrase, "Gas the Jews" outside the Sydney Opera House.

In China, antisemitism on social media prompted the Israeli embassy in Beijing to filter comments. An Israeli embassy employee was stabbed in Beijing. In Germany, Chancellor Scholz expressed deep concern, emphasizing the imperative commitment to 'never again' within the nation. France responded decisively, prohibiting pro-Palestinian demonstrations, with President Emmanuel Macron cautioning against the historical precedent of antisemitism leading to broader expressions of hatred.

On October 18, 2023, the Or Zaruah synagogue in Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco, suffered an attack by a mob chanting "murderous Israel." The global Jewish community grapples with instances of hate and bigotry, a recurring phenomenon exacerbated during heightened tensions in the Middle East.

Map of rise in Antisemitism Since October 7th, 2023

Denial of Hamas Atrocities

The denial of Hamas atrocities serves as a pivotal factor contributing to the surge in antisemitism. Influential platforms propagating narratives distorting the reality of the conflict have fueled animosity, not only against Jews but also against Western values. Proponents of the Palestinian cause, such as Pro-Palestinian Rapper Lowkey and activist Nerdeen Kiswani, contribute to this narrative. The mistreatment of Palestinians in Gaza, as highlighted by Twitch streamer HasanAbi, is linked to distressing acts of violence, creating a complex web of perspectives.

In response to the October 7th Hamas terrorist attack, Pro-Palestinian Rapper Lowkey expressed in an interview that he perceives the situation as an "Israeli-manufactured catastrophe in Gaza."

Nerdeen Kiswani, the founder of 'Within Our Lifetime' and a pro-Palestinian activist, conveyed the sentiment that individuals identifying as Zionists should be exposed to a certain auditory experience before their demise. This statement aligns with her prior expressions, notably a post from 2022 where Kiswani shared a meme on her Instagram account featuring the text: “Little Miss telling everyone Israel is[sic] will be wiped off the map inshallah [God willing].”

In an interview, Twitter streamer and political commentator HasanAbi, also known as Hasan Piker, asserted that the mistreatment and containment of millions of Palestinians in Gaza, which he refers to as an 'open-air prison,' may lead to individuals reacting in a distressing manner. His statement suggests a correlation between such conditions and acts of violence, including but not limited to assault, immolation, and mutilation of vulnerable demographics such as children, women, and the elderly.

In a recent interview conducted by Piers Morgan with Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot regarding the Gaza Hospital Strike, Morgan queried Ambassador Zomlot about his stance on the Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens that occurred on October 7th. In response, Ambassador Zomlot refrained from outright condemnation of the attacks..

Renowned Egyptian podcaster Rahma Zein, who gained widespread attention since the onset of the conflict, addressed inquiries regarding the tragic October 7th terrorist attack, stating, "In 1948, we witnessed the Nakba." This statement implies that the historical events of 1948 serve as a justification for the conflict that unfolded on October 7th.

Queen Rania of Jordan articulated to reporters, in response to the October 7th Hamas attack, that this narrative spans 75 years—a chronicle marked by profound loss and displacement for the Palestinian people. It encapsulates the enduring saga of an occupation characterized by an apartheid regime.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations echoed similar sentiments, asserting that the Hamas attacks on Israel did not occur in isolation. He elaborated, stating, "The Palestinian people have endured 56 years of a suffocating occupation," emphasizing that they have witnessed the gradual encroachment of settlements on their land and endured pervasive violence.”

Protests endorsing violence against Jews have tragically escalated into real-world manifestations, culminating in the murder of a synagogue president in Detroit. Incidents such as the forcible entry into the residence of a Jewish family in Los Angeles on October 26th underscore the urgency of addressing the pro-Hamas rhetoric's tangible consequences.

In conclusion, the aftermath of the October 7th terrorist attack by Hamas has precipitated a distressing global surge in antisemitic incidents. Western regions, particularly those with significant Middle Eastern and North African immigrant populations, have become focal points. The urgent need for enhanced security measures, both online and offline, is evident. Legal actions against hate speech and proactive community responses are crucial elements in mitigating the disturbing trajectory. The confluence of factors, from denial of Hamas atrocities to influential figures shaping distorted narratives, requires a comprehensive approach to counteract the rising tide of antisemitism on a global scale.

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