Since the massacre of Israeli civilians by Hamas on Oct. 7, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has recorded a significant spike in antisemitic incidents across the United States. Preliminary data indicates that reported incidents of harassment, vandalism, and assault increased by 388 percent over the same period last year.
According to the ADL, antisemitism surges in times of political or economic uncertainty and is often used as a tool of political manipulation or populist anger. Antisemitism also continues to spread today because people are unaware of the most basic facts about what happened to Europe’s Jews during World War II. For example, only 36 percent of millennials in the United States know that six million Jews perished during the Holocaust, according to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
Along with the ADL, the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, is working to combat the problem. The group, which was founded by Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots, ran the following spot during the World Series this week.
The spot is smart to point out that Black hate, Muslim hate, and Asian hate are also on the rise. The simple but poignant commercial concludes with a call to action, “Share and wear the blue square.” #StandUpToJewishHate
The blue square represents the American Jewish community, which is 2.4% of the U.S. population. Yet Jews are victims of 55% of all religious hate crimes in the United States today.
According to this Vox article, hate crimes are spreading like a deadly virus:
- In California, synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses have been vandalized since the start of the war. Flyers with anti-Jewish rhetoric — including “Jews wage war on American freedoms!” — were placed on vehicles across Orange County.
- Several Jewish synagogues in Utah are “on high alert” after receiving threats in the past two weeks. A rabbi in Salt Lake City interrupted his synagogue’s service to evacuate the congregation after receiving a bomb threat by email.
- Owners at a New York City Palestinian restaurant, who publicly called for an end to what they deemed Israel’s “apartheid,” disconnected the restaurant’s phone over threatening voicemails. The restaurant has received nonstop one-star reviews since the start of the conflict; a man entered the dining room in the past week, shouting “terrorist” at the workers.
FBI Director, Christopher Wray, addressed the dangers of hate-fueled domestic terrorism during a Congressional hearing on Tuesday. He also said, “In the past few weeks, multiple foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks against Americans and the West.”