Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. jumped 360% after Oct. 7 Hamas attack, advocacy group says

The number of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. rose sharply in the three months after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, according to new data from the Anti-Defamation League, which tracked a total of 3,283 anti-Jewish incidents between Oct. 7 and Jan. 7.

The preliminary data compiled by the ADL, first reported by NBC News, shows there was an average of nearly 34 antisemitic incidents every day following the Oct. 7 assault, putting 2023 on track to be the highest year for antisemitic acts against Jewish people since the ADL began keeping track in the late 1970s, according to the organization.

“The American Jewish community is facing a threat level that’s now unprecedented in modern history,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the ADL. “It’s shocking that we’ve recorded more antisemitic acts in three months than we usually would in an entire year.”

Todd Gutnick, a spokesman for the ADL, said the group will soon release data covering the first nine months of last year.

The ADL said antisemitic incidents increased 360% in the three months after Oct. 7 compared to the same period in 2022. However, the group also said that the data since Oct. 7 includes 1,317 rallies that were marked by “antisemitic rhetoric, expressions of support for terrorism against the state of Israel and/or anti-Zionism.” The group said such rallies held before Oct. 7 were “not necessarily included” in its earlier data.

The organization has for years reported three other categories of antisemitism: physical assault (60 incidents in the three months after Oct. 7); vandalism (553); and verbal or written harassment (1,353). The 1,966 incidents in those three categories far surpass the 712 incidents that the ADL reported from the same period in 2022 and early 2023.

In an explanation of its methodology, the ADL said that it added rallies as a category because they now “have a dramatically different impact on the Jewish communities that have felt demonized and harassed because of this sustained level of intense anti-Zionist street activism.”

Greenblatt has previously said that “anti-Zionism is antisemitism,” but not all advocates for the Jewish community agree on that equation. The exact definition of antisemitism has long been the subject of debate, and the question has returned to the fore following the Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s aggressive military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

At least 505 of the total incidents during the three-month period happened on college campuses, with another 246 reported in K-12 schools, according to the ADL. At least 628 incidents were reported against Jewish institutions, such as synagogues, and roughly two-thirds of the total “could be directly related to the Israel-Hamas war.”

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has also stoked Islamophobia across the U.S., and many Muslims have described growing bias, prejudice and hate. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a leading Muslim advocacy group, announced on Dec. 7 that it had received 2,171 requests for help and reports of bias between Oct. 7 and Dec. 2.

The total number of complaints represented a 172% increase over the same eight-week period the previous year, CAIR said in a news release.

“It’s staggering to see this kind of spike in anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate in less than two months,” Corey Saylor, CAIR’s research and advocacy director, said in a statement at the time.

CLARIFICATION (Jan. 11, 2024 1:57 p.m. ET): This article has been updated to add details on how ADL has changed the way it compiles data on antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7.

CORRECTION (Jan. 10, 2024, 3:38 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the number of rallies reported by the ADL. It is 1,317, not 1,137.


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