Dramatic increase in anti-Semitism around the world

A global trend of rising anti-Semitism has soared since Hamas’s deadly attack on October 7, a new report from Tel Aviv University finds, which suggests that many Jews around the world may soon be unable to live in safety.

The situation is not like 1933, but if current trends continue, the curtain will come down on the ability of Jews in the West to wear a Star of David, attend synagogues or send children to Jewish schools, says Professor Uriya Shavit. The picture is from the Nazi boycott of the department store Israel in Berlin in April 1933. Photo: Bundesarchiv

Anti-Semitic acts are increasing worldwide at a rate not seen since World War II, with the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza spreading “a fire that is already out of control,” said the report released in May and issued by Tel Aviv University and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the United States.
The authors of the report emphasized that if this situation continued or worsened, Jewish people around the world would not be able to live normal lives in security and freedom.
An increase in anti-Semitic actions had already increased in the first nine months of 2023 compared to 2022. According to the report, many countries subsequently saw a dramatic increase in the number of anti-Semitic aggression according to data collected from government agencies, law enforcement agencies, Jewish organizations, media and field workers.
In France, the number of incidents increased from 436 in 2022 to 1676 in 2023, while the number of physical assaults increased from 43 to 85. In the UK, the corresponding figures were 1662 in 2022 and 4103 in 2023 (physical assaults increased from 136 to 266). In Germany, the number of incidents increased from 2639 to 3614, in Brazil from 432 to 1774 and in Austria from 719 to 1147. Australia recorded 622 anti-Semitic incidents in October and November 2023, compared to 79 in the same period in 2022.

“The curtain is coming down”

In the United States, around 3,500 anti-Semitic incidents were reported between January and September 2023, but almost 4,000 in the last three months of the year compared with 1000 incidents from October to December 2022.
According to the report, last year there was an average of about three bomb threats per day against synagogues and Jewish institutions in the United States.
– The year is not 1938, not even 1933. But if current trends continue, the curtain will come down on the ability of Jews living in the West to wear a Star of David, attend synagogues and community centers, send children to Jewish schools, visit a Jewish club at campus or speak Hebrew, says Professor Uriya Shavit.
– With bomb threats against synagogues having become a daily occurrence, Jewish people in the West are forced to take shelter, and the more they do so, the more the sense of security and normality is undermined.

Unprecedented levels

ADL (Anti Defamation League) leader Jonathan Greenblatt believes that the aftermath of Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 was followed by a tsunami of hatred against Jewish communities worldwide.
– Unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism have risen globally on the streets of London, New York, Paris, Santiago and Johannesburg. This year’s report is incredibly alarming, with documented and unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism, including in the United States, where 2023 saw the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents ever recorded by Tel Aviv University.
– Anti-Semitism is not just an abstract issue. It is a real threat to Jewish life in America and Jews around the world, and our history teaches us that we cannot have the luxury of being indifferent when moments like these occur. That means we must be clear-sighted about the threats we face and have the determination to confront them.
The 150-page report includes in-depth analyses on various countries, as well as a study on the profiles of those who spread anti-Semitic content on X (formerly Twitter). The studies also examine the spread of anti-Semitic thought patterns in the Arab world, Turkey and Iran after October 7 and trace their roots. The report claims that “any future diplomatic negotiations must prioritize the eradication of anti-Semitism from Arab societies”.
The report notes the difficulties in reliably tracking anti-Semitic incidents in Russia at present. An extensive study in the report examines the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Russian dictator Putin and members of his regime. The report notes that “In early 2023, Moscow’s chief rabbi in exile, Pinchas Goldschmidt, warned that Jews should leave Russia before they were viewed as scapegoats. Unfortunately, 2023 did not disprove the words of this wise and courageous religious leader.”