Despite the surge in anti-Semitic incidents since 7 October there are many people, including many self-described anti-racists, who deny this reality. Often they claim the charges of anti-Semitism are generally a case of Zionists weaponising the charge as a cynical way of defending Israel.
I intend to do a systematic survey of the statistics at some point but in the meantime here are some of the key ones.
1)The number of anti-Semitic incidents has surged in many countries since the 7 October Hamas pogrom in southern Israel.
In Britain there was a more than six-fold increase between 7 October and mid-December, according to figures from the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which protects British Jews. According to a report in the Algemeiner newspaper: “Antisemitic attacks rose by an eye-watering 534 percent between the Hamas pogrom of Oct. 7 in southern Israel and the middle of December, according to data collected by the CST, with nearly 2,100 incidents reported.”
In France, according to figures from the Interior Ministry quoted in Le Monde, between 7 October and 14 November there were three times as many incidents as during the whole of 2022. "There have been 1,518 anti-Semitic acts or remarks," [Interior Minister Gérald] Darmanin told broadcaster Europe 1 in an interview. This was a more than three-fold increase compared to the whole of 2022, when 436 anti-Semitic acts or remarks were recorded.
Another report on France estimated that the number of anti-Semitic incidents nearly quadrupled in 2023.
In Germany the number of incidents between 7 October and 9 October was over four times the level for the whole of 2022 according to the Bundesverband der Recherche- und Informationsstellen Antisemitismus (RIAS, Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism). A report by the Associated Press said that: “The RIAS group said it recorded 994 incidents, which is an average of 29 incidents per day and an increase of 320% compared to the same time period in 2022. The group looked at the time period from Oct. 7 to Nov. 9.”
In America the ADL, a Jewish advocacy group, reported that “Between Oct. 7 and Dec. 7, ADL recorded a total of 2,031 antisemitic incidents, up from 465 incidents during the same period in 2022, representing a 337-percent increase year-over-year.” Another more than quadrupling in the number of incidents.
The ADL has also done a more comprehensive international round-up of the headline figures for many countries.
2) Even before 7 October the number of anti-Semitic incidents was already on an upward trend. It was not the case of the number of incidents in late 2023 rising from a low base.
In Britain CST figures show a clear upward trend over the past decade.
In America ADL figures also show a clear upward trend.
3) Opinion polls suggest that young adults, that is 18-24 year olds, are particularly prone to anti-Semitism. This is linked to the rise of identity politics.
The most striking statistic of all (see p57) was from the Harvard Harris poll in mid-December 2023. It found that 67% of 18-24 year-olds in America see Jews as oppressors. In other words more than two-thirds of young American adults uphold a core anti-Semitic belief.
The most recent poll from Britain’s Campaign Against Antisemitism also found high levels of anti-Semitism among young people.
4) Anyone who doubts the existence of a significant element of anti-Semites on anti-Israel marches need only look at what the participants say themselves. That is not to say that all or even most of the protestors are anti-Semites but the number is not negligible.
For example, checkout the series of three videos from the Campaign Against Antisemitism filmed on the 13 January anti-Israel protest in London. This is a link to the first and the second and the third.
Of course, however much evidence is amassed there will always be some who deny the overwhelming weight of evidence in front of their eyes.
PHOTO: Screengrab from Campaign Against Antisemitism video of the anti-Israel protest in London on 13 January 2023. Links to the three videos produced on that day are available to watch above.
The aftermath of the 7 October Hamas pogrom in Israel has made the rethinking of anti-Semitism a more urgent task than ever. Both the extent and character of anti-Semitism is changing. Tragically the open expression of anti-Semitic views is once again becoming respectable. It has also become clearer than ever that anti-Semitism is no longer largely confined to the far right. Woke anti-Semitism and Islamism have also become significant forces.
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