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Report shows 58% rise in antisemitic events globally in 2023

Pro-Israel demonstrators attend a rally denouncing antisemitism and antisemitic attacks, in lower Manhattan, New York, on May 23, 2021. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

A new report shows an alarming rise in antisemitic incidents in 2023 compared to the previous year and that hatred of Jews is emerging on both wings of the political spectrum.

The group Combat Antisemitism Movement, through their Antisemitism Research Center, says they recorded 3,046 incidents of antisemitism globally last year, up 58.2% from 2022, when the group says they recorded 1,925 incidents.

“This highlights a concerning international increase in levels of antisemitism,” report authors write.

Not only did rates of antisemitism soar as a whole — with many incidents coming not long after the October 7 terrorist attack against Israel — researchers say that for the first time since they started recording and tracking world-wide incidents of hate against Jews, the bigotry came as often from “far-left” actors as it did from the “far-right” groups.

“’A Data-Driven Look at Antisemitism in 2023,’ the latest report by the Combat Antisemitism Movement, revealed that, for the first time since we began tracking, far-left and far-right antisemitic incidents have reached parity,” CAM Chief of Staff Arthur Maserjian told the Boston Herald.

According to the report, when the thousands of antisemitic events that occurred in 2023 are examined, analysis showed 1,021 incidents caused by “far-right sources” and 1,019 caused by the “far left.”

Another 571 incidents, or 18.7% of occurrences, were separately classified as “Islamist incidents” and 435, or 14.3%, were categorized as “unattributable, indicating unclear motivations of the perpetrators.”

Maserjian says the report demonstrates the need for a holistic approach when it comes to fighting hatred.

“With antisemitic incidents on the rise worldwide, the report underscores the importance of addressing antisemitism across the ideological spectrum with equal measure,” he said. “CAM believes strongly that antisemitism can’t be confronted and marginalized until it is identified, which is why we put so many resources into data and research to identify trends in antisemitism that can help inform effective policy solutions.”

About a third of antisemitic incidents observed last year — or 1,174, — occurred in the United States. Researchers say that about half of U.S. based antisemitism came from the “far right” and about 30% from the “far left.” Most of those events were incidents of “hateful conduct or speech” or acts of vandalism. About 8%, or 97 incidents, “included the use or threat of violence.”

While much of the antisemitism seen emerging in 2023 came following the attack by the terrorist group Hamas on Israeli civilians living near the Gaza Strip on October 7, study authors note that rates of antisemitism were already ticking upwards before the attack and the subsequent war between Israel and Hamas.

“The annual increase of 58.2% in monitored incidents of antisemitism can largely be attributed to the events of October 7th and the subsequent waves of hatred targeting Jewish communities globally. However, it is crucial to note that antisemitism in 2023 was already on the rise before the Hamas attack. In the first three quarters of 2023, pre-October 7th, the ARC monitored a total of 1,402 incidents of antisemitism. This represents a 3.9% increase compared to the 1,350 monitored incidents during the same time period in 2022,” they wrote.

The rise of hatred against Jews seen on the “far left,” according to the report, can be directly attributed to a rise in antisemitism seen on U.S. college campuses, where it is often wrapped in “in guises of acceptable discourse.”

While U.S. College campuses are usually seen as “bastions for the free exchange of ideas,” according to the report, a shift in the rhetoric used in discussions of Israel and Palestine will require examination.

“Over the years, anti-Israel campus groups have adopted rhetoric grounded in universal progressive ideals, effectively cloaking their criticisms in broader socio-political frameworks. The use of anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism narratives has been particularly notable and effective in providing a justification for acts of violence against Israelis,” study authors wrote.

The study authors say that “effective policy making” can help stop the rise of antisemitism globally.

“Policymakers must prioritize legislation as a means of combating antisemitism in all its forms. By emphasizing legislation, policymakers not only act as a deterrent to antisemitic behavior but also contribute to a collective commitment to eradicating this age-old prejudice, working toward a world rooted in respect, understanding, and unity,” they conclude.


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