Anti-Semitism is rampant throughout the world

A new report released by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) shows that French Jews live in fear of anti-Semitism, and the majority have experienced anti-Semitism directly. According to the 900-page report, 86% of French Jews believe they live under the threat of anti-Semitic attacks and 56% believe the threat level is significant. 44% reported that, following the October 7 Hamas massacre, they refrain from wearing items that would identify them as Jewish in public, such as kippas and the Star of David. THE

The report shows that accidents in France almost quadrupled, from 436 in 2022 to 1,676 last year. About 20% of French Jews have removed their mezuzahs from their doorposts so as not to attract the attention of anti-Semites. 25% have experienced an anti-Semitic attack since October 7. Of the anti-Semitic incidents that occurred last year in France, 74% occurred after October 7, 2023, when Hamas terrorists killed around 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 253 others, triggering an ongoing military campaign by Israel to Gaza and daily firefights with Hezbollah along the border with Lebanon. The report also showed that there has been a significant increase in anti-Semitic sentiments among the Muslim population in France and that schools are a common site of anti-Semitic attacks.

The authors of the chapter on France interviewed Jonas Jacquelin, the rabbi of the Copernic Street Synagogue, the first Reform synagogue in France. He does not wear a kippah on the street, partly because he has been taught not to and partly “because he does not want to provoke anti-Semitic attacks,” the authors wrote. “The year is not 1938, nor even 1933,” the professor wrote in a press release. Uriya Shavit, head of the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the Irwin Cotler Institute. «However, if current trends continue, the curtain will fall on the ability to lead a Jewish life in the West: wearing a Star of David, attending synagogues and community centers, sending children to Jewish schools, attending a Jewish club on campus or speaking Hebrew ».

In the United States, the count more than doubled, from 3,697 incidents in 2022 to 7,523 last year, with 52% of the 2023 total occurring after October 7. In Canada, the increase was from 65 to 132; in the United Kingdom from 1,662 to 4,103; in Germany from 2,639 to 3,614, in Italy from 241 to 454 (almost double). The 148-page report contains a chapter dedicated to anti-Semitism on US campuses, where the ADL recorded 913 incidents in 2023, or 12% of the entire country's annual tally. For Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn “today anti-Semitism seems to have taken firm root in the academic world.”

The research highlights that the rise in anti-Semitism was already underway before the Gaza war began on 7 October. In the United States, for example, cases of racial hatred against Jews in the first nine months of 2023 were 3,547 compared to 2,697 in the same period in 2022. In France, between January and September 2023, 434 cases were recorded compared to 329 the previous year, while in the UK 1,404 cases were reported compared to 1,270 in the same period. Only in Germany and Austria, where government programs to combat anti-Semitism are active, there was a decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, although overall they increased compared to the previous year since beginning of the conflict in Gaza. The report could not gather data on anti-Semitism in Russia, but highlighted the constant anti-Semitic rhetoric of Vladimir Putin and other members of the Russian government, confirming the warning of the chief rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt, in early 2023 that “Jews would be better off outside Russia before becoming a scapegoat for the regime.”