Israel’s Western-backed massacre of Gazans has sparked hostility against Jews around the world

Anti-Semitic graffiti is seen scrawled on a letter box, showing a portrait of late Holocaust survivor Simone Weil, in a photo taken in Paris on February 11, 2019. —AFP
Anti-Semitic graffiti is seen scrawled on a letter box, showing a portrait of late Holocaust survivor Simone Weil, in a photo taken in Paris on February 11, 2019. —AFP

There has been a worrying rise in hatred against the Jewish community across the world since the October 7 attack by Hamas on southern Israel and the subsequent brutal bombardment by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

Incidents include verbal abuse, online abuse, threats, stalking and physical attacks. These actions often stoke anger over the Gaza conflict, using it as a pretext for aggression against Jews.

Some reports indicate that Islamophobic incidents also increased during this period in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. The growing intensity of the Gaza conflict and the trauma of October 7 have increased many Jews’ sense of fear and insecurity.

In countries where data is available, a clear pattern has emerged. In places like the United States, Britain, France, Germany and South Africa, hatred against the Jewish community has increased by 100% compared to the same period last year.

Most of these incidents involve verbal abuse, online abuse, threats, graffiti, and damage to Jewish properties, businesses, or sites of religious significance. Physical attacks represent a significant proportion.

A common thread is that anger over the deaths of thousands of Palestinians due to Israel’s bombing of Gaza is commonly used as a justification for verbal or physical aggression toward Jews. This is often accompanied by the use of profanity and derision rooted in a long history of hatred against the Jewish community.

“This is the scariest time to be a Jew since World War II. We’ve had problems before, but in my lifetime things have been this bad,” said Anthony Adler, 62, speaking outside a synagogue in the Golders Green neighborhood of London. Never was.” A large Jewish community.

Adler, which runs three Jewish schools, temporarily closed two of them after October 7 due to fears of attacks on students and increased security at all three.

The climate of fear for many Jews is worse than ever, with an increase in hatred against the Jewish community linked to the flare-up of violence in the Middle East, partly due to the intensification of the Gaza conflict and partly due to the trauma of October 7. .

“The idea that Israel was the last refuge is shattered by what happened on October 7,” said political scientist Nona Meyer, a member of France’s CNCDH, an independent human rights commission.

The most horrific incident globally was the attack on Sunday at an airport in Russia’s Dagestan region by a furious mob seeking to harm Jews after a flight arrived from Tel Aviv. Rabbi Alexander Boroda, chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, said in response that anti-Israel sentiment has turned into open aggression toward Russian Jews.

Azerbaijan’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Shneur Segal, said the incident showed that “anti-Semites will use any pretext to terrorize the dwindling numbers of survivors in the Caucasus – the current Middle East crisis is the latest”. “And where do they think they’re driving these Jews? The same country whose existence is so abhorrent to them!” he said, referring to Israel.

But without reaching such extremes, a series of events around the world illustrate the fear and stress affecting Jewish communities. In Buenos Aires, pupils at a well-known Jewish school were told not to wear their usual uniform so as not to be easily identified, parents said.

Other schools canceled planned camping trips and activities outside their campuses. At Cornell University in suburban New York, security was increased around the Center for Jewish Living after online threats, including calls to bomb it.

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