Global antisemitic incidents during the Hamas-Israel war

Since the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7 there has been an unprecidented increase in both offline and online antisemitism around the world. There has also been a rise in online and offline Islamohpobia. This article collates some of the early data, both our own and from what others have reported around the world. If you have a report we could consider adding, please contact us.

The Online Hate Prevention Institute’s Work

The Online Hate Prevention Institute is currently working with the Online Hate Task Force (Belgium) on collating data on both antisemitism and Islamophobia. The project “Documenting a Moment of Hate” is currently underway with six analysts gathering data. The project has not been funded by a sponsor and donations to support the work are welcome.

We will be presenting our finding at a meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) later this month, along with data of online antisemitism in Australia in the period up to September 30th (an update to our previous report on Online Antisemitism in Australia in 2023). In the meantime we have published the following:

Online Antisemitism the week after October 7

Online: The EU based De-Coding Antisemitism monitors comments on social media made in reply to news articles / videos by mainstream media in multiple countries. In a report analysing 11,200 comments on YouTube and Facebook, in response to media content from the UK, France, and Germany, they found that in the first week since the Hamas attack there was a dramatic increase in both the volume of antisemitism and the nature of the antisemitism.

  • Empirically the report found that the density of antisemitic comments increased dramatically. In some cases it was as high as 50% to 60% of all comments. Previous reports found 10%-15% of comments on French articles and 20-25% of comments on UK articles were antisemitic.
    • In one threat of comments, responding to a video by the UK’s Independent and showing details of the massacre in the Kfar Aza kibbutz, 54% of all comments were antisemitic. The researchers state they were suprised by the comments and that they represent “a new extreme point between a lack of empathy and open gloating.”
  • In previous studies, including during times of conflict between Palestinians and Israels, the antisemitic narratives included:
    • Classic antisemitic tropes: e.g. claiming Israel is evil or controls the world
    • New antisemitism: e.g. describing Israel as colonial, apartheid, or Nazi like, often combined with denying Israel’s right to exist
    • Demonisation of Israel was used to justify attacks by Palestinians, which would then spark a cycle of violence
    • The report explains that in its data the “explicit affirmation, glorification or celebrations of violent killings of Jews” was rare.
  • In the current study, looking at comments made since October 7, the researchers “found a significant rise in the number of comments directly affirming and glorifying the Hamas attacks, or calling for further attacks through the use of threats and death wishes”. They explain their data suggests “that the events have been marked by “a normalisation of explicit hate speech and a potential radicalisation of even politically moderate online milieus.”

Antisemitism reports by country

Australia: SBS reports that in the week after the Hamas attack the Executive Council of Australia Jewry recorded 37 anti-Jewish incidents comapred to 1 in the previous week, while over that week and the following week Islamophobia Register recorded 51 reports of Islamophobia.

UK: The CST recorded 600 antisemitic incidents in the first 17 days since the terrorist attack. That figure is unprecidented in their 39 year history and an increase of 641% compared to the same period the previous year. They note “these hateful comments, threats to life and physical attacks are laced with the language and symbols of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel politics.” The CST figures excludes anti-Israel activity unless that activity involves explicit antisemitic language or targets the Jewish community. 358 additional incident reports were excluded on this basis.

France: The Prime Minister reported that 850 antisemitic acts were reported to French authorities during the three weeks following the Hamas attack. This is significantly more than the 436 incidents reported over the entire previous year. In 2015 France suffered a deadly terrorist attack aimed at a Jewish supermarket and tensions right now are high.

Germany: The Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (Bundesverband RIAS) documented almost 300 incidents in Germany in the week between October 7 and 15. They have verified 202 of these as antisemitic incidents connected to the Hamas-Israel war, and other reports are still being verified. A more recent report on Berlin noted 70 varified antisemitic incidents in the city between October 7 and 18.

United States: The ADL reports a 400% rise in antisemitism between October 7 and 23 with 312 incidents, 190 directly linked to the Hamas-Israel war. The data includes 109 anti-Israel rallies that went beyond support for Palestinians and promoted violence against Jews in Israel or expressed explicit or strong implicity support for Hamas. A number of incidents in the United States are linked to universities and in one case a student was arrested after making online threats to commit a massacre of Jewish students at Cornell University.

Canada: While national statistics do not yet appear to be available, police in Toronto reported a 132% increase in hate crime reports in the two weeks following the Hamas attack. This included 12 reports of antisemitic hate crimes and 2 reports of Islamohpobic hate crimes. Police in Montreal also reported an increase with 25 reports hate targeting the Jewish community (12 hate crimes and 13 hate incidents) and 11 reports of hate (4 hate crimes and 7 hate incidents) targeting the Muslim and Arab communities. This compared to a total of 50 hate crimes and 21 incidents in Montreal targeting people based on their religion for the whole of 2022

China: The Diplomat reports that Chinese social media has been flooded with hate speech, most of it antisemitic and a smaller amount Islamohpobic. It is unlawful in China but little seems to be being done about it and there is no measurement of it.

Other countries: Reuters has this summary of antisemitism rising in different countries.