Israel-Hamas War Sparks Increased Incidents of Antisemitism, Islamophobia

Since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7th, incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States have increased dramatically. According to the Anti-Defamation League (“the ADL”), the number of antisemitic incidents has increased 337% since October 7th, which is the highest number in any two months since the ADL began tracking these incidents in 1979. Between October 7th and December 7th, the ADL recorded 2,031 incidents, which equates to more than 34 incidents per day over the last 61 days. During the same period in 2022, the ADL reported 465 incidents. 

Likewise, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) received 2,171 complaints during roughly the same period, representing a 172% increase over the same period in 2022. First Amendment issues topped the list of complaints (33.94%), followed by employment (22.38%), hate crime and speech (16.97%), and education and bullying (14.08%). CAIR characterizes the current wave of anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States as “the worst in three decades.”

The U.S. is not the only country experiencing significant increases in antisemitic and anti-Muslim incidents and rhetoric. Reuters has reported these incidents occurring in many countries on six out of seven continents. 

CAIR and the ADL continue to call for the White House to take a stand against the violence occurring in the Israel-Hamas war, as well as the protection of the civilians in Gaza. Meanwhile, in the United States, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued recommendations for the security of Jewish and Muslim houses of worship and community centers. College campuses are taking measures to emphasize inclusion for all, as well as protect and ensure security for both Jewish and Muslim students after protests by both factions have led to violence and arrests. However, discerning between legitimate political criticism that constitutes protected speech and actual threats and intimidation directed toward an ethnic or faith-based community is not always as straightforward as it might seem.

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