Antisemitic hate crimes grew in the US and Europe over the past few weeks amid tensions in Palestine and Israel

Pro Palestinian and pro Israeli protesters face off in a violent clash in Times Square on May 20, 2021 in New York City.
Pro Palestinian and pro Israeli protesters face off in a violent clash in Times Square on May 20, 2021 in New York City.

  • 193 antisemitic attacks were reported to the ADL in the week after Israeli-Hamas tensions started.
  • Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire starting on Friday after 11 days of fighting.
  • The attacks left more than 200 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hate crimes against Jews in several US cities, as well as Europe, have surged in the past couple of weeks amid clashes in Gaza and Israel.

“As the violence between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, we are witnessing a dangerous and drastic surge in anti-Jewish hate. We are tracking acts of harassment, vandalism and violence as well as a torrent of online abuse. It’s happening around the world- from London to Los Angeles, from France to Florida, in big cities like NYC and in small towns, and across every social media platform,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement.

At least 232 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,900 were wounded in Gaza during the 11 days of conflict, which ended on Friday after a ceasefire. Around 72,000 people, mainly in Gaza, were displaced.

12 Israelis were also killed.

The ADL, which tracks antisemitic incidents, said in the week after the fighting in Israel and Palestine began they received 193 reports, an increase from the 131 reports they received the week prior.

Police in New York City and Los Angeles are investigating antisemitic assaults.

The Los Angeles Police Department said they’re investigating an incident where two cars attempted to chase down a Jewish man on Monday in the Fairfax District of the city. People in the car were waving Palestinian flags, video of the incident showed.

The man escaped and was uninjured.

In another incident the following day, police said a string of cars waving Palestinian flags drove through the district, which is considered a Jewish hub, and stopped in front of a restaurant. Drivers harassed diners and fights ensued. Several people were injured.

In New York City, police arrested 23-year-old Waseem Awawdeh and are searching for several more suspects in the beating of a 29-year-old Jewish man in Times Square on Thursday during pro-Palestine and pro-Israel demonstrations.

The victim was released from a local hospital after being treated for minor injuries.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, the ADL reported that antisemitic rhetoric and attacks have been on the rise in person and online.

The organizations said that between May 7 and May 14, more than 17,000 tweets could be found that used variations of the phrase, “Hitler was right.”

The ADL found incidents of antisemitism across the globe, from a Jewish community center that was vandalized with graffiti that read “We are going to kill you” and “Jewish rats” alongside a Star of David in Argentina, to protesters hurling rocks and shouting slurs at pro-Israel demonstrators in Montreal, Canada.

In the UK, The Community Security Trust said antisemitic incidents were up fivefold since the fighting in Israel and Palestine began.

The group recorded 116 incidents between May 8 and May 19, up from 19 incidents in the 11 days prior.

The ADL reported that antisemitism has been on the rise in the US for a few years, with 327 incidents reported in 2020, a 40% rise from 2019, where 234 incidents were reported.

The recent tensions in Israel and Palestine have also resulted in a rise in Islamophobic attacks. While there isn’t comprehensive data, several mosques have reported vandalism in recent weeks, NBC reported.

On May 13, Police in New York City found “hate graffiti” spray painted on the door of the Tayba Islamic Center in Brooklyn. NBC reported that congregates celebrating Eid, which marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan, found reportedly found “Death to Palestine,” painted on the door.

Another mosque in Long Island was also found vandalized and had a sacred flag burned, NBC reported.

Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, called the attacks on Jews and Muslims in the US “despicable.

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