Violence Against Jews Increases Worldwide

Antisemitic Wildfire: Violence Rapidly Spreads Worldwide


Increasingly vicious assaults on Jews around the world are forcing Jews to question their place in local communities. Anti-Jewish hatred knows no borders. From the rape of a 12-year-old Jewish girl in France to attacks on synagogues in Russia and the pogrom against Jews in Los Angeles, proves once again that antisemitism is a dangerous virus.

At the same time, Israel is facing an increasingly dangerous threat on its northern border from the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization. Hezbollah’s rampant rocket fire into northern Israel has forced nearly 100,000 Israelis from their homes indefinitely.

Northern Israel: ‘All day you hear bombs’

Goni Harash works as a security guard on a kibbutz: “On the one hand people are happy to be here. You can’t hide and people don’t want to hide. But everything is really tense. All day you can hear bombs, sirens and alarms. My kids used to walk to school. Now they don’t walk anywhere on their own.”

Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists in southern Lebanon have launched more than 5,000 rockets, missiles and drones at Israel since 10/7, forcing Israeli residents to flee their homes, schools and businesses. One-third of the homes in the town of Metula have been destroyed by rocket fire. There is no end in sight. A leading counter-terrorism expert warned that Hezbollah – boasting a 100,000-member fighting force – would use the “same cruelty as Hamas on 10/7, just on a much larger scale.”

Hezbollah began firing rockets against Israel on Oct. 8 in a show of unity with Hamas, another Iranian proxy. The deadly onslaught has killed 11 civilians, 19 soldiers, destroyed homes and burned thousands of acres of land. In recent attacks, Hezbollah swarmed northern Israel with attack drones, injured two members of an Israeli town’s security team in a missile attack and launched dozens of rockets into Israel.

The Israeli Air Force has responded by targeting key terrorist leaders and weapons facilities. The UN secretary general expressed concern about Israel’s response yet it is Hezbollah that systematically violates United Nations Security Council resolutions.

A map showing the increased range and lethality of Hezbollah rockets from 2006 to today. (Jewish Institute for National Security of America, The Next Unthinkable Attack: Growing Risks of a Third Lebanon War, Oct. 2023)

Beirut International Airport: Hub for Hezbollah

Hezbollah and Hamas execute the same tactic of using civilian areas to house rockets, explosives and weapons. Workers at Beirut International Airport recently revealed to The Telegraph, a British newspaper:

  • “For years I have been watching Hezbollah operating at Beirut airport.”
  • “Hezbollah’s second in command is always showing up at customs.”
  • “If they keep bringing in these goods I’m not allowed to check, I really believe I’ll die from the explosion.”
  • “This is extremely serious, mysterious large boxes arriving on direct flights from Iran are a sign that things got worse.”
  • “It’s just a matter of time before a disaster.”

A Hezbollah minister in the Lebanese government responded by leading reporters and ambassadors on a tour of the Lebanese capital’s airport to prove that “there is nothing to hide.” However, the group was barred from accessing the airport area where the weapons are suspected of being stored, abruptly ending the tour. Hezbollah effectively controls large areas of Lebanon, including its border with Israel.

Hezbollah is Armed to the Teeth: Could Fire 3,000 Rockets per Day

Tens of thousands of Iran-backed fighters in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other countries have volunteered to join Hezbollah in southern Lebanon for a full-scale war against Israel. Hezbollah’s leader recently declined their invitation because “we are overwhelmed by the number we have.”

Hezbollah is armed with more than 200,000 lethal drones, missiles and rockets. Its precision-guided rockets armed with deadly warheads are capable of reaching every major Israeli city. Senior American officials recently assured Israel that the Biden administration would fully back Israel in an all-out war, but are concerned what this would mean for Israel. Officials are worried that the Iron Dome defense system would be overwhelmed and it does not defend against drone attacks. Hezbollah is capable of firing 3,000 rockets per day.

Hezbollah openly threatened Israel in a recent ten-minute video of drone footage showing strategic sites in northern Israel. Haifa is Israel’s third largest city. Potential targets included Haifa’s port and a navy facility.

Support for Hezbollah and Hamas Growing in America: ‘Invest in Western students’

A Hezbollah member of the Lebanese parliament recently stressed that “we should invest in the Western students. We need to enter the heart of Western societies.” Days later, a Lebanese government minister emphasized that “an American student holding a Hezbollah flag is a symbol, that Hezbollah speaks on this student’s behalf.” The following week at NY’s Hunter College, anti-Israel protesters waved Hezbollah and Hamas flags. They glorified terrorism as they held banners and chanted slogans, including “Long live October 7.”

Increasing Attacks on American Jews: From Synagogues to Sidewalks

More than 150 anti-Israel protesters surrounded an LA synagogue, blocked Jews from entering their house of worship and chanted that a violent intifada is the “only solution.” Violence ensued. Journalists reported that Jews were beaten and pepper sprayed. A video clip showed two assailants armed with clubs driving into a neighborhood attempting to attack a man walking his dog. At a gas station, police arrested a couple after they yelled from their car and drove towards Jews waving flags on the sidewalk.

Resident Sam Yerbi described the attacks as “hunting Jews.” President Biden: “I’m appalled by the scenes outside the LA synagogue. Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic and un-American. Americans have a right to peaceful protest. But blocking access to a house of worship – and engaging in violence – is never acceptable.”

Anti-Israel protesters being arrested by police outside an LA gas station. Their young child is strapped into his car seat while they taunt Jews waving Jewish and Israeli flags. (Video screenshot)

Bomb threats were sent to more than 50 Florida synagogues. Local Rabbi Yisroel Harlig: “The climate of the country and the world is seeing more antisemitism coming to a head since Oct. 7. It is sad. We as a Jewish community must say that we are not going to accept it. We are not going to run away.”

An antisemite spat on a 74-year-old Jewish man on the street in NYC, then shouted, “Free Palestine.” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez helped remove anti-Israel graffiti from a kosher bagel shop that was targeted for the fourth time, where vandals had sprayed “Free Palestine.” A NY Jewish family was physically assaulted at their children’s 5th-grade commencement ceremony by assailants shouting, “Free Palestine, death to Israel.” The police arrested an attacker who punched and dragged the father.

Worldwide Antisemitism Surges: French Kids Gang Rape 12-Year-Old Girl Because She is Jewish

French police arrested two 13-year-old boys who gang raped a girl in a Paris suburb. She was dragged from a park to a shed, where she was beaten and raped while the perpetrators “uttered death threats and antisemitic remarks.” They questioned her about “her Jewish religion” and Israel, and called her a “dirty Jew.” A 12-year-old boy also was charged in the attack.

Hundreds of French citizens turned out for a protest rally against antisemitism, with one banner reading: “Raped at 12 because she was Jewish.” Exactly one week later, three goons assaulted six Jewish children outside a movie theater in another Paris suburb. One victim was slapped several times. French prosecutors also charged two teens – one a minor – for planning terrorist attacks against Jewish targets. The 19-year-old was charged with the “acquisition and possession of arms for a terrorist enterprise.”

There have been several significant attacks against Jews for simply being Jews in France since 2006, with many of the perpetrators motivated by anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. This includes 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll who was stabbed 11 times and set on fire in her Paris apartment in 2018.

The Antisemitism Worldwide Report for 2023 recently concluded: “Oct. 7 helped spread a fire that was already out of control. Antisemitism isn’t just an abstract issue. It’s a real-life threat to Jewish life in America and Jews around the world.” Other recent attacks: a Holocaust museum sign in Montreal was vandalized with “F%#@ Israel” graffiti, a memorial for Belgian resistance fighters who saved Jews during the Holocaust was defaced with graffiti and Islamic terrorists killed 19 in Russia in attacks on both synagogues and churches.

A synagogue was damaged by Islamic terrorists in Russia, a plaque and memorial honoring non-Jewish resistance fighters who saved Jews during the Holocaust was vandalized in Belgium and a Holocaust museum sign was defaced in Montreal.

Tree of Life Synagogue Serves as Powerful Reminder: ‘Learn lessons of the past’

A groundbreaking ceremony for a new synagogue, museum and memorial site was held on June 23 commemorating the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh – the scene of the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history in 2018. The attacker believed in multiple anti-Jewish conspiracy theories that led him to murder 11 Jews during Shabbat prayer services.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro: “I know this is a difficult time in America, on college campuses and in our town squares. Antisemitism is rising, and some world leaders offer permission slips to hate. Here, on this sacred ground, we should learn the lessons of the past, develop the tools to speak up and build safer communities for all.”

1. Iran is committed to destroying the Jewish state and fueling violence against Jews

Iran and Hezbollah present an existential threat to Israeli citizens. Iran’s support for Hezbollah ensures a steady stream of weapons, funding and training, enabling relentless attacks on Israel that have created a climate of fear and instability since 10/7. The goal is to destroy Israel, not to free Lebanon from occupation. Iran’s leaders openly call for Israel’s annihilation, and Hezbollah mirrors this intent with its actions and rhetoric. International leaders and organizations need to recognize that this threat is not confined to Israel’s borders because it also fuels worldwide anti-Jewish sentiment and violence.

2. Americans would NOT tolerate attacks from Canada against Michigan

Relentless assaults from Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists have forced tens of thousands of Israelis on the northern border to abandon their homes, schools and businesses – where the escalation of violence and the untenable status quo demand immediate attention. Just as Americans would refuse to accept such a threat to their citizens, the international community must recognize the urgency of protecting Israeli lives and ensuring their safety.

3. Calls to ‘Free Palestine’ are not a license to attack Jews

While advocating for Palestinian rights is valid, using it as a justification to attack Jews is not. Slogans like ‘Free Palestine’ are increasingly used to justify violent attacks on Jewish individuals and communities worldwide. Jews are being raped, assaulted and spat on under the banner of ‘Free Palestine.’ Anti-Jewish violence under the guise of political protest is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned. Politicians, activists and community leaders need to emphasize that support for Palestinians does not mean harming Jews and denying Israel’s existence – and may ultimately hurt the Palestinian cause. Promoting peace and justice requires rejecting all forms of hatred and violence.

4. The masks are off: bigots openly spew hatred and physically attack Jews

Anti-Jewish bigots increasingly feel emboldened. Social media incitement, public verbal abuse and ‘Jew hunts’ are rapidly escalating in Jewish communities around the world. Recent events in America and France are only latest examples of this disturbing trend. It has become fashionable again to target Jews, sometimes without fear of arrest. ‘Zionist’ has become a code word for Jew, allowing bigots to justify attacks. This trend has led to a surge in hate crimes. People of good conscience need to recognize and address this blatant anti-Jewish hatred to ensure that Jewish people can live safely and without fear.

Use your voice and actions to speak out!

Call out anti-Jewish hatred wherever it appears, whether in conversations, on social media or in public forums. Support Jewish communities by attending events, sharing educational resources and amplifying their voices. Challenge discriminatory language and behavior whenever you encounter it, when safety allows. Advocate for stronger laws and policies that protect against hate crimes. Engage with and support organizations dedicated to combating antisemitism. Your actions – no matter how small – contribute to a larger movement against hatred and towards a more inclusive and respectful society. Speak out and make a difference.

Antisemitism: Four Clear Reasons Why Catholics Must Speak Up

Teresa Pirola, ThD, is a freelance writer and faith educator and author of Catholic-Jewish Relations: Twelve Key Themes for Teaching and PreachingExcerpts from a recent essay:

When it comes to antisemitism, Catholics have a document, a history, a relationship and a teaching which amount to a serious obligation to call out this lethal prejudice and to offer the support so desperately needed by Jewish communities after Oct. 7.

The Second Vatican Council taught that the Church “decries hatred, persecutions, displays of antisemitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.” This is a critical time for Catholic leaders, teachers and preachers to give firm voice to their Church’s teaching on antisemitism, from pulpits and podiums, through ecclesial statements and media, in education and justice activities.

Catholics, like all Christians, have an antisemitic history that weighs on their collective conscience. Toxic distortions of Christian thought were contributing factors to the social conditions that allowed the ideology of Nazism to take root and the Holocaust to occur. This shocking historical backdrop makes it inexcusable for Christians today to remain silent.

When Jews today are vilified, mocked, attacked, abducted and murdered, one would expect followers of Jesus to instinctively raise a full-throated and united voice in protest, out of a relationship of faith, not mention of a shared humanity. When their public voice is hesitant, half-hearted or absent, antisemites are emboldened, social cohesion is weakened and Jews are abandoned.

Anti-Israel Activists Proudly Celebrate Arson Attacks: ‘Blessed is the flame’

Anti-Israel activists recently took credit for firebombing a building on the University of California at Berkeley campus because of the treatment of protesters at the UCLA campus. Their statement voiced support for “incinerating every building on the Berkeley campus. Long live the student intifada for Palestine liberation. The UC system must divest from Israel or face our wrath of revenge. Blessed is the flame.” Days later, the police arrested a “scholar activist” for four campus arson attacks. His lawyer claims he is being persecuted for his “free Palestine” beliefs.

An anti-Israel group took credit for arson attacks at the University of California at Berkeley campus and used it to promote their group. Operation Campus Flood is derived from the name Hamas gave for their violent attack against Israel on 10/7.

‘We don’t want zionists ANYWHERE’

Nerdeen Kiswani – who rose to prominence with her anti-Israel CUNY law school graduation speech in 2022 – continues to incite violence against Jews. The virulently anti-Israel activist, tweeted: “We don’t want zionists (sic) in Palestine, NYC, our schools, on the train, ANYWHERE.” The organization she leads is at the forefront of fomenting hate against students on campus. She openly advocates for violence against Israel, and her calls to “globalize the Intifada” are viewed as support for attacks against Jews worldwide. Zionist is used as a code word for Jew.

Columbia Univ. at Epicenter of Student Intifada

Columbia Univ. suspended three top administrators who sent disparaging texts to each other while attending a panel on the past, present and future of Jewish life on campus. The vice dean of the liberal arts college of the prestigious university texted a vomit emoji to describe an editorial – sounding the alarm on antisemitism – written by the university’s campus rabbi.

Days later, the Columbia Task Force on Antisemitism detailed its findings of anti-Jewish incidents. These included a professor asking a student with a Jewish sounding name to explain their views on the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza and another professor telling their class to avoid reading mainstream media because “it is owned by the Jews.”

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office dropped charges against most of the protesters who stormed the university’s Hamilton Hall because of a lack of evidence. Recently, the StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice amended their federal lawsuit against the university, alleging coordinated antisemitic actions that Columbia knew about and enabled.

102-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Graces the Cover of Vogue Germany: ‘A remarkable woman’

Holocaust survivor Margot Friedländer is the cover star of new Vogue Germany issue – dedicated to love. She “was betrayed, deported to a concentration camp and traumatized,” yet spreads a message of love:

“I can even speak for those who didn’t make it. My word is needed, I have an obligation. I tell people all the time: we are the same. There is no Christian, Muslim, or Jewish blood. There is only human blood. Antisemitism has always existed. It just depends on how he shows himself.”


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This content is developed by The Focus Project in partnership with Mercaz USA. The Focus Project distributes weekly news and talking points on timely issues concerning Israel and the Jewish people, including antisemitism, anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of Israel. It represents a consensus view across a spectrum of major American Jewish organizations. Mercaz USA recognizes and respects the diversity of views on these issues among its readers and the community at large.

The Focus Project develops and distributes news, background, history and weekly talking points on timely issues to inform individuals and organizations about issues affecting the American Jewish community and Israel, and help readers speak with more consistency and clarity. The editions also provide potential responses for addressing incidents of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. With input from a spectrum of major American Jewish organizations, we focus on that which unites us, rising above political and individual agendas.
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