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Mass murder of Jews in Israel has sparked major upsurge of antisemitism internationally 

Oct 24, 2023 | Galit Jones

A vandalised synagogue in Lyon, France, with Arabic graffiti that reads “Victory to our brothers in Gaza and “Glorious Gaza” (Twitter/X)
A vandalised synagogue in Lyon, France, with Arabic graffiti that reads “Victory to our brothers in Gaza and “Glorious Gaza” (Twitter/X)

In the wake of the mass murder of some 1200 Israelis by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, including babies and toddlers, women and the elderly, with at least 200 others abducted as hostages to Gaza, Jewish communities around the world have been reporting a major upsurge in antisemitism and antisemitic violence.

The wave of hate has only intensified since media outlets uncritically parroted the false accusation made by Hamas that Israel had bombed a hospital in Gaza. This claim has now been thoroughly refuted, with all evidence indicating that in reality, it was a rocket launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) from within Gaza that caused the explosion which killed an unknown number of Palestinians in a car park outside Gaza’s Al-Ahli hospital.

Below are a number of examples:

UK: Local kosher restaurant in the Golders Green neighbourhood vandalised, glass door shattered. According to the Community Security Trust (CST), there was a surge of over 300% in antisemitic incidents in the four days following the Hamas massacre on Oct. 7. Twelve days after the attack and following the spread of the false reports on the Gaza hospital explosion, this number had swelled to 731%, with incidents ranging from physical and verbal abuse to vandalism and online threats. An Orthodox Jew was punched on a bus in London and his religious head covering stolen. The word “Jews” was painted on a wall next to a picture of Adolf Hitler in central London. Jews have reported being on the receiving end of antisemitic abuse shouted from passing cars. Across the country there have been 15 assaults, 25 acts of vandalism to Jewish property, 57 direct threats and 66 incidents of abusive behaviour including graffiti and online trolling since Hamas’ massacre, according to the CST figures.

FRANCE: According to French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, within the first week after Oct. 7 more than 100 antisemitic incidents were recorded.  The Minister said, “There are people in front of synagogues, in large numbers, shouting threats.” Reports included graffiti displaying swastikas and ‘death to Jews’, calls for intifadas against Israel and threats to synagogues and to customers who have visited Jewish businesses. Arrests were made of individuals with edged weapons at the entrance to a Jewish school, and a drone equipped with cameras that flew into the courtyard of a Jewish cultural site.  Floods of complaints have been made about antisemitic hate speech and glorification of terrorism online.

SPAIN: On the same day as the Hamas attacks, a synagogue in central Madrid was vandalised with antisemitic graffiti that read “Free Palestine” next to a crossed-out Star of David.

Following the false Gaza hospital accusations, on Oct. 18, hundreds of pro-Palestine rioters attacked a synagogue in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa while worshippers were inside. The rioters were dispersed by police, and no injuries resulted.

PORTUGAL: The Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue in Porto was covered in graffiti reading “Free Palestine” and “End Israeli Apartheid”.

GERMANY: On Oct. 18, following the Gaza hospital claims, two petrol bombs were thrown at the Kahal Adass Yisroel Synagogue in Berlin, in a building that also houses a Jewish community centre and kindergarten. Multiple Jewish homes and buildings were earlier spray-painted with the Star of David

European Union: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament on Oct. 18 that, “We are seeing a rise in antisemitic incidents, including here in Europe. Synagogues have been vandalised. Hate speech and fake news are spreading at worrying speed, and this is something that we simply cannot accept.”

TUNISIA: On Oct. 18, hundreds of people were filmed setting fire to the historic synagogue in Al-Hammah, planting Palestinian flags, and chipping away at the building’s walls, reducing it to rubble. The grave of a 16th-century rabbi, a historic pilgrimage site for some Jews, was heavily damaged.

SWITZERLAND: Geneva city workers have been working to remove antisemitic graffiti across the city in the last weeks, with many of the tags accompanied by swastikas.

BELGIUM: Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said that two Jewish people had been attacked on the evening of Oct. 17 in Ypres (West Flanders). The perpetrators were identified on surveillance cameras.

BUENOS AIRES: Bomb threats ats have been made against the Israeli and American embassies.

CANADA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that since the war started, “there has been a very scary rise of antisemitism here at home,” with some afraid to visit synagogues due to the possibility of being attacked, online hate speech, and a possible hate crime at a Jewish high school in Toronto. A rabbi’s home in British Columbia was vandalised, with a swastika drawn in sharpie on the window, and eggs thrown at the house.

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