On Oct. 7, Hamas did more than brutally and methodically slaughter 1,200 people, mostly Jewish civilians, in cold blood. The event gave the terrorist group—and tens of thousands of supporters worldwide—freedom to expose their true genocidal intentions.
Not only do Hamas and its apologists celebrate the murderous rampage as a great victory, they also promise Jews and Israel to repeat the massacre until “Palestine” is free of Jews and the Jewish state. This is a public demand for genocide.
To liberal minds who hold humanitarian values sacred, such open advocacy for barbarism is both shocking and horrifying. Demonstrators on American streets swear allegiance to Hamas and its methods, under the battle cry, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”—by whatever means necessary. Those means obviously include beheading, rape, incineration, torture and cold-blooded mass murder.
Who was surprised, then, when in Los Angeles last week a supporter of Israel was killed by a pro-Hamas demonstrator? Or that a rabid backer of the Palestinian cause broke the nose of a Jewish Tulane University student?
The sudden surge of antisemitism has obviously made Jews around the world unsafe. Jews are now being told to hide their identities on the street, in their neighborhoods—and to avoid non-essential travel. University and college campuses have become particularly hostile—and dangerous—for Jews.
In the past, antisemites could mask their Jew-hatred as “resistance” to Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip. Today, outrageous behavior is normalized. Apparently, no ethical line is sacrosanct.
What does this say about us as a society…and where do we go from here?
Hamas’s attack has led to an unprecedented increase in antisemitism around the world—including the United States, where, according to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic attacks between Oct 7. and Oct. 23 surged 388% compared to the same period last year. A poll released by the Jewish Federations of North America revealed that 70% of Jewish Americans feel less safe than they did just a few months ago.
The U.K.’s Jewish community reported that antisemitic incidents rose by 324% in the days following the Hamas massacre compared to the same period last year. France, which is home to Europe’s largest Jewish community, also saw a surge in antisemitism, with 819 incidents over the three weeks following the Hamas massacre—more reported incidents than over the entire past year. The Netherlands has recorded an 800% jump in antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7.
China has seen an explosion of antisemitic, anti-Israel content on the internet following the Hamas massacre. This includes content praising Hitler and Nazi Germany, as well as content that compares Jews to the Nazis.
Jews worldwide are threatened, sustaining antisemitic attacks reminiscent of 1930s Germany. In France, Stars of David have been sprayed on Jewish homes. In Sydney, Australia, attendees at a pro-Palestinian rally chanted “gas the Jews.” And in the United States, ADL has tracked at least 109 rallies since Oct. 7 in which demonstrators expressed support for Hamas and/or violence against Jews in Israel.
Israel’s enemies falsely accuse it of colonialism. The perpetrators of this antisemitism often justify it in the name of Critical Race Theory, which asserts Israel is a project of white colonial imperialism that oppresses people of color. It must, therefore, be “decolonized,” they argue.
Of course, facts destroy this accusation: A wide majority of Jews in Israel are people of color, hailing from North Africa and the Middle East. Israel is a manifestation not of colonialism, but of the desire of a people for a free nation in their indigenous homeland—the opposite of colonialism. Moreover, Israel didn’t colonize another nation or political entity in the Holy Land—the Palestinians have never had sovereignty over any land anywhere.
Hate for Israel on U.S. campuses, expressed as hate toward Jewish students, is at an all-time high. The Secure Community Network, which coordinates security for Jewish communities across the United States, has recorded dozens of antisemitic incidents on college campuses since the Hamas massacre. At Cornell University, Jews received a series of threats of violence online, including a post calling on people to follow a Jewish person home and “slit their throats.”
At New York City’s Cooper Union, Jewish students locked themselves in a school library, upon feeling threatened by unruly anti-Israel protesters. At George Washington University, a pro-Hamas message, “Glory to our martyrs,” was projected onto the university’s Gelman Library building. And at New York University (NYU), there have been rallies with protestors chanting, “death to Jews.”
How can decent souls respond to racist hate unleashed with impunity in the public square? Above all, we must remember: “Never Again.” We cannot sit as passive observers to outrageous lies about Jews and the Jewish state. As people who revere humanitarian values, we must raise our voices and our fists—noting that antisemitism and anti-Zionism are one and the same. Calling Israel a terrorist nation, a genocidal state, colonizers, a perpetuator of apartheid—when the opposite is true—is unadulterated antisemitism.
Let us identify the slanderers of Jews and Israel. Let us follow the example of U.S. business leaders who demanded to know the names of the Harvard University students who signed a statement to “hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” so they could avoid hiring them in the future.
Secondly, we should harness the democratic process as never before. As the U.S. elections of 2024 approach, we must commit to and elect candidates who courageously oppose antisemitism and boldly support Israel’s right to defend itself, without regard to party. We must also vocally and financially oppose candidates who endorse the genocidal actions of Hamas.
Now, more than ever, is the time to oppose antisemitism in all its forms—including any support whatsoever of the Hamas monsters. Stand up—and march—to support fairness toward Jews and Israel in schools and legislatures. Finally, make antisemites pay sorely for their hate.
Originally published by Facts and Logic about the Middle East.