TEL AVIV — Antisemitic incidents across the globe skyrocketed in the past year, according to a new report. Antisemitism was particuraly high in first-world countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia.
The dramatic increases may have stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic and the May 2021 conflict between Israel and Hamas. Researchers at Tel Aviv University published their findings in the 28th annual Antisemitism Worldwide Report.
“In recent years, the fight against antisemitism has enjoyed extensive resources worldwide, and yet, despite many important programs and initiatives, the number of antisemitic incidents—including violent assaults—is rapidly escalating,” says Professor Uriya Shavit, Head of the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at TAU’s Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities in a statement.
Despite some positive trends in stopping antisemitism, the latest findings show the strategies are not effective. “The easy thing is to say that more laws and more funding are required,” Dr. Shavit adds. Rather, he says the world needs to provide a “courageous and unsparing examination” of the efficiency of current antisemitism strategies.
There is a stark difference between antisemitism incidents pre-pandemic in 2019 versus now. At the start of the pandemic, multiple conspiracy theories blamed Jews and Israel for spreading COVID-19. Additionally, the lockdowns increased online antisemitism on social media before escalating to violence in the streets. The 2021 Israel-Hamas Conflict in Gaza also led to a rise in antisemitic incidents worldwide.
In the United States, there were 251 antisemitic incidents in the three weeks after the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The most concerning antisemitism is from the dark web, which houses extremists and where there is widespread antisemitism content and propaganda.
Other notable findings from the report include:
- About 2.6% of American Jews report being victims of antisemitic physical attacks in the past five years. The Anti-Defamation League recorded a 27% increase from 2020 and a 113% increase from 2019 in incidents of white supremacist antisemitic propaganda.
- In France, 589 antisemitic incidents were recorded in 2021 — a 74% increase from 2020 and a 14% decrease from 2019.
- In May 2021, B’nai Brith Canada reported 61 assaults against Jews in Canada. That month drew in 226 incidents in total, which is a 54% increase from the same time last year.
- In the United Kingdom, 2,255 antisemitic incidents were recorded in 2021, an increase of 34% from 2020. A sharp rise of 78% compared to 2020 was recorded in physical assaults against Jews.
- German Police recorded 3,028 antisemitic incidents during 2021 – an increase of 29% from 2020, and 49% from 2019.
- German anti-vaxxers compared their situation to that of the Jews in the Holocaust. The authors of the report argue this has undermined the grave situation that is the Holocaust.
- 447 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Australia in 2021 – an increase of 35% from 2020 and 21.5% from 2019. May marked the highest monthly total ever of antisemitic events with 88 incidents.
The full report was released by The Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University.