Anti-semitic incidents on the rise since start of Israel-Hamas war
In recent years, there has been a rising number of anti-semitic speech and attacks on Jewish people in the U.S. Anti-semitic incidents tracked by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reached their highest level in 2022 with nearly 3,700 reported cases. The incidents include assault, vandalism and harassment of Jewish people or those perceived to be Jewish, the organization said.
Sarah Kader, community manager for ADL Arizona, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the incidents.
The ADL has seen a 316% increase in anti-semitic incidents in the last couple of months. Many Jewish people in the U.S. have become more vigilant and concerned about their safety as deadly fighting intensifies between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian militant group.
“We see a direct link in what’s happening and anti-semitism in this country,” Kader said. “We’re seeing it all over, on campus, at synagogues, at Jewish institutions, individuals.”
The ADL has encountered a variety of incidents such as swastikas being drawn on synagogues, local rabbis being threatened and anti-semitic threats on school campuses.
“White supremacists are using this opportunity to increase their anti-semitic rhetoric,” Kader said. “We’re also seeing it from groups who maybe support Palestinians, which of course being pro-Palestinian doesn’t mean you’re anti-semitic, and ADL has spoken about that, but unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of anti-zionism leading to anti-semitism and calling for the death of Jews.”
Many Jewish institutions have increased their security as anti-semitism rises, but to do this is costly.
“Many institutions can’t afford it. I know we have the nonprofit security grant funding that Governor Hobbs, I believe, is going to be releasing early so people can apply, but that takes time. So it’s just been a really heavy burden on a lot of Jewish facilities,” Kader said.
Kader stressed it’s important to maintain hope, and believes that Jews will continue to be free.