Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon (GPO)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, March 24, 2023.

In recent days, over 50,000 people marched against anti-Semitism in London.  Many of the protesters held up signs calling for the return of the hostages.   This event was held a day after a pro-Palestinian demonstration was held in the same city, which also had a large turnout, where many held up signs proclaiming “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” and “solidarity with Palestine.”   The atmosphere presently in London and worldwide highlights the importance of protesting against anti-Semitism now.


In London, there has been a tenfold increase in anti-Semitic instances since the October 7 massacre occurred. The BBC reported that there were 554 reports of antisemitic offences in London between October 1 and November 1 in London, compared with 44 in the same period last year. And London is not the only place to see a dramatic rise in anti-Semitic instances since the October 7 massacre.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, since the October 7 massacre, in the United States, “reported incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault increased by 388 percent over the same period last year.  ADL recorded a total of 312 antisemitic incidents between Oct. 7-23, 2023, 190 of which were directly linked to the war in Israel and Gaza. By comparison, during the same period in 2022, ADL received preliminary reports of 64 incidents, including four that were Israel-related.”

Examples include an individual chanting “I am Hamas” and making death threats in front of a kosher restaurant in Los Angeles, an individual punching a Jewish woman at the Grand Central Terminal in New York, an Israeli getting assaulted in Time Square, and the list just goes on.  They added: “ADL also tracked anti-Israel rallies since Oct. 7, at least 109 of which ADL found explicit or strong implicit support for Hamas and/or violence against Jews in Israel. These 109 are included in ADL’s tally of antisemitic incidents.”

The Soufan Center added: “In early November, a Jewish woman in Lyon, France, was stabbed in her home, with a swastika found graffitied outside her residence, according to local authorities. Stars of David have been spray painted on Jewish homes in Paris and Berlin, harkening to the violence, forced displacement, and genocide committed against European Jews under fascism. College campuses in the United States, which have become a flashpoint for contentious debate about the conflict, have seen what the Biden administration has called “an alarming rise” in anti-Semitic incidents. A Cornell student was arrested in late October for allegedly posting threatening messages on an online discussion board, where he graphically called for the deaths of Jewish people.”

Around the same period of time, the Mordechai Navi Synagogue, the only synagogue operating in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan, was set on fire by ASALA, an Armenian terror organization which is known for its links to the Palestinians.  The synagogue was vandalized and targeted with a Molotov cocktail, while the attackers issued a statement saying, “The Jews are the enemies of the Armenian nation.”   Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Germany Nasimi Aghayev noted that this hate crime occurred among “an alarming rise in anti-Semitism which makes its small Jewish community quite vulnerable.  According to the ADL, Armenia is the second most anti-Semitic country in Europe.”

Already, ASALA has threatened to continue to attack Jews outside of Armenia in solidarity with the Palestinians.    In the wake of the October 7 massacre, ASALA has reemerged as a force to be reckoned with.   Scholar Michael Gunter noted that the Armenian terror organization ASALA, which targeted Turkish diplomats in the 1970’s and 1980’s, has a long history of cooperating with the Palestinians: “A Spanish journalist Jose Antanio Gurriarian who came to know the terrorists after being maimed by one of their bombs wrote that Hagop Hapopian, the leader of ASALA, was a 24-year-old of Lebanese descent in 1973.  Black September chief Abu Iyad had helped him form ASALA in 1975.”

He continued: “Soon after joining the Palestinians, Hagopian found himself within the ranks of Wadi Haddad’s splinter PFLP which was George Habbash’s faction in the PLO.   It was during his activity with Wadi Haddad that he gained most of his experience, developed many personal friendships with Palestinian leaders and began to mimic the organizational and military tactics of Wadi Haddad, which intentionally caused innocent victims harm and thus served to discredit the Palestinian cause as terrorist.”

“When conflict erupts in Israel, antisemitic incidents soon follow in the U.S. and globally,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. “From white supremacists in California displaying antisemitic banners on highway overpasses to radical anti-Zionists harassing Jewish people because of their real or perceived support for the Jewish state, we are witnessing a disturbing rise in antisemitic activity here while the war rages overseas.”

In Congressional testimony from late October offered by FBI Director Christopher Wray, he noted that the Hamas-Israel conflict could inspire violent extremists and lone actors to attempt attacks on U.S. soil. According to Wray, “Here in the United States, our most immediate concern is that violent extremists—individuals or small groups—will draw inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans going about their daily lives.  In a year where the terrorism threat was already elevated, the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole nother level. Since Oct. 7, we’ve seen a rogue’s gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies.” He went on to add, “Given those calls for action, our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home.”

In the wake of these instances, Jews around the world must stand in solidarity against anti-Semitism and must cooperate with others abroad to fight against hatred.  The protest in London and the one also in Washington, DC was a good start.   Yet, much more must be done.   Azerbaijan’s Security Forces already have stated that they will not allow “any harm to Israeli citizens or diplomats,” after Iran attempted to attack the Israeli Embassy in Baku.  The attack was thwarted.   Other governments must follow suit and take a strong stance against terrorism and hatred.

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Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and an Israel-based journalist. She is the author of "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media."