Antisemitism envoys from 24 countries call on governments to ensure Jews’ safety

Signatories, including US envoy to combat antisemitism, tout ‘necessary security assistance’ following Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught, caution that Jewish communities are ‘fearful’

US Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt, center, speaks with the head of the American Jewish Committee Ted Deutch at a conference in New York City, September 19, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
US Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt, center, speaks with the head of the American Jewish Committee Ted Deutch at a conference in New York City, September 19, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The antisemitism envoys of 24 countries, including the United States, have made a joint call on governments to protect their local Jewish communities in the wake of the Hamas terror group’s October 7 devastating attack on Israel.

The statement was posted Monday with the signatures of 30 officials. In addition to representatives of countries across Europe and North and South America, it includes signatories from multinational organizations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Organization of American States. It comes after the governments of the United States and other nations have reported and condemned a spike in antisemitism over the past month.

In their assault on Israel, over 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists burst through the border with Gaza and rampaged through southern regions, overrunning communities and slaughtering those they found. Over 1,400 people were murdered, the vast majority of them civilians. Terrorists also abducted at least 240 people, men, women and children of all ages, taking them into Gaza. The attack was carried out under a barrage of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli population centers.

There have “been demonstrations in many countries – including in some countries and regions which we represent – in which individuals praised these heinous actions of Hamas, ‘celebrated’ the murder of Jews, and even called for more antisemitic assaults,” said the statement posted Monday, while noting there has also been widespread condemnation of the October 7 attack.

“Jewish communities are fearful and are being threatened,” said the statement, among whose signatories is Deborah Lipstadt, the US State Department’s envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism.

The statement asked governments and law enforcement agencies to ensure “necessary security assistance” for Jewish communities; calls on university administrators to ensure Jewish students are safe; asks civil society organizations “including sports federations, religious communities, the cultural sector and academic circles” to not remain silent; and demands that social media platforms address the surge of “antisemitic messages, disinformation, hate speech, and terrorist content, which instigate real world hate crimes and threaten the very social cohesion that binds our democratic societies together.”

A man walks as police patrol a neighborhood in Brooklyn with a large Orthodox Jewish community on October 12, 2023, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

“Synagogues and other Jewish sites have been attacked,” it said. “Schools have closed since they can no longer guarantee the safety of their students. Shabbat gatherings require the presence of armed guards for protection. In some cities, Jews are being harassed and accosted on the streets. Posters of the captive hostages are defaced and torn down. Antisemitism online has surged in an unprecedented way.”

The statement makes no mention of the war sparked by Hamas’s invasion, in which Israel has counterattacked Hamas in the Gaza Strip through airstrikes and a land invasion, with the stated goal of deposing the terror group.

The Hamas-run health ministry says more than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza, also mainly civilians, have been killed during the campaign. Hamas figures cannot be independently confirmed, and the terror group has been accused of artificially inflating the death toll. The figures do not differentiate between terrorists and civilians nor between those killed in Israeli strikes and those killed by the hundreds of terror group rockets that have fallen short inside the Strip.

The statement arose out of conversations between the envoys, led by Lipstadt and Katharina Von Schnurbein, the European Commission’s coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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