ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Global task force against antisemitism warns of danger ahead due to Israel-Hamas war

ADL-partnered J7 says international spike in antisemitic incidents following massive terror onslaught likely a harbinger of more ‘worrying reports’ from world’s Jewish communities

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

People walk down Regent Street as they take part in a 'March For Palestine' in London on October 14, 2023. (Justin Tallis/AFP)
People walk down Regent Street as they take part in a 'March For Palestine' in London on October 14, 2023. (Justin Tallis/AFP)

A global task force against antisemitism warned Tuesday that already spiking antisemitism due to the war between Israel and Hamas, which erupted with the terror group’s slaughter of over 1,300 people in Israel, is likely to spread.

The so-called J7, representing the six largest national Jewish communities outside of Israel along with the US-based Anti-Defamation League, called on governments to take a clear stance against antisemitism while also working to protect and secure their Jewish communities.

“Regrettably, our communities are seeing a shocking increase in antisemitic incidents, which foreshadows a troubling period ahead,” the group said in a statement.

It noted a “500% increase in documented antisemitic incidents” in Britain since the October 7 attack by Hamas, while in the United States, there have been 107 documented antisemitic incidents since the war started. France’s Interior Ministry has reported 189 antisemitic incidents, leading to 65 arrests, the J7 said.

“In Berlin, Germany, Stars of David were painted on the homes of Jews. We expect such worrying reports from other Jewish communities across the globe in the days and weeks ahead,” the statement warned.

“At anti-Israel protests, we have seen slogans justifying the Hamas massacre and deeply disturbing antisemitic images and rhetoric,” it said. “There are too many similar examples from too many places around the world.”

In light of the “alarming trends,” J7 called on governments and leaders around the world to continue to condemn antisemitism.”

Government officials, “both national and local, must make clear that antisemitism will not be tolerated, not in actions, not in speech, not on the street and not online,” it said.

The J7 called to secure and support Jewish communities and their institutions while prosecuting perpetrators of antisemitic incidents.

“At this time of deep anguish and concern, our Jewish communities need support and allyship,” the J7 said. “We need to know that our governments and societies will stand strong and resolute against any manifestation of antisemitism and do all they can to ensure the safety and security of our communities.”

“We appreciate the strong support of our governments and our law enforcement agencies for our Jewish communities, both in public statements and in actions to guarantee our security.”

In the devastating Hamas onslaught, over 1,500 terrorists breached the border fence from the Gaza Strip and then murderously rampaged for several hours through southern areas. More than 1,000 of their victims were civilian men, women, and children, among them dozens of babies. Some victims were mutilated, and some were raped or tortured. The gunmen overran communities, butchering entire families in their homes as well as seizing military posts and killing soldiers.

Some 200 people of all ages — including children — were abducted and taken hostage in Gaza. Alongside the initial assault, and in the days since, Hamas fired over 5,000 rockets aimed at towns and cities across Israel.

Rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, on October 16, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The J7 said it was “heartened by the outpouring of solidarity with Israel from our governments in the aftermath of the barbarous Hamas attack.”

The group is comprised of the Board of Deputies of British Jews; the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and organizations; the Central Council of Jews in Germany; the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Canada; the DAIA Jewish umbrella group in Argentina; and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

It was formed by the ADL in July this year to exchange information and consult on best practices for fighting antisemitism.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says at least 2,800 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 wounded in Israeli retaliatory bombardments since the fighting erupted. Israel says it is striking terror targets in the Strip, which are embedded within the civilian population. It has urged residents of northern Gaza to head south in recent days, as it prepares to intensify its operations in the Gaza City area, including an expected major ground incursion.

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