Unprecedented increase in antisemitism in Europe since the Israel-Hamas war

European Jews are in fear due to a major spike in antisemitic attacks sparked by the latest Israel-Hamas war, despite authorities increasing protection.

According to Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the chairman of the European Jewish Association, the increase in antisemitic incidents is reaching levels unseen in decades. The hate crimes include physical and verbal aggression, reports the Euronews.

„We do get a lot of information, a lot of calls, a lot of emails from Jewish people from Europe, both individuals in the institutions, synagogues, schools,” Margolin told Euronews.

„People see in the street that they get many more remarks, many more bad looks, hatred, looks and calls for death and physical incitement.”

Based on the data compiled by the Anti-Defamation League, nearly 590 antisemitic incidents have been reported to French police since the October 7 attack on Israel by the Hamas terrorist organisation. In Germany, the number of such incidents has risen by 240% compared to the same period last year, while in Austria, they have gone up by 300%.

Some of the incidents listed include destroying Israeli flags, vandalising Jewish monuments and sites, graffiti, and death threats.

Rabbi Margolin said that many people are now taking extra precautions to protect their families from hate crimes, for example, installing cameras and bulletproof windows.

He explained, however, that the main source of hate crimes is social media messages. He believes that better editorial control should be in place to prevent such content. He also added that better education against racism is essential.

The European Commission has raised concerns about the increase in hate speech and hate crimes targeting both Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe since October 7. It has made their safety a top priority.