The number of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. rose sharply in the three months after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, according to new data from the Anti-Defamation League, which tracked a total of 3,283 anti-Jewish incidents between Oct. 7 and Jan. 7 — a 360% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
The preliminary data compiled by the ADL, first reported by NBC News, shows there was an average of nearly 34 antisemitic incidents every day following the Oct. 7 assault, putting 2023 on track to be the highest year for antisemitic acts against Jewish people since the ADL began keeping track in the late 1970s, according to the organization.
The preliminary three-month tally was higher than the total number of antisemitic incidents recorded in any full year over the last decade, save for 2022, when the total number hit a high of 3,697. Todd Gutnick, a spokesman for the ADL, said the group will soon release data covering the first nine months of last year.
“The American Jewish community is facing a threat level that’s now unprecedented in modern history,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the ADL. “It’s shocking that we’ve recorded more antisemitic acts in three months than we usually would in an entire year.”
The ADL reported that the 3,283 incidents can be divided into four categories, including physical assault (60 incidents); vandalism (553); and verbal or written harassment (1,353). The fourth category encompasses what the ADL characterizes as “1,137 rallies, including antisemitic rhetoric, expressions of support for terrorism against the state of Israel and/or anti-Zionism.”
Greenblatt has previously said that “anti-Zionism is antisemitism,” but not all advocates for the Jewish community agree on that equation. The exact definition of antisemitism has long been the subject of debate, and the question has returned to the fore following the Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s aggressive military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
At least 505 of the total incidents during the three-month period happened on college campuses, with another 246 reported in K-12 schools, according to the ADL. At least 628 incidents were reported against Jewish institutions, such as synagogues, and roughly two-thirds of the total “could be directly related to the Israel-Hamas war.”
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has also stoked Islamophobia across the U.S., and many Muslims have described growing bias, prejudice and hate. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a leading Muslim advocacy group, announced on Dec. 7 that it had received 2,171 requests for help and reports of bias between Oct. 7 and Dec. 2.
The total number of complaints represented a 172% increase over the same eight-week period the previous year, CAIR said in a news release.