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Watchdog reports January surge in antisemitic incidents worldwide over last year

Making up the clear majority (65.4%) were incidents of "Israel-related antisemitism."

Published: February 6, 2024 10:34pm

Updated: February 6, 2024 10:46pm

An antisemitism watchdog organization documented a 171% surge in antisemitic incidents worldwide last month over January 2023.

The report from the Combat Antisemitism Movement's Antisemitism Research Center identified 468 antisemitic reports worldwide in January, for an average of 15.1 daily incidents. Among those were 52 physical threats and 87 incidents of antisemitic vandalism.

The ARC used the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of antisemitism when identifying reports of such incidents, which it did not identify individually.

"Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities," it states. The IHRA further provides a list of examples of antisemitic acts.

ARC does, however, subdivide the incidents into its own categories. It classified 16.3% of incidents as "classical antisemitism," 4.7% as "Holocaust distortion and minimization," 9.0% as "Islamist" in nature, and 4.7% as "unattributable."

Making up the clear majority (65.4%) were incidents of "Israel-related antisemitism." ARC's definition of this term relies on several examples from the IHRA related to the state of Israel. The category "focuses on contemporary incidents that target the State of Israel or the broader Zionist movement, emphasizing actions that demonize, delegitimize, or apply double standards to Israel," ARC states.

In a press release announcing the report's findings, ARC attributed the surge in this category to the "global expressions of anti-Zionism in the aftermath of Hamas' October 7th Massacre." That violent incident kicked off the ongoing hostilities in Gaza, where Israeli forces have invaded in a bid to oust Hamas from power.

That action has prompted demonstrations, of both peaceful and violent natures, across the world, including pointed criticisms of their bombardment of the densely populated region due to the propensity to inflict civilian casualties.

The House of Representatives in December approved a resolution asserting that Anti-Zionism constituted antisemitism and ARC's "Israel-related" category appears to reflect that sentiment. That assertion, however, is the subject of dispute.

Zionism refers to the political movement calling for the establishment and preservation of a Jewish state in what is now Israel. Critics of the movement have contended that it is "colonial" in origin and that the Israeli state is a lingering vestige of the British Empire's conquest of the region from the Ottomans in World War I.

Left-wing Jewish organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, for example, contend that "Criticism of Zionism is not to be conflated with antisemitism."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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