Press Releases

Combat Antisemitism Movement Calls on Leaders to Tackle Explosion of Antisemitism During Gaza Conflict

May 16, 2021

16 May 2021 (New York) – The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) today called on international, national, and municipal leaders to take action against the alarming spike in antisemitic incidents in which Jews have been targeted both online and on the streets in multiple countries over the past several days.

Since last week’s outbreak of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip, which has seen Israeli citizens targeted relentlessly and indiscriminately by Hamas terrorists with more than 2,000 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, there has been an enormous increase in antisemitic incidents in many countries, including a 250 percent rise in the UK alone.

Synagogues in Europe have been vandalized, while Jews have been verbally abused and targeted online, fuelled by hateful social media rhetoric from popular influenceers and celebrities. It has amounted to a worrying outpouring of blatant hate, supposedly in opposition to Israel’s actions. During a pro-Palestinian protest in Brussels, crowds chanted “Death to the Jews,” while at a similar protest in Germany, crowds shouted anti-Jewish slurs.

Incidents have also included calls for the destruction of Israel, in direct contravention of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The internationally-recognized definition clearly states that “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is an antisemitic act. The events of the past week have underscored that anti-Zionism is a contemporary form of antisemitism in disguise.

This depressing surge of antisemitism masquerading as criticism of Israel must not go unanswered. CAM calls on international, national, and local leaders to speak out forcefully against this phenomenon and empower law enforcement authorities to apprehend the perpatrators, while municipal officials must take practical steps to ensure the streets of their cities do not become safe havens for antisemitism.

CAM applauds the principled stands taken by leaders and authorities in Germany and France, where in recent days measures have been implemented to prevent antisemitic protests in major cities.

Sacha Roytman-Dratwa, Combat Antisemitism Movement Director: “We are witnessing an appaling explosion of antisemitism, which has left Jews alarmed and distressed across the world. Yet again, antisemites are attacking Jewish buildings, abusing Jews both verbally and online and stoking fear among Jewish communities, under the pretense of criticizing Israel. There is simply no place for this type of Jew hatred in any civilized city or society. Leaders of good conscience across the world must urgently take action to prevent the dreadful prospect of local Jews living in fear.” 

The Combat Antisemitism Movement is a non-partisan, global grassroots movement of individuals and organizations, across all religions and faiths, united around the goal of ending antisemitism in all its forms. Since its launching in February 2019, 330 organizations and 335,000 individuals have joined the Combat Antisemitism Movement by signing the campaign’s pledge. The CAM Pledge draws upon the IHRA international definition of antisemitism and its list of specific behaviors used to discriminate against the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel.