Pro-Israel and anti-Israel protestors clash in New York City. Credit - Dave Sanders, NYT
Remembering the tree of life synagogue shooting
Five years ago today, on October 27th, 2018, 11 people were brutally murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh because of their faith and identity as Jews. They were loving parents, grandparents, and engaged members of their community. At this time of heightened antisemitism across the country, let's take a moment to pause and remember their legacies.
We must all stand up to Jewish hate and all hate to ensure that senseless and hateful attacks like this do not take place in the United States.
The Climate of Antisemitism in America
Total Mentions: 647K | Individual Accounts: 300.3K | Total Retweets: 397.7K Total Impressions: 4.27B | Total Reach (estimate):~1.06B
Since the October 7th Hamas terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, the FCAS Command Center has tracked a 5,000% increase in overall conversation around antisemitism. This increase is a direct response to the atrocities in Israel. Although many social media users were quick to denounce Hamas’ actions and offer support to Israel, others were quick to celebrate the attacks, reject Israel’s right to defend itself, and spread antisemitic rhetoric. The conversation has not diminished since, and despite the Command Center registering small decreases in conversation in the past two weeks, the total volume of mentions is still significantly higher than before the war began.
The increase in conversation on social media has coincided with a sharp increase in antisemitic incidents across the globe and especially in the United States. There have been 312 antisemitic incidents in the U.S. since October 7, according to the ADL, 190 of which were directly linked to the war in Israel. This amounted to a 388% rise in incidents when compared to the same time period last year. This week, an 11 year old student reportedly told four of his Jewish classmates that Jews and Israelis should be killed, a man broke into the home of an Israeli family and threatened to kill them, and antisemitic graffiti was discovered on the doors of Jewish students at American University in Washington, D.C.
Notably, antisemitic incidents have been rising on college campuses. The White House Thursday denounced college student groups that praise Hamas and “call for the annihilation of the state of Israel,” calling the rhetoric “grotesque sentiments and actions.” The Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University, in partnership with HarrisX and Harris Poll, released a new survey that found that 84% of registered voters sided with Israel in the current war, yet roughly half of Gen Z respondents sided with Hamas. Some of the findings of the study included -
51% of Gen Z respondents thought Hamas’ killings of 1,400 Israeli civilians can be justified by the grievances of Palestinians
61% of Gen Z respondents believe the Gaza hospital explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike despite Israeli and U.S. evidence that suggests otherwise.
32% of Gen Z respondents said the stories about Hamas’ atrocities against Israelis were fake.
52% of Gen Z respondents believe that antisemitism is not growing in America.
For All Topics Regarding Antisemitism
Phrases & Hashtags
Over the Past Week
*The bigger the phrase, the more total mentions it had in the time period
Anti-Israel Protests Across America
Total Mentions: 547.9K | Individual Accounts: 291.4K | Total Retweets: 359.8K Total Impressions: 2.82M | Total Reach (estimate):~619.08M
The ADL reported almost 400 anti-Israel protests across the United States since October 7, including 109 with explicit, or strong implicit, support for Hamas or violence against Jews. Social media conversations have focused on violence during these protests, including a man holding an Israeli flag who was attacked by protestors in Chicago and a group of Jewish students who were trapped in a school library at Cooper Union College in New York while protestors attempted to break in.
Pictures of protestors holding antisemitic posters have circulated on social media. One poster, which read “keep the world clean,” with a drawing of a Star of David inside a trash can, has been widely shared and criticized. The poster was first spotted in a protest in Warsaw, Poland, but copies began appearing in protests in the United States as well, most recently held by students at New York University.
Total Mentions: 869.8K | Individual Accounts: 385.1K | Total Retweets: 629.2K Total Impressions: 8.69B | Total Reach (estimate):~1.08B
More than 200 Israelis were taken hostage by Hamas terrorists on October 7. Four have been released thus far - two Israelis and two Israeli-Americans - while hundreds remain in captivity. The two most recent hostages, Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, both have husbands still held captive by Hamas.
Lifshitz detailed the horrors she experienced as a hostage, but her words were taken out of context by social media users. She began her speech by saying “I’ve been through hell,” and explained how she and the hostages were abused and mistreated by Hamas captors. She later mentioned that she received medical care and sanitation, and that the terrorists were attentive to the hostages’ needs. Social media users focused on Lifshitz’s acknowledgement of care from the terrorists to argue that Hamas is a humane organization that cares about civilian lives.
The New York Times received significant backlash for rehiring freelance journalist Soliman Hijjy to report on Israel and Hamas. Hijjy was fired by the Times last year after posting “how great you are, Hitler,” and other pro-Hitler posts on his personal social media accounts. Rehiring a journalist with a history of antisemitism to report on the Israel-Hamas war can result in biased reporting, which may drive further anti-Jewish hate in an already tense climate.
The BBC Spanish-language service BBC News Mundo, which has 3.65 million followers, released a video that perpetuated classic antisemitic tropes about Jewish wealth and influence. The video attempted to explain why America is such a strong ally to Israel, and discussed tropes like how the Jews are a “powerful minority” in America, how much the average Jewish household makes annually, education levels of Jews, and the number of Jewish members of Congress. The video has already gained over 300,000 views and counting since its release, and the video is still online on YouTube.