During the two weeks of military conflict between Israel and Hamas in May 2021, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. reported to ADL increased by 75% compared to the two weeks before the fighting began, from 127 to 222, according to preliminary data. (Also see update: Full data for month of May 2021). Many of these incidents appear to have been perpetrated by individuals scapegoating American Jews for the actions of the Israeli government.
The incidents have taken place at and around the approximately 200 anti-Israel rallies held across the U.S. since May 16. Although many of the rallies remained peaceful and did not include antisemitic language, some speakers, signs and chants included messages that attacked Jews and Zionists or trafficked in antisemitic tropes. A large majority of American Jews identify as Zionists or hold a connection to Israel to be an important part of their religious, social or cultural identities.
Recent examples of antisemitic incidents that include references to the Israel/Hamas conflict are listed below. For more information and the most recent developments, please see ADL’s Antisemitic Incident Tracker and the Center on Extremism’s “As It Happens:”
If you experience or witness an antisemitic incident, please use ADL's reporting tool.
- May 23 (Redondo Beach, CA): A synagogue received an antisemitic and harassing email from an unknown sender who wrote: "Die fucking jew cockroaches! Israel = racism, apartheid, genocide."
- May 22 (New York, NY): A Jewish man wearing a Star of David necklace was punched by a man who allegedly asked him, “What is that around your neck, does that make you a fucking Zionist?"
- May 22 (Brooklyn, NY): Three men allegedly drove around Borough Park harassing and assaulting Jewish individuals, including teenagers. They yelled antisemitic slurs as well as, "Free Palestine." The men also kicked a synagogue's doors and broke a car mirror.
- May 20 (New York, NY): A Jewish man was beaten by a group of anti-Israel protestors in Times Square. In another incident, anti-Zionist protestors shouted, "Fucking Zionists" and threw fireworks at passersby, injuring one, in midtown Manhattan's Diamond District, which is home to many Jewish-owned businesses.
- May 18 (Los Angeles, CA): A group of Jewish diners at a kosher restaurant were allegedly assaulted by a group of individuals. The attackers reportedly arrived in cars carrying Palestinian flags and yelled antisemitic slurs.
- May 18 (Bal Harbour, FL): A Jewish family was walking home from synagogue when they were harassed by a group of individuals in a car who allegedly yelled, “Free Palestine!” “Fuck the Jews!” “Die Jew!”