WASHINGTON (JTA) — The antisemitism envoys of 24 countries, including the United States, made a joint call for governments to protect their local Jewish communities in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
The statement was posted Monday with the signatures of 30 officials. In addition to representatives of countries across Europe and North and South America, it includes signatories from multinational organizations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Organization of American States. It comes after the governments of the United States and other nations have reported and condemned a spike in antisemitism over the past month.
There have “been demonstrations in many countries – including in some countries and regions which we represent – in which individuals praised these heinous actions of Hamas, ‘celebrated’ the murder of Jews, and even called for more antisemitic assaults,” said the statement posted Monday, while noting there has also been widespread condemnation of the Oct. 7 attack, which killed more than 1,400 and wounded thousands. Hamas terrorists also took more than 200 people captive.
“Jewish communities are fearful and are being threatened,” said the statement, among whose signatories is Deborah Lipstadt, the State Department’s envoy to monitor and and combat antisemitism.
The statement asks governments and law enforcement agencies to ensure “necessary security assistance” for Jewish communities; calls on university administrators to ensure Jewish students are safe; asks civil society organizations “including sports federations, religious communities, the cultural sector and academic circles” to not remain silent; and demands that social media platforms address the surge of “antisemitic messages, disinformation, hate speech, and terrorist content, which instigate real world hate crimes and threaten the very social cohesion that binds our democratic societies together.”
“Synagogues and other Jewish sites have been attacked,” it said. “Schools have closed since they can no longer guarantee the safety of their students. Shabbat gatherings require the presence of armed guards for protection. In some cities, Jews are being harassed and accosted on the streets. Posters of the captive hostages are defaced and torn down. Antisemitism online has surged in an unprecedented way.”
Israel has counterattacked Hamas in the Gaza Strip through airstrikes and a land invasion, with the stated goal of deposing the terror group. More than 10,000 residents of Gaza have been killed in the fighting, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza, including more than 3,000 children. It is not known what proportion of those figures are civilians, and what proportion have been killed by misfired rockets launched by Palestinian attackers.
The statement arose out of conversations between the envoys, led by Lipstadt and Katharina Von Schnurbein, the European Commission ‘s coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life.