October 17, 2023 … As leaders of seven of the largest Jewish communities in the Diaspora, we are heartened by the outpouring of solidarity with Israel from our governments in the aftermath of the barbarous Hamas attack of October 7, 2023. As this war continues into its second week, the death toll of the Hamas massacre is up to 1400 Israelis, with over 4000 wounded, and as many as 199 still being held captive in Gaza.
We appreciate the strong support of our governments and our law enforcement agencies for our Jewish communities, both in public statements and in actions to guarantee our security.
Regrettably, our communities are seeing a shocking increase in antisemitic incidents, which foreshadows a troubling period ahead:
- In the United Kingdom, there has been a 500% increase in documented antisemitic incidents. In the United States, there have been 107 antisemitic incidents since October 7. In France, the Minister of Interior reported 189 antisemitic incidents, which led to 65 arrests. In Berlin, Germany, Stars of David were painted on the homes of Jews. We expect such worrying reports from other Jewish communities across the globe in the days and weeks ahead.
- At anti-Israel protests, we have seen slogans justifying the Hamas massacre and deeply disturbing antisemitic images and rhetoric. “Gas the Jews” was shouted in Sydney, Australia. Chants about the “army of Muhammed” coming for “the Jews” were heard in London and Geneva. Protesters stood outside a shabbat service in Washington, DC chanting “free Palestine.” In South Africa, Jewish-owned businesses are threatened with boycotts. There are too many similar examples from too many places around the world.
In light of these alarming trends, we appeal to our governments, and to leaders around the world, to take the following actions:
- Continue to condemn antisemitism, both in principle and in reaction to antisemitic incidents. Government officials, both national and local, must make clear that antisemitism will not be tolerated, not in actions, not in speech, not on the street and not online.
- Secure and support Jewish communities and their institutions.
- Prosecute perpetrators of antisemitic incidents to the full extent of the law.
At this time of deep anguish and concern, our Jewish communities need support and allyship. We need to know that our governments and societies will stand strong and resolute against any manifestation of antisemitism and do all they can to ensure the safety and security of our communities.
The J7 - the Large Communities’ Task Force Against Antisemitism- was formed to respond to increasing rates of antisemitism around the world and is comprised of major Jewish organizations in the United States (ADL and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations), Canada (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs -CIJA), the United Kingdom (Board of Deputies of British Jews), Germany (Central Council of Jews in Germany), France (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France - CRIF), Argentina (Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas - DAIA) and Australia (Executive Council of Australian Jewry - ECAJ).