Jewish & Muslim advocacy group tracking sharp spike in incidents nationwide since Hamas’ attack

WASHINGTON — In the month since the start of the Israel-Gaza war, Jewish and Muslim organizations are reporting significant spikes of discrimination nationwide.

This includes increased reports of harassment, vandalism, assaults and in some cases, even murder. Advocacy groups report a majority of these incidents involve college students.

“It’s students because doxed so personal information given out, digital trucks with their names and faces on it driving around Harvard,” Corey Saylor, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “It’s employees being called into HR for putting something on social media to support Palestinian humanity.”

These are some of the stories coming in to the Council of American-Islamic Relations.

Saylor said CAIR has received reports of more than one thousand incidents against Muslims in the U.S. from October 7 – November 4, 2023.

“You’re hearing horrible things like a 6-year-old in Chicago being murdered, people having guns drawn and pointed or discharged, people who have been the receiving end of vehicles being used as weapons being driven into protesters,” said Saylor.

The Muslim advocacy group is now calling on President Biden to act.

“The immediate rapid response crisis measure is calling for a ceasefire in Gaza,” said Saylor.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism reported more than 300 reports of anti-semitic incidents from October 7-23. ADL says reported incidents of harassment, vandalism, and assault increased by 388 percent increase over the same period last year.

“Jewish students are bearing the brunt of severe anti-semitic incidents, including violent assaults, intimidation, harassment at the hands of their fellow students,” said James Pasch, Anti-Defamation League Senior Director for National Litigation.

Now ADL, other Jewish groups and law firms are launching the Campus Antisemitism Legal Line (CALL), a free legal protection helpline for students who have encountered antisemitism.

“We will be available as lawyers on a pro bono basis to represent victims who choose to move forward with specific cases,” said Pasch. “Because the time is now to stick up for students on our college campuses.”

Pasch said they want university leaders to step up in light of these incidents.

“And say that their Jewish students will be able to attend school on their campuses free of harassment and assault,” he said.

Biden administration officials say they’re meeting with Israeli counterparts about the need for humanitarian pauses in the fighting.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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