Minnesota groups talk rise in antisemitism since Israel-Hamas war

When Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing roughly 1200 people and kidnapping 240 others, it prompted a war in Israel and Gaza. But observers say it has also sparked a rise in antisemitism in the United States and around the world.

The Anti-Defamation League says the number of antisemitic incidents across the country has risen by nearly 400% since the deadliest day for the Jewish people since The Holocaust, compared to the same time period last year.

Journalist and author James Kirchick says on the surface, the spike is about anger over Israel's response to Hamas' attack killing Palestinians, but he believes the conflict is only amplifying antisemitic feelings in some that were already there.

"This was really an attempt to terrorize Jews around the world, not just in Israel," said Kirchick.

"If people see Jews being attacked and they hate Jews, they are going to come out and they are going to express their hatred. They are going to feel emboldened," Kirchick added.

Speaking to a group of young professionals at an event organized by the Institute for Holocaust Research and Education at the Metropolitan Ballroom Tuesday night, Kirchick says the rise in antisemitism shouldn't just concern the Jewish community.

It should concern society as a whole.

"I think countries that succumb to antisemitism move in a direction away from liberal democracy, away from individual rights, away from the values we in America cherish," said Kirchick.