FBI director warns of ‘historic’ antisemitism levels

FBI Director Christopher Wray said the U.S. is seeing “historic” levels of antisemitism, with actions targeting the Jewish community after the Hamas-Israel war adding to a threat level for Jews that has spiked in recent years.

“The reality is that the Jewish community is uniquely targeted by pretty much every terrorist organization across the spectrum. And when you look at a group that makes up 2.4 percent, roughly, of the American population, it should be jarring to everyone that that same population accounts for something like 60 percent of all religious-based hate crimes, and so they need our help,” Wray said.

“They’re getting it from racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists, ISIS-inspired violent extremists [and] foreign terrorist organizations,” he added.

Antisemitism in the U.S. has been steadily rising for years, with far-right extremists, including white supremacists, espousing anti-Jewish views.

“This is a threat that is reaching, in some ways, sort of historic levels,” he said.

In the weeks following the war, the U.S. has seen a spike in both antisemitic and Islamophobic attacks.

The Anti-Defamation League documented 312 antisemitic incidents since the breakout of the conflict, a 388 percent spike over the same period last year. The Council on American-Islamic Relations received reports of 774 “biased incidents” from its members, a jump from an average of 224 reports for a 16-day period last year.

Wray’s comments came in a hearing alongside Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to review threats to the homeland, a landscape they said has been rocked by conflict in the Middle East.

“In the days and weeks since, we have responded to an increase in threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab American communities and institutions across our country,” Mayorkas said.

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