Antisemitism in the United States has reached “historic levels” according to FBI Director Christopher Wray, who noted the rise in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.
Although anti-Israel views have been increasing for a few years, it is recent events and the start of the conflict between Gaza and Israel that caused a spike in acts targeting the Jewish community, as Wray expounded before a Senate panel on Tuesday.
“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 in his testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
“They’re getting it from racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists, ISIS-inspired violent extremists [and] foreign terrorist organizations,” the FBI Director added.
“This is a threat that is reaching, in some ways, sort of historic levels,” Wray said.
His comments come on the heels of a wave of antisemitic rhetoric and pro-Palestine comments by Democrats and far-left ‘Squad’ lawmakers such as Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Missouri’s Cori Bush.
Wray noted that hate crime investigations, joint terrorism task forces and more were being handled by the FBI’s law enforcement efforts.
“This is not a time for panic, but it is a time for vigilance,” Wray said. “We shouldn’t stop conducting our daily lives – going to schools, houses of worship, and so forth – but we should be vigilant.”
Perhaps instead of pouring the entirety of the bureau’s personnel and financial resources into prosecuting Biden’s political opponents, Christopher Wray should have cared more about the security of the country. https://t.co/bkyI7uxTO2
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 31, 2023
“You often hear the expression if you see something, say something – that’s never been more true than now,” Wray said. “And that’s probably partly why the American people are reporting more tips and leads to us, and we’re pursuing those threats and leads as vigorously and responsibly as we can.”
Wray also warned of the potential of extremists who could “draw inspiration” from the Hamas attack.
“The actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven’t seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate years ago,” he said.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also spoke about the security issues facing the U.S. in the wake of the Middle East conflict.
“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.