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Antisemitic events have increased in the Midwest after the Israel-Hamas war



Indianapolis, Indiana – On October 31, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated in a congressional hearing that antisemitism is at an all-time high.

The fight against antisemitism is becoming more of an agent priority for agents across the nation, including Indiana.

“Given what’s going on overseas in Gaza, it heightens our concern about potential targeted acts of violence, against Jewish Americans as well as against Arab Americans and Muslim Americans,” said Herbert Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Office.

Since October 7, the Anti-Defamation League’s Midwest Office – which encompasses nine states – has received four times as many reports on antisemitic acts as it typically receives in a given month.

On October 7, Israel began attacking Hamas following hundreds of Israeli civilian deaths at the hands of the terrorist organization.

Suzanne Rothenberg, the ADL Director of Engagement for Indiana, said, “When I go to campuses and I hear kids say to me, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to go to class tomorrow because there is an anti-Israel demonstration, my heart breaks for them because they shouldn’t have to change their behaviors just because they’re Jewish.”

To anticipate any threats, local law enforcement and federal officials are collaborating.

“We don’t have any specific intelligence that tells us there are targeted attacks that are being planned against targets here in Indiana, against any specific group of people,” said Stapleton.

People from all walks of life are being urged by Rothenberg to have frank and informed discussions regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. If someone notices something is off, she exhorts them to speak out.

“The worst things that have happened to the Jewish communities in history did not happen overnight. It happened from a normalization of antisemitic bias that comes through propaganda, and this propaganda is often pushed as a social justice cause.”

Using the FBI’s online tip form, anybody can report a hate crime or any other federal offense.

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