AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Shirley
More than three months after Hamas’s October 7 attack, widespread anti-Israel protests – many of which have turned violent – are continuing throughout the West. Combined with the ongoing illegal immigration crisis facing the United States and much of Western Europe, the increasingly hostile rhetoric toward Israel and Jews is renewing fears of radical Islamic extremism.
On January 15 in London, England, police arrested four individuals on suspicion of terrorism offenses, later searching their homes – and then releasing the suspects on bail. The city, which is home to some 1.3 million Muslim migrants, has seen some of the most widespread demonstrations in support of Palestine and Hamas anywhere in the world. Demonstrators waving Palestinian flags disrupted a major Labour Party event in London on January 20, while another march a week prior led to six arrests.
In an even more alarming development in December, German and Dutch authorities arrested four suspected members of Hamas who were in Europe illegally and allegedly planning an attack on Jewish institutions. That same month, Danish authorities also arrested another group of suspected Hamas terrorists plotting attacks on Jews, although the Danish government insisted the incidents were not linked.
In the United States, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has catalogued more than 3,200 anti-Semitic incidents since the start of the Israeli-Hamas war – a 361 percent increase from the same period a year prior. The incidents vary from verbal harassment of Jewish Americans to apparent acts of terror.
In November, for instance, 34-year-old Ruba Almaghtheh, an immigrant from Jordan, intentionally crashed her car into a building she thought was a Jewish school while shouting “free Palestine.” According to her arrest affidavit, Almaghtheh “decided to plan an attack by crashing into the building on purpose because she observed a symbol located on the residence that she took high offense to and related it to being an Israeli school.”
“Yes. I did it on purpose,” the woman allegedly said in the wake of her arrest, although her lawyers have since claimed that she was in a drug-induced psychosis during the attack and therefore can’t be held accountable.
In December, an elderly Jewish man was punched and kicked in another apparently anti-Semitic attack in Brooklyn. Just a few weeks prior to that, a pro-Palestine protest outside DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C. grew violent, leading to the injury of several Capitol Police officers. Police in several other major cities have also clashed with protestors, although these altercations have received little attention from the corporate media.
Many other anti-Semitic incidents have been less violent but equally alarming. Last November a man was arrested for screaming “gas the Jews” outside of a D.C. synagogue. Overall, the ADL has counted 337 reports of vandalism, 749 reports of verbal or written harassment, and 905 rallies that involved “antisemitic rhetoric, expressions of support for terrorism against the state of Israel and/or anti-Zionism” since October 7.
And of course, college campuses throughout the United States have seen dozens of examples of anti-Semitism, including from professors and faculty. Students at George Washington University projected “glory to our martyrs” across the Gelman library, named after the prominent Jewish philanthropists, in the weeks after Hamas’s attack. In New York City, Jewish students were forced to barricade themselves in Cooper Union Library as protestors banged on the doors and threatened violence against them.
The increasing threats against Jews have become so serious that many Jewish institutions are beefing up security. A report from the Teach Coalition’s Office of Jewish Education Policy and Research released this January found that Jewish schools are on average now spending $315,943 annually on security, up from $215,560 before October 7.
The ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border has only exacerbated these fears. During the last fiscal year, a record 151 migrants on the FBI’s terrorism watch list were apprehended trying to enter the country illegally. As of last May, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that at least 1.5 million “gotaways” had crossed the border and escaped into the United States undetected by law enforcement – among them likely more individuals on the FBI’s watch list.
Moreover, there are undoubtedly many people with ill intent toward the United States entering the country whom federal authorities are unfamiliar with. In one particularly ominous exchange posted to X by 1st Responders Media, an illegal border crosser who appears to be of Middle Eastern descent tells a reporter, “you will find out who I am very soon” when asked where he is from.
Thankfully, there have not been any major terrorist attacks in the United States or the West since Hamas’s attack. But as the left continues to excuse violent anti-Israel and anti-Western sentiment while allowing millions of people to pour across open borders, Americans have good reason to be concerned.
Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.