Why Hindus in the US should join the fight against anti-Semitism

Why Hindus in the US should join the fight against anti-Semitism


Anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States and this disturbing trend demands our attention and action. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the number of antisemitic incidents in the US increased by a staggering 34% in 2021, marking the highest level of such incidents since the ADL began tracking them in 1979. The distressing news doesn’t stop there; in the first quarter of 2022, the ADL reported a 25% increase in anti-Semitic incidents, indicating that this problem is far from resolved. These figures do not reflect the impact of the October 7 attack by Hamas and Israel’s response in Gaza.

Several factors are fueling the rise of anti-Semitism in the US. First and foremost, we are witnessing the growth of white nationalism and extremism. The surge has now been compounded by Israeli action in Gaza, following the worst terrorist attack Israel has seen. We have seen a rise in antisemitism in college campuses and hate groups that are targeting Jews with slogans such as “from land to the sea” which translates to annihilation of Israel. Additionally, the spread of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories through online platforms is exacerbating the situation.

To see this happening even in the US in 2023 should serve a warning to Hindus living there. Hindus are often targeted by similar hate groups, including Islamists, Khalistani and white nationalists. A 2017 survey by Pew stated that about 40% of Americans said they knew “very little” or “nothing” about Hinduism. White nationalists, who often confuse all Indians as Hindus, view Indians as a threat to their cultural identity and economic well-being. They believe that Hindu Indians are taking jobs away from white Americans and lowering wages. They also believe that this has led to the changing of cultural landscape of the US, and that this is a negative development. This false perception of Hindu Indians as “cheap labour” is often used to justify anti-Indian violence and discrimination. White nationalists target Indian Hindus with racial slurs, threats, and physical violence.


Hindus in the US should be deeply concerned about the surge in anti-Semitism, because they themselves are a minority group that frequently falls victim to hate crimes. There are crucial lessons that Hindus in America can glean from this phenomenon. Here are some actionable steps that Hindus in the US can take to learn from the rise of antisemitism

Support: As we have seen in the present crisis in Israel and Gaza Hindus, both in the US and across the globe, have offered support to Israel and to Jews. Hindus in the US need to keep supporting Jewish organisations that are working diligently to combat anti-Semitism. Several Jewish organizations are dedicated to public education and advocacy for policies that protect Jews from discrimination. Standing together with these organizations in their mission is a positive step forward.

Hindus in the US should educate themselves and their communities about anti-Semitism. Knowledge is a powerful tool, and the more people know about anti-Semitism, the better equipped they will be to recognize and combat it. We have seen organizations such as the Hindu American Foundation, COHNA and others who are now actively educating the political class about the Hindu religion.”


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