“Community leaders said antisemitism and Islamophobia were already on the upswing for several years. But the Israel-Hamas war has accelerated antisemitism and Islamophobia by emboldening extremists, members of hate groups and white supremacist groups, they said.

“There’s been an uptick, and some of it has been related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Paul Rockower, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix. Some of it has also been related to opportunistic individuals in extremist communities here in Arizona using some of the chaos to up their harassment.”

Rockower noted, however, that the Jewish community has received an outpouring of support from members of different faith and ethnic communities, elected officials and law enforcement agencies.

“Even those who don’t have the same view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still understand that this is traumatic for the Jewish community, and so have reached out in support to share their sympathy over what has transpired,” Rockower said.”

Read JCRC Executive Director’s comments in the Arizona Republic article on rising antisemitism and Islamophobia post-October 7

Sarah Kader of ADL AZ, Paul Rockower of JCRC and Debbie Yunker Kail of ASU Hillel. Credit: Sam Ballesteros, AZ Republic