The Strengthening of the Extreme Right in the West Following the October 7 Massacre

Alongside the global spread of pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli, and antisemitic narratives, fueled by the “green-red alliance” (formed between Islamists and radical leftists) in the West during the Israel–Hamas conflict, there is growing concern about the influence of the far-right movements, particularly in Europe. These movements see the war in the Gaza Strip as an opportunity to strengthen public support and promote their antisemitic ideology. It is crucial for the State of Israel to recognize the dangers posed by the far-right movements in the West, as well as the normalization of antisemitic narratives on both ends of the political spectrum in the public discourse following the October 7 massacre and the subsequent war. Israel should develop a long-term strategy for addressing this emerging threat, which not only endangers Israel’s interests but also undermines the security of Jews and Israelis around the world, while challenging the stability of liberal democracies.

The massacre of Israeli civilians in the Gaza-border communities by Hamas and civilian collaborators on October 7, 2023, and the subsequent Israel–Hamas war resulted in a significant increase in the number of antisemitic attacks worldwide. From October to December, the number of reported incidents rose by 500% in the UK, 400% in Germany, 813% in the Netherlands, and 430% in the United States. Currently, most of the attacks are associated with “pro-Palestinian” activity linked to both Islamist factions and radical leftist organizations.[1] The sharpest rise in antisemitic attacks has been on social media platforms, with online violence against Israel and Zionists escalating by an unprecedented 1,200% between October 7 and October 10.[2]

Meanwhile, far- right activists are taking to the streets and using social media to call for the expulsion of illegal immigrants—mainly Muslims—from their countries, and some are also spreading hate speech against Jews and the State of Israel and even displaying swastikas. It appears that after October 7, these two opposing groups, from the right and the left, have seized a real opportunity to enter the center of the sociopolitical discourse and to expand their public support by exploiting current events. On the right, there is a hatred toward minorities and foreigners in general and on the left, a constant fueling of animosity against the establishment and the elites. Both sides sometimes direct their hatred toward Jews and Israel, viewing them as representing or symbolizing the threat associated with each side. For the far-right  movements, the war and the ensuring wave of “pro-Palestinian” protests that swept through Europe have validated their concerns about the danger posed by the waves of immigrants, especially Muslims, to Europe.

Characteristics of the Far-Right Resurgence in Western Countries

The past decade has witnessed a significant rise in the strength of far-right movements and parties in many countries in Europe (Poland, Hungary, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands) as well as in the United States. These movements can be characterized by their anti-establishment attitude, ultra-nationalism, and isolationism. They express hatred toward foreigners, particularly Muslim immigrants, as well as Jews, and against liberalism, globalism, and multiculturalism.

In Europe, the far right has focused on the migration of refugees from Africa and the Middle East since 2015 (the migrant crisis) and has harshly criticized the idea of the European Union, calling for the cancelation of its centralized authority. The rise of the far right can be attributed to global changes and economic crises in some countries, leading some almost to collapse and to the need for stronger countries in the European Union to bear the burden.

In the United States, conspiracy theories such as “accelerationism,” “white genocide,” “Great Replacement,” and QAnon have spread through the internet.[3] At the same time there has been a significant increase in physical threats against Jews, with the deadliest attack occurring at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018.[4] The COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2022 and the economic crisis also contributed to the rise in antisemitism, with far-right extremists claiming that Jews or Zionists or the State of Israel were to blame for the pandemic and profited from it.[5] According to researcher Heidi Beirich, “nearly every American federal law enforcement agency, including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the National Counterterrorism Center, has gone on record saying that white supremacy is the greatest terrorism threat Americans face, even greater now than ISIS or Al Qaeda.”[6] Another significant example of the rise of the far right in the United States was the attack on the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, led by a mob of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and QAnon followers, with the support of then President Donald Trump.

These far-right movements thrive during times of crises, perceiving them as opportunities to disseminate their ideas among the public. They capitalize on feelings of anger toward the other and fear of an uncertain future. These movements are often accompanied by various social issues of the global era, including a sense of social discrimination, economic instability, unemployment, a diminished sense of personal security, and a reduced freedom of expression due to “political correctness.”

This strengthening of the extreme right in Europe has significantly undermined the stability of the European Union, particularly in terms of decision-making, as some of the countries, especially in Eastern Europe, do not see eye-to-eye with the EU immigration policy and the handling of the economic crisis that the continent has been going through since 2008. Furthermore, the rise of right-wing parties in Europe stems in part from their connections with Russia, which seeks to exploit these connections to deepen the instability within the European Union.[7]

The attitudes of far-right movements toward Jews and Israel can be divided into three categories:[8]

1. A pro-Israel faction that also aims to renounce antisemitism, exemplified by the National Rally Party led by Marine Le Pen in France, or the Party for Freedom (PVV) led by Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.

2. A faction associated with Israel due to the shared interest of combating Islamic terrorism but simultaneously holds antisemitic positions, represented by parties like the Alternative for Germany Party, the Fidesz Party led by Viktor Orbán in Hungary, or the Brothers of Italy Party led by Giorgia Meloni.

3. An anti-Israel and antisemitic faction, such as the NPD party in Germany led by Frank Franz, or the Jobbik Party led by Gábor Vona in Hungary.

The Spike in Antisemitism and the Growth of Far-Right Movements After October 7

Following the October 7 attack, antisemitism has surged in many countries, driven by the actions of both far-left groups and Islamist factions protesting Israel’s war with Hamas. Concurrently, and in some cases directly linked to it, there has been a reactionary wave from far-right movements.

In Germany, for example, reports published by the Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism have indicated a spike in antisemitism in the public sphere.[9] A total of 994 antisemitic incidents were reported and confirmed between October 7 and November 9, representing an average of 29 incidents per day and a 320% increase compared to the same period in 2022. Of the antisemitic incidents reported during this period, 91% were directly connected to Israel. These included Molotov cocktails thrown at a center for Israeli young people in Berlin, attacks on Jews at demonstrations and memorial sites, and Stars of David drawn on the walls of homes where Jews lived.

As part of the escalating radicalization in Germany and the apparent rise in antisemitism from both far left and pro-Palestinian groups, the extreme right is also increasingly trying to exploit the Israeli–Palestinian conflict for its own antisemitic and racist propaganda. Activists are capitalizing on the current crisis in the Middle East to incite various factions in Germany against Israel. In addition, since the outbreak of the war, new alliances have been made between antisemitic groups throughout the country that are raising the risk of attacks on Jews, with the president of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, saying that “the danger is real and higher than it has been for a long time.”[10] According to Haldenwang, the common denominator between Islamists, far left and far-right Germans, citizens of Turkish descent, and members of extreme Palestinian organizations is their antisemitism and hostility toward Israel.[11] Consequently, extreme right-wing activists in Dortmund flew flags of Palestine outside their windows while neo-Nazi activists expressed support for Hamas’s attack on Israel on Telegram.

The extreme right groups in Germany have also posted antisemitic and racist propaganda on the internet. On its home page, the Third Way (Der Dritte Weg) Party described the Hamas attacks as “an attack against the Zionist entity Israel.”[12] The Homeland (Die Heimat) Party, the former NPD, also clearly expressed their opposition to supporting Israel in the war. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party mostly supported Israel in its war against Hamas after October 7, but the party leader, Tino Chrupalla was heard arguing against the premise that Israel’s security should be upheld as a supreme value and cornerstone in Germany (a position that was adopted by the former chancellor, Angela Merkel). It is important to note that this party has deep antisemitic, neo-Nazi roots, and many of its members hold racist views toward foreign minorities. Recently it was reported that party activists discussed privately a covert plan to expel foreigners who “have not integrated in German society” if and when they come to power.

Meanwhile, the latest survey of the Berlin Monitor has revealed a significant increase in antisemitic beliefs among the general public in Berlin.[13] For example, the percentage of people who agreed with the statement that “the Jews have too much influence” has increased from 8% in 2021 to 15% in 2023. Conspiracy theories concerning Jews have also become more prominent, indicating a correlation between antisemitic sentiments and conspiracy theories. Moreover, the survey found that Muslims showed slightly higher levels of antisemitism. In particular, the survey suggests that antisemitism is not limited to a particular group or another, but instead is spreading widely across German society. It identified a convergence of narratives from both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum, which, despite appearing to oppose each other, find common ground in their animosity toward Jews and Israel. Furthermore, the survey reveals that one in three people in Berlin opposes the existence of the State of Israel, although it is not clear whether they identify with the far right or far left. The survey also indicated that Berlin is shifting more to right-wing and far right politics.

In France, figures summarizing the antisemitic incidents in 2023 have not yet been published, but it is already clear at this stage that there has been a substantial rise in antisemitic incidents in the country. Until November 2023, about 1,762 antisemitic incidents were reported, which is more than four times the number of all violent incidents reported in 2022. According to figures from the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, a significant source of antisemitism in France is the second and third generations of immigrants from Muslim countries, combined with antisemitism stemming from the social polarization between the extreme left and right.[14] In one antisemitic attack by the extreme right, a Jewish woman in Lyon was stabbed and injured in her doorway, while a swastika had been painted on her home, with the attackers having identified her home due to the mezuzah on her door.[15]

In the last few years, the extreme right National Rally (RN) Party led by Marine Le Pen has gained significant strength. Le Pen, whose father was an avowed antisemite, has tried to move past this image over the years, and since October 7, she has been seen marching at pro-Israel rallies and calling to support Israel in its war against Hamas. However, it should be noted that Le Pen’s main aspiration is to become the next president of France, which has led her to try to establish a close connection with Jews and Israel, to become part of the consensus in France and gain votes from the political center, thereby becoming legitimate among the voting public. By connecting with Jewish, pro-Israel groups, Le Pen seeks to cleanse the party of antisemitic attitudes. 

In the Netherlands, a phenomenon similar to that in France has been observed, with an 800% increase in antisemitic incidents since October 7.[16] In addition to pro-Palestinian demonstrations, these incidents include vandalizing synagogues, monuments, and Jewish symbols; projecting a movie denying the Holocaust on Anne Frank’s house; spray painting a swastika on the home of a family in Utrecht; and canceling a series of lectures and an International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony.[17] Although these processes have been going on for years, they have significantly intensified since October 7 and have accelerated the normalization of extreme right-wing ideologies in Western countries.

One of the most significant events in the Netherlands in 2023 was the general elections in November, in which Geert Wilders’s party, the far-right Party for Freedom, won the majority of votes. Wilders, like Le Pen, has been “courting” Israel and the Jews for years, primarily due to a strong interest in combating illegal immigration of Muslims to the Netherlands. The Party for Freedom emphasized immigration as the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed to form a new coalition (a challenging task for Wilders, as many liberal parties in the Netherlands are not willing to work with him). Like Le Pen’s party, the Party for Freedom promotes racist, Eurosceptic, and anti-establishment narratives.

In the United States there has been a meteoric rise in antisemitic incidents since the October 7 attack. From October to December 2023, the first three months after the outbreak of the war, the Anti-Defamation League documented 3,283 antisemitic incidents, a 360% increase compared to the same period the previous year, including 60 physical attacks, 553 incidents of vandalism, and 1,353 incidents of harassment.[18] In addition, the results of a survey by Harvard University and the Roper Institute after October 7 revealed extreme anti-Israel attitudes among young people in America.[19] Antisemitism in the United States provides “fertile ground” for activity from both the extreme left and right.[20]

Tearing up leaflets calling for the return of the abductees in New York |

With the increased tension in the country due to the conflict in the Middle East, extremist groups are trying to exploit the situation  to advance their own objectives and hijack the discussion of the Israel–Hamas war. They have been active in anti-Israel protests, recruiting audiences from the center of the discourse and disseminating false information about the conflict on the internet. These are white supremacist activists who are trying to infiltrate the current discourse and promote hatred of Jews and Israel within it. For example, according to local news reports, a group of white supremacists in Missoula, Montana joined pro-Palestinian demonstrators and chanted “Hip hip Hamas! Hip hip Hezbollah!” in celebration of the terrorist organizations’ fighting against the IDF, while thanking the pro-Palestinian protestors for their support.[21]

Extreme right-wing activity is not new in the United States, but since October 7, there has been a noticeable increase in calls from extremists on both sides against Jews and the State of Israel, including at demonstrations.[22] Reports by the Anti-Defamation League indicate that “white supremacy” leaders in the United States have openly celebrated Hamas’s attack on Israel, applauded explicit descriptions of violence against Israel, and have advocated for large-scale violence against Jews worldwide.[23] For example, swastika flags were flown by a group called the Blood Tribe in the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, while young people wearing t-shirts with swastikas and waving signs that read “Jews love genocide” marched in Winter Park, Florida.[24]

Conclusion and Recommendations

The October 7 massacre in the communities of the western Negev and the subsequent Israel–Hamas war have resulted in an unprecedented anti-Israel radicalization and a surge in antisemitic incidents worldwide. While most incidents are currently attributed to pro-Palestinian activists, Islamists, and far-left anti-Israel activists (the “green-red alliance”), the rise in the activities of far-right groups is cause for concern. Moreover, antisemitic and anti-Israel narratives of both the far right and far left are now penetrating the mainstream political and public discourse in western countries. Although these groups are not uniform in their beliefs, many of them propagate antisemitic ideas. Moreover, the growing influence of one extreme side does not negate the other; in fact, it can  amplify and reinforce it, creating a pendulum effect. Furthermore, far-right movements commonly espouse racist, antiestablishment, and anti-liberal sentiments, and in most cases, they include an explicit or implicit antisemitic agenda. Therefore, it is doubtful that those who claim to be “true friends” of Jews or of the State of Israel can be considered credible. Some  cynically use their relations with Israel and Jewish communities to advance their own political agendas, which can ultimately harm Jews and Israelis. This behavior usually stems from a deeper internal crisis that also negatively affects other marginalized groups in society. From this perspective, antisemitism serves as a warning sign of potential injustices that may be committed against other populations, such as minorities, as has occurred throughout history.

These disturbing developments are not new. They have been ongoing for years, but undoubtedly have intensified since October 7 and have become a torrent within extreme left-wing discourse, but also in the discourse of the far right, which has gradually become more mainstream over the years. In European contexts, illegal immigration has been the main issue leading up to the 2024 European Parliament elections. Since October 7, the debate on this subject has reached significant proportions, particularly due to vocal and violent “pro-Palestinian” demonstrations, involving groups of Muslim immigrants. Recent polls predict that the extreme right-wing faction in the European Parliament is expected to surpass the conservative group (ECR) and become the fourth largest force in the European Union.[25]

Given the severity of the trends described, the State of Israel should address the occurrences in the public sphere, both on the streets and on social media, with great seriousness. It is important to note that the apparent “support” from far-right groups for Jews and/or the State of Israel in its fight against Hamas does not usually stem from an affinity for Jews and Israel, but rather from a strong hatred of Muslims (and immigrants). These groups, in which hatred of foreigners is deeply rooted, are also tainted with antisemitism. In addition, these groups have instilled fear and raised public concern, especially following the war in the Gaza Strip, about the migration of Muslim refugees from the Middle East, particularly the Gaza Strip, to Europe and the United States. The pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the West played into the hands of the extreme right, as large groups of Muslims and their supporters suddenly marched through the streets of Europe and the United States, amplifying narratives of fear of “the Muslim foreigner coming to take over.”

As a result, Jewish and Israeli communities in Western countries find themselves in an extremely difficult predicament—a sense of insecurity arises from increasing threats from both the extreme left and the extreme right. The threat to the security of Jews worldwide is at its highest since the end of World War II and the Holocaust.

The State of Israel should understand the principled and strategic need to solidify its position as part of the camp of liberal democratic countries. To do so, Israel must preserve its identity as a multicultural country that embraces a variety of political opinions, while maintaining its character as a Jewish, democratic, and pluralistic country. In addition, the State of Israel should not be swayed by the seemingly “supportive” statements of some of the leaders of the extreme right in the West. Rather, their words of support should not be glorified but should be taken with caution, as their support for Israel is driven partly by their hatred of Arabs and Muslims and fear of their integration in the West. Israel needs to comprehend the increasing threat to Jewish communities and the ramifications of its policies for their security. Furthermore, the State of Israel should understand the implications of joining forces—even temporarily—with the revolutionary political fringe groups in different countries that seek to undermine the existing liberal order.

In addition, preparations should be made for the security of Jewish communities, and a multi-year plan should be considered for their protection using Israeli and local security bodies. If the wave of antisemitism increases, a growing number of Jews could request to immigrate to Israel. Therefore, suitable conditions should be created for their optimal integration, while adapting to the social environment in partnership with national institutions and local government.


[1] Shahar Eilam, and Ehud Rosen, “The War in Gaza and the Domestic Threat in the West,” INSS Insight, No. 1786 (November 13, 2023),

[2] Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, Antisemitism in 2023 Summary Report (January 2024),

[3] These groups are considered the most extreme factions among white supremacy supporters in the United States as they advocate the use of violence to overthrow democratic systems. Neo-Nazis and proponents of white supremacy theory view Jews as a significant threat and main cause for the decline of power of the “white race.” According to these theories, “the Jews” are using their political and social capital to eradicate white supremacy. Another neo-Nazi concept is the idea of a “Zionist-occupied government” or ZOG. According to this idea, “the Jews” are somehow behind the various manipulations by governments and markets and are therefore to blame for capitalist exploitation and communism. Furthermore, neo-Nazi factions claim that there is a global “Jewish conspiracy” managed by well-known Jewish philanthropists and bankers, such as George Soros. Holocaust denial is also part of their ideology, aimed at erasing the atrocities of Nazism and perpetuating the demonization of Jews. In addition, the Great Replacement theory holds that in their own countries, white people are being replaced by non-white immigrants, and that the Jews are to blame. For more, see Heidi Beirich, “Antisemitism Rising Among American Right-Wing Extremists,” INSS Special Publication (February 4, 2021),

[4] Beirich, “Antisemitism Rising.”

[5] Beirich, “Antisemitism Rising;” Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, Antisemitism Worldwide 2020,

[6] Beirich, “Antisemitism Rising,” 7.

[7] Yotam Rosner, “The Populist Radical Right in Europe,” in The European Union in Turbulent Times: Challenges, Trends, and Significance for Israel, ed. Yotam Rosner and Adi Kantor, INSS Memorandum No. 175 (June 2018),

[8] Omer Kapushchevsky, “Forbidden Romance: Will the War in Gaza Lead Israel into the Arms of the Extreme Right in Europe?” Maariv, November 28, 2023, [in Hebrew]

[9] RIAS, The Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism, Antisemitic Reactions to October 7: Antisemitic Incidents in Germany between October 7 and November 9, 2023, in the Context of the Massacres and the War in Israel and Gaza (2023),

[10] Linda Pasquini and Miranda Murray, “Germany’s Domestic Spy Agency Warns War in Gaza Stoking New Anti-Semitic Alliances,” Reuters, November 29, 2023,

[11] Pasquini and Murray, “Germany’s Domestic Spy Agency.”

[12] Der Spiegel, “Deutsche Neonazis bejubeln Angriff auf Israel - Auswertung von Websites und social-media-kanälen,” October 18, 2023,

[13] Gert Pickel, Oliver Decker, and Katrin Reimer-Gordinskaya, Der Berlin Monitor (2023),

[14] Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, Antisemitism in 2023.

[15] Klein, Zvika. “French Jewish Woman Stabbed in Antisemitic Attack, Swastika Painted on Door,” Jerusalem Post (November 4, 2023),

[16] Department for Combating Antisemitism and Enhancing Resilience, World Zionist Organization, Weekly Report on Antisemitic Incidents, November 23-30, 2023,

[17] Ofer Aderet, “Under Pressure from Pro-Palestinian Activists, University in the Netherlands Cancels Course on the Holocaust,” Haaretz, January 29, 2024 [in Hebrew],; Twin van Dijk (@Pilotwin), “Afschuwelijk dit! Wie doet Nou Zoiets?,” X, June 11, 2023,; Oded Rahav, “If it was in black and white,” Facebook, October 19, 2023,; Dilan Yesilgöz, (@DilanYesilgoz), “De projectie op het Anne Frank Huis is verachtelijk,” X, February 10, 2023,

[18] ADL, “ADL Reports Unprecedented Rise in Antisemitic Incidents Post-Oct. 7,” press release, November 12, 2023,

[19] Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, Antisemitism in 2023.

[20] Department for Combating Antisemitism and Enhancing Resilience, World Zionist Organization, Weekly Report on Antisemitic Incidents, Dec. 7-14, 2023,

[21] Kiara Alfonseca, “US extremists Exploit Israeli-Palestinian Tensions With Calls for Violence, Hate: Experts,” ABC News, November 15, 2023,

[22] StopAntisemitism, (@StopAntisemites), “Dallas, TX - one of the males seen today holding up antisemitic signage,” X, November 26, 2023,

[23] Center on Extremism, Anti-Defamation League, “White Supremacist Leaders Applaud Hamas and Violence Against Israelis,” (blog), October 10, 2023,; Center on Extremism, Anti-Defamation League, “Goyim Defense League,” July 5, 2023,

[24] Tavleen Tarrant and Dennis Romero, “Neo-Nazis March in Nashville, Leave After Being Challenged,” ABC News, February 19, 2024,; A.G. Gancarski, “Neo-Nazis return to Winter Park,” Florida Politics, February 17, 2024,

[25] Sarantis Michalopoulos, “EU Far-Right Dangerously Boosted in New Forecast,”, November 30, 2023,

Source: The Institute for National Security Studies -