Concern grows over multiple threats against Israelis and Jews around the world

The Israeli authorities asked citizens to take extreme precautions if they decide to travel abroad over the holidays. An official issued a warning about the safety of Israelis at Eurovision, Eurocup and the Olympic Games.

In the coming weeks, Israelis will begin to enjoy the holidays for Pesach (Jewish Passover). However, Israel is at war against Hamas, which has generated a rise in anti-Israelism and antisemitism around the world. This is why the National Security Council of the Jewish State has published an estimation of the threat of terrorism for Israelis traveling abroad, to raise awareness for anyone who plans to travel abroad for the holidays.

The organization asked citizens to avoid traveling to Turkey, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan. Likewise, it suggested not displaying Jewish symbols. 

The National Security Council said in the statement that "in recent years a worsening of threats against Israelis abroad has been detected." It added that the situation has even worsened since the beginning of the war against Hamas in October 2023. “Given an increase in the motivation of various terrorist groups in the world to carry out attacks, the Iranian threat - which has intensified - and along with it that of Hamas and other elements of global jihad, which promote even more attacks against Israelis and Jews abroad," the organization added in the statement.

The National Security Council further highlighted that dozens of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets around the world have been thwarted in recent months.

The organization called on citizens to "seriously evaluate the destination of the trip, the degree of need to reach countries with a medium and higher alert level, and in any case, take the necessary precautionary measures."

The Israeli National Security Council's recommendations

In the statement, the National Security Council issued a series of recommendations for people who, despite warnings, decide to travel abroad for the holidays.

The organization advised, among other things, to “avoid going to crowded places”; pay special attention in “public places,” such as restaurants, hotels, bars, etc.; do not display “Israeli symbols”; and do not post details of the trip on social media.

The main threats to Israelis abroad

The Israeli media outlet Ynet put together a list of the main threats to Israelis traveling abroad.

Iran and the Shiite Axis: The Ayatollah regime is the main source of global terrorism. In recent years, Tehran has expanded its activities to harm Israeli and Jewish citizens around the world, both directly and through its proxies and collaborators in various countries.

Dozens of Iranian attempts to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets have been thwarted in recent years around the world. In 2021, a terrorist squad serving Iran tried to assassinate Israeli businessmen in Cyprus. Previously, similar threats were detected in Colombia, as well as in 2022 in Turkey and Georgia, and in 2023 in Greece, Cyprus and Latin America, where the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah was also involved. These are just some of the events that the Israeli authorities allowed to spread.

Ynet reported that since the beginning of the war in Gaza, Iran and its allies have increased their attempts to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, including repeated attempts by Iranians to contact citizens of the state, in Israel and abroad. They often pretend to be commercial agents or attractive women and try to kidnap them.

Hamas: In the wake of the war in Gaza there has been a significant increase in Hamas's motivation and activity to carry out terrorist attacks against Jews and Israelis abroad. Meanwhile, in December 2023, this Islamist organization's infrastructure was exposed in some European countries. This revealed the group's intent to carry out attacks against targets related to the Jewish State in Sweden and Germany.

Global Jihad: The various organizations of global jihad and radical Islam continue to promote and carry out terrorist attacks in various locations around the world. The most recent major attack was carried out by the Islamic State on March 22 at the Crocus City Hall concert hall in Moscow, Russia, where at least 133 people were killed. A few weeks earlier, Russian security forces thwarted an attack by the same terrorist group on a synagogue in the Russian capital.

In recent months, Islamic terrorist organizations and their supporters have increased their calls to attack Jews and Israelis around the world. In Western countries, the main threat is related to the so-called lone wolves, who, inspired by Islamist groups, have been attacking Israelis and/or people from the Jewish community. This is what happened on March 3 in Switzerland when a Jew was stabbed.

Antisemitism and neo-Nazis: Along with the threat of radical Islam, in recent months there has been a significant increase in incitement against Israel and Jews, as well as explicit manifestations of antisemitism and acts of violence against members of the Jewish community in various countries of the world, such as France, Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.

A Jew was murdered in Los Angeles, an Israeli embassy employee was stabbed in China, a woman was attacked with a knife in France, an Israeli journalist was attacked in Berlin and Jewish properties were shot at in Canada. These are just some of the hundreds of acts of antisemitic violence that have occurred recently.

It should be noted that Jewish communities are also a major target for neo-Nazis, with religious and community institutions being the preferred target on holidays. In recent years, attacks have been carried out against Jewish religious institutions in Europe and America for ideological reasons related to antisemitism.

What does Israeli law say about traveling to enemy countries?

Israeli law prohibits citizens from traveling to enemy countries, such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran. This even applies to people with dual citizenship because Israelis are at risk of being kidnapped, injured or killed.

Serious concerns for the safety of Israelis at Eurovision, the EuroCup and the Olympic Games

In May, the Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Malmö, Sweden, which is considered to be pro-Palestinian. According to information from Ynet, an Israeli official who is in charge of thwarting terrorist threats in the world said that he advises citizens of the Jewish State not to reveal their Israeli identity if they decide to travel to the Scandinavian country to attend the musical event.

The official warned Israelis. "You can speak Hebrew among yourselves, but you don't have to yell at other family members or friends across the street," he said.

The official also expressed concern about the safety of Israelis during the European soccer championship in Germany and the Olympic Games in France. It is estimated that tens of thousands of Israeli citizens will attend both events.

The main concern, the official stated, is related to “members of the global jihad who have Israelis and Jews in their sights.” He added that the security services of the Jewish State are working with other authorities in Europe as well as other parts of the world to thwart attacks.

“From time to time, news about foiled attacks spreads, but that is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

Are Israelis and Jews the only ones being targeted?

Islamic terrorism encompasses various factions with conflicting ideologies and methods of attack, yet they are unified in their goal of imposing their will upon non-believers or those who refuse to submit to their authoritarian agenda.

As we have seen, the recent terrorist attack in Russia was the latest in a series of large-scale attacks. Nonetheless, Islamist attacks are common around the world. The fact that Israelis are the main target of Islamic extremists stems from Israel's status as the primary obstacle to their objectives.

The fight against Islamic terrorism requires a united global effort, with the Jewish State often bearing the frontline burden. However, the threat extends to all of us, placing us all in the crosshairs.