An internally circulated report prepared by the department responsible for combating antisemitism in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns that there is a stark rise in antisemitic publications and social media posts blaming Jewish people for the spread of Coronavirus. The report describes the use of egregious conspiracy theories that blame Jews for “purposely” spreading the virus globally in order make money by developing a vaccine.
A worrisome antisemitic trend
Much of the outbreak of antisemitic expressions have been found in the United States, France and Germany, which already had numerous anti-Jewish publications prior to the outbreak of the virus, in addition to the Arab and Muslim world as well. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely following this worrisome trend and has directed its embassies around the world to monitor such posts and publications and to refer them to the governments of their host countries. This is in order to encourage the governments to promote preventative legislation combating antisemitism. Contact has also been made with social media platforms requesting that they remove antisemitic posts and block the users that are disseminating them.
Ran Yaakobi, head of the department responsible for combating antisemitism, stated that contact was made with several social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Reddit and YouTube. In some of the cases, there was a positive response in which promises were made to look into the claim and remove antisemitic posts. However, in other cases, there was a lack of response claiming that there was an overload of referrals since the outbreak of Coronavirus and that they don’t currently have enough monitors. Moreover, just yesterday a 23-year-old from New Jersey was arrested after he threatened to attack Jews since they are “spreading the virus.”
The trend is only becoming worse on the underground websites that are often frequented by white supremacists.
Among the conspiracy theories spread on the internet is one claiming that there is a Zionist-Jewish plan to decrease the global population. From within the Arab world appears to be discourse blaming Israel for the rapid spread of the virus. A cartoon was posted on Twitter and Telegram displaying Israeli planes, with the national flag appearing on its tail, dropping down Coronavirus onto people.
Similar theories have also found their origins in Turkey and Iran. Also disseminated on the internet are images of an Israeli flag with coronavirus in the middle in place of the Star of David.
The Coronavirus and Holocaust denial
There are also contrasting conspiracy theories being spread that accuse Israel of already having a vaccine but are vying to make a fortune out of it at the expense of those infected. Interestingly, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs found that there is a connection between Holocaust denial and the current crisis. This strangely stems from individuals that are posting calculations of the amount of fatalities in China as a result of the virus and how many corpses the government burned in a single day. Appallingly, this calculation led them to the conclusion that the numbers of Jews said to be murdered in the Holocaust must be false, since the Chinese are unable to get to such a high amount with modern technology.
Among these antisemitic social medias are quotes taken from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as evidence of the efforts to control the world by Jews through Coronavirus.
“We are witnessing an influx of antisemitic posts and we want to alert the authorities before it becomes too widespread. Our goal is to have these kinds of expressions blocked and increase legislation. We received preliminary information regarding people that are mapping the identities of the owners of large corporations in the American and European economies and which of them are Jewish in order place the blame on them in case of a large economic crisis. On the one hand, they are accusing Jews for exploiting the crisis in order to make money but on the other, if there isn’t any money as a result of an economic crisis, then Jews are also to blame for the economy’s deterioration,” Yaakobi added.