TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Last year, the coronavirus blockade sparked some anti-Semitic hatred online, with many conspiracy theories blaming Jews for the medical and economic devastation of the epidemic. This raised concerns about the rise of anti-Semitism in the post-community world.
The results of the annual report on anti-Semitism by researchers at Tel Aviv University show that the social isolation of the epidemic keeps Jews away from those who want to harm them.
Last year, the number of incidents of violence against Jews in some 40 countries fell from 456 to 371, roughly the same level that researchers reported from 2016 to 2018.
The researchers report that the online scene was very different, the researchers report. A possible warning sign that once the epidemic is eased, hatred of the Jews may intensify, as has happened in some other historical human struggles.
“Anti-Jewish hatred never stays online,” said Moshe Cantor, president of the World Jewish Congress. “We must be prepared that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories could lead to physical attacks on Jews once the blockade is lifted.”
The Center for Contemporary European Jewish Studies at Tel Aviv University publishes its annual report on the eve of Israel Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins at sunset on Wednesday.
The research team found that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories flourished in February 2020. The coronavirus began to spread around the world.
When the world’s health authorities declared an epidemic in March, people were forced to stay away from each other. But there they went online, և many were subjected to conspiracy theories blaming the disaster on a number of ethnic-religious groups, including Jews.
According to the report, the false theories generally passed like this. The Jews and the Israelites created and spread the virus so that they could save the world with profitable vaccines.
The trend echoed the old egg of anti-Semitism, which accused Jews of spreading disease and other tragedies. The researchers said the conspiracy theorists had made a false comparison between health restrictions, vaccines, the Holocaust, in which the Nazis killed more than 6 million Jews.
The anti-Semitic trend weakened in the summer, the report said, but increased in the fall with news of vaccine development. At the same time, the split US presidential election campaign served as fertile ground for the rise of conspiracy theories.
Anti-Semitic messages were circulated online, including disturbing anecdotal evidence that those who repeated them welcomed not only extremists but “a population that does not have a clear political or ideological identity.” They blamed the Rothschild family, billionaire George Loros Soros, extremist orthodox Jews who spread the virus, and the virus.
Meanwhile, in 2020, the number of physical injuries from anti-Semitic incidents decreased by 37%, from 170 to 107 in 2019. Damage to private property also fell by 35%, from 130 to 84 incidents, according to the report.
But other evidence shows that the mood of hatred still existed.
Worrying trends included a gradual increase in violent incidents in the United States and a sharp increase in Germany. Vandalism accounted for the majority of cases in both countries.
During that period, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and other monuments increased by a quarter. The number of disabled synagogues increased by 19%.
At the same time, big media platforms like Twitter և Facebook strongly pursue racist և false messages. But it only pushed conspiracy theorists into the darkest corners of the web, where they are difficult to quantify, the report said.
The report said that the attacks escalated into aggression, verbal violence, as extremists fought over the spread of the virus, false theories about the collapse of world economies, who was to blame. Among the “fake theories” of his documentaries, the report cited what he called a “magnification” in which extremists came into contact with synagogues, Jewish community centers, and members of “educational organizations.”
It turns out that the purpose was to install a swastika, to deliver anti-Semitic presentations and speeches.