Tags: Coronavirus | Israel | anti-semitism | jews

Study: COVID-19 Sparked Rise in Anti-Semitism

an israeli flag
An Israeli flag (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 June 2020 01:19 PM

Coronavirus is fueling new reports of anti-Semitism across the world, The Times of Israel reports.

Think tank researchers at the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University found that people are blaming the Jews and Israel for causing the virus or alleging that Jews stand to benefit from the virus by profiting from a cure.

The pandemic has "unleashed a unique worldwide wave of anti-Semitism," researchers said in the report published Tuesday.

"The new wave of anti-Semitism includes a range of libels that have one common element: The Jews, the Zionists and/or the state of Israel are to blame for the pandemic and/or stand to gain from it," they wrote.

The study was based on derogatory statements posted in public forums worldwide.

Researchers said they noticed that many anti-Semitic sentiments are existing anti-Jewish thoughts that have existed for centuries. In April, the Kantor Center noted a rise of anti-Semitism incidents tied to the virus.

"This new type of anti-Semitism, which partly reiterates classic anti-Semitic themes, includes conspiracy theories alongside medieval blood libels, now renewed in a 21st century format," the study states.

"These common motifs perpetuate anti-Semitic accusations from previous generations and other global catastrophes, once again presenting the well-known image of the Jew," professor Dina Porat, head of the Kantor Center, wrote in a statement.

According to the report, the anti-Semitic rhetoric is spread mostly by right-wing extremists, ultra-conservative Christians, and Islamists. The information is spread from the U.S. and Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Turkey.

American white supremacists and ultra-conservative Christians single out the ultra-Orthodox community for the spread of the virus. They point out how they ignored lockdown rules and hygiene rules aimed at curbing the spread, according to the study.

In the Middle East, it is Israel, Zionism, and the Mossad intelligence service that are blamed. A modern interpretation of the hoax "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" has spread the story that Jews are spreading the virus to undermine economies and society and then will profit while preparing a vaccine and drug treatment, researchers report.

Iranian and Turkish conspiracy theorists claim Zionists and the U.S. released the virus in order to kill thousands of Muslims. Another Muslim sentiment is that the disease is a punishment from God for non-believers, the study reports.

Some believe the virus is divine punishment to the Jews. Others have compared lockdowns to the Holocaust. There have been reports of people using the phrase "Holocough," combining the Holocaust with cough on social media, according to the report.

"Universal disasters have been attributed to the Jews and to Israel before, giving rise to anti-Semitic discourse — such as conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11, or false reports accusing Israeli soldiers of harvesting organs from the bodies of dead Palestinians," wrote researcher Giovanni Quer. "The current wave of anti-Semitism is unprecedented, however, because, spreading very swiftly through the social media, it focused at first on the COVID-19 crisis and then quickly moved on because of social and political changes."

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US
Think tank researchers at the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University found that people are blaming the Jews and Israel for causing the virus or alleging that Jews stand to benefit from the virus by profiting from a cure.
anti-semitism, jews
496
2020-19-23
Tuesday, 23 June 2020 01:19 PM
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