Ultra-Orthodox Jews

Anti-Semitism on the rise, Jews blamed for coronavirus

The Foreign Ministry has reached out to social media platforms requesting they monitor and bloc such content but some have politely declined to act citing a manpower shortage due to the coronavirus pandemic

Itamar Eichner |
Updated: 03.31.20 , 08:06
An internal Foreign Ministry report warns of a sharp rise in anti-Semitic posts around the world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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  • In a document prepared by the ministry, malicious conspiracy theories, some contradictory, are being spread blaming Israel and Jews for the spread of the virus in order to thin out the world population and profit from a vaccination.
    Ultra-Orthodox JewsUltra-Orthodox Jews
    Ultra-Orthodox Jews
    (Photo: AFP)
    These posts are most common in the U.S., France, and Germany where anti-Semitism has been on the rise, but are seen in the Arab and Muslim world as well.
    The ministry is monitoring these posts and has instructed embassies to urge their host government to act in order to remove them from social media and bloc the disseminators of such content.
    Ran Yaakoby, who heads the Department for Combating Antisemitism said social platforms are being asked to act. Some have promised to investigate and bloc these posts but some have politely declined, claiming they are swamped by coronavirus content and do not have the manpower to deal with this problem.
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    Anti-Semitic post
    (Photo: Twitter)
    A 23-year-old man was arrested on Sunday in New Jersey after he announced on underground sites favored by White Supremacists, his intent to target Jews he blamed for spreading coronavirus.
    Some of the conspiracy theories claim there is a Jewish Zionist plot to thin out the world's population. In the Arab world, Israel is blamed for the spread of disease.
    Cartoons disseminated on Twitter and Telegram showed planes marked with an Israeli flag spreading coronavirus over people on the ground. Similar theories were spread in Turkey and Iran where the annual Holocaust denial cartoon competition was recently announced.
    Some cartoons show the Israeli flag with the coronavirus replacing the star of David.
    Other conspiracy theories claim Israel is already in possession of a vaccine and will make a fortune from its sale at the expense of human lives.
    Anti-Semitic cartoonAnti-Semitic cartoon
    Anti-Semitic cartoon
    (Photo: Twitter)
    Foreign Ministry officials say they have found links between Holocaust deniers and these conspiracy theorists linking the number of deaths in China and the number of bodies burnet, to the claim that the number of Holocaust victims cannot be true because China was unable to burn as many bodies.
    Other posts of this kind quote from the anti-Semitic manifesto of the Elders of Zion as proof of Jewish attempts at world domination through the spread of coronavirus.
    "We have identified these posts and are warning against their dissemination. We would like legislators to be more vigilant and take action against them," he said.
    "We are aware of certain people mapping companies owned by Jews in the United States so that they could later be accused of profiteering from the pandemic if they survive," Yaakoby said.

    First published: 07:32 , 03.31.20
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