WASHINGTON – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a report on Thursday warning of a sharp resurgence of anti-Semitism in the wake of the financial crisis. Internet discussion boards and blogs dealing with the meltdown on Wall Street are being flooded with hate speech, ADL says.
"We know from modern history that whenever there is a downturn in the global economy, there will be an upturn in the level of anti-Semitism and bigotry, and that is what we are seeing now," said ADL National Director Abe Foxman.
"The age-old canards about Jews and money are always just beneath the surface. As we witnessed after 9/11, whenever there is trouble or uncertainty in the economy or world events, Jews become the scapegoats, and ugly anti-Semitic canards are given new life."
In hundreds of messages echoing rhetoric found on neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites, posters to mainstream forums promote centuries-old stereotypes and conspiracy theories alleging Jewish control of the economy, banking and the government.
The ADL notes that several posts "have gone so far as to resurrect Nazi-era propaganda with threads such as 'The Jewish Problem' or comments such as, 'The Final Solution 2?."
Other examples: 'Jews have infiltrated Wall Street and Government and have ruined our country.'
'What is a GS Jew? Goldman Sachs?'
'Jews are greedy, rotten slime balls. They (Jews) love money nothing else, no faith or religion can be so heartless to their victims.'
"The good news is that providers of Internet services and moderators of message boards and even individual users are quick to react whenever anti-Semitism enters the discussion," said Foxman. "The
service providers are responsive, and in most cases the offensive messages are quickly removed. But in many cases - especially with online discussions that occur in real time and are closely followed by large groups of users - the damage is already done."
The report says that in addition to the text posts, some are also posting videos to sites like YouTube, claiming that the Jews "are exploiting the current economic crisis as part of greater conspiracy to control the country and to harm non-Jews."