Antisemitism Report 2020 – Office Center, Tel Aviv University in Cooperation with the European Jewish Congress

Antisemitism in times of pandemic

Today (Wednesday, April 7) the Office Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at the Faculty of Humanities at Tel Aviv University in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress published the Antisemitism Report for 2020 – the year of COVID -19 – showing that conflicting trends: On the one hand, a decrease was seen in physical violence due to lockdowns, which reduced encounters between Jews and violent antisemites; On the other hand, accusations against Jews (said to be responsible for the worldwide disaster), have been reflected in the rise of openly anti-Semitic expression on the internet in general and social networks in particular. The Report is based on thousands of testimonials from various locations around the world, received throughout the year from the international network established by the Kantor Center a few years ago-which included about 60 participants. which regularly sends information about antisemitism around the world.

Prof. Dina Porat, Head of Research (Head of Office Center): “The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting reality will dictate the nature and extent of antisemitism in 2020, which will be an unusually tense and turbulent year around the world. theory coming to the scene, and manifestations of antisemitism, both verbal and visual, evil and violent.Jews and Israelis are blamed for the development and spread of the coronavirus (or ‘Judeovirus’), was the main cause of anti -Semitic manifestations this year. This idea is based on a deep Jewish / Israeli fear as a prevalent disease then and now. “

Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress: “With a year of physical ban, it is clear that physical attacks need to decrease. However, with the increase in online antisemitism, the next attack against Jews and Jewish targets may be nearby.During social crises, Jews have always been irrelevant and targeted and we have seen this throughout the Covid cycle.Jews are blamed for viruses and drugs, and bans and vaccinations are not should be compared to the Holocaust, which reduced and reduced the killing of Six Million Jews. We hope that what we have witnessed will not calm down before the ‘complete storm’ of Jewish hatred in the years to come. ”

Jews and Israel are blamed for the development and spread of the coronavirus (or ‘Judeovirus’) a more serious accusation than has ever been made against Jews throughout history: As the disease began to spread around the world, it was immediately followed by accusations that the virus had developed and spread among Jews and Israel: they were the ones to find a medicines and vaccines for the disease, sold them to the sick world and made huge profits. In the following months it quickly spread to the libel. We have received reports of this impact from many countries, in the form of aggressive messages and numerous damaging cartoons. In addition, the accusation is heard not only from extremist circles, such as white supremacists, ultra-conservative Christians, or traditional accusers such as Turkey and the Palestinian Authority and especially Iran, which has invested in efforts to spread the accusation. It also spreads to populations that do not have a good recognition of political or ideological identities.

Figures and trends: As mentioned above, lockdowns in various countries have reduced encounters between Jews and their dissidents, and as a result the number of violent incidents decreased in 2020 from 456 to 371 – a figure that usual in 2016-18. No one was killed this year for being Jewish (even if physical attacks could lead to loss of life), and the number of bodily injuries dropped from 170 in 2019 to 107 in 2020. Damage to private property has also decreased from 130 to 84 incidents, simply because most people remain at home. In most countries a decrease has been registered in the number of violent incidents, attacks on both people and their property, threats and arson. However, vandalism to Jewish communal lands and institutions remained the same as before, and in some cases increased even more (see table). The number of damages to cemeteries, Holocaust memorials and other Jewish monuments has risen from 77 (2019) to 96 (2020) incidents worldwide, as these areas are open and there is no protection. The number of damaged synagogues also increased from 53 (2019) to 63 (2020), because they were closed, they became easy victims.

Violent incidents Injury to the body Property damage Desecration of synagogues, cemeteries and Holocaust memorials
2020 371 107 84 159
2019 456 170 130 130

In the US there is a gradual increase in violent incidents observed over several years, reaching 119 this year (99 in 2017 for example), and Germany has also seen a significant increase in the overall number of cases, from a total of 2,032 in 2019 to 2,275 in 2020, including 59 violent incidents. In both countries, looting is the cause of most incidents.

A significant decline has been noticed in Australia, the UK and especially in France, where the Ministry of the Interior and the Jewish Community both report a third 50% of all separate anti -Semitic incidents, due to tight locks, as well Canada, where the number of violent cases fell by more than half. Most of the incidents occurred in countries with large Jewish communities: the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, France and Germany. In all other countries, except Ukraine, less than 10 incidents (per country) were reported in 2020.

Antisemitism on the web: Because public space was closed during the pandemic, and people stayed at home, social media activities, including anti-Semitic activities, increased in importance, characterized by aggression and verbal abuse. Such surprises, however, are naturally difficult to count.

Ø Bombing zoom: When zooming became a major means of communication, an event called zoom-bombing emerged-disrupting zoom conferences in synagogues, Jewish community centers and students. Jewish, disrupted meetings and used the platform to display swastikas, anti -Semitic presentations or speeches, etc. the U.S. only 200 cases of zoom bombing were registered.

Ø Darknet development: Extremist groups, especially from the far right, such as white supremacists and neo -Nazis, have left open social networks, and descended into the darknet, which has grown significantly in the past year – where they can be free to any regulations or restrictions. Here, undisturbed, they run their own websites, which are very difficult to monitor. That is, as the number of anti -Semitic manifestations on open networks grows, darknet activities increase.

Opponents of the vaccine and the Holocaust, in Israel and abroad: Opponents of the vaccine equated bans and lockdowns for the pandemic issue with the Nazi regime’s policies that accused the establishment and governments of different countries of applying coercive methods: lockdowns were compared to the imprisonment of ghettos and concentration camps; vaccines are described as medical experiments; certificates granting post -vaccination privileges were seen as a bad method of ‘selecting’ Nazi death camps; the anti-vaxxers felt they were disliked and persecuted like the Jews of old; the epitaph of the Auschwitz gate serves as a source for the new slogan ‘Vaccine releases’; and so on.

In Germany, where there is strong opposition to vaccines, demonstrators wore a yellow star on their clothes, with the word “unwritten” replaced with the word “Jewish”, and called Chancellor Merkel being a Nazi.

The advent of vaccines, along with numerous vaccination campaigns in Israel, has been aided by Israelis and Jews who hold prominent positions in companies that make these vaccines, such as Tal Zaks, Chief Moderna’s Medical Officer, and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, bolstering the accusations: Israelis and Jews are united so that Israel can first recover from mental illness, while the rest of the world stands in line and begged the Jews for help.

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