In the age of corona, antisemitism is on the rise around the world, fueled by current versions of centuries-old blood libels that Jews spread disease.
The findings, in the annual report on Anti-Semitism Worldwide by the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University, showed an 18% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2019 over the previous year.
In the first few months of 2020, far-right politicians in the United States and Europe and ultra-conservative pastors have seized upon the health crisis and its resulting economic hardship to foster hatred against Jews, the researchers said.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant rise in accusations that Jews, as individuals and as a collective, are behind the spread of the virus or are directly profiting from it,” said Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress.
“The language and imagery used clearly identifies a revival of the mediaeval ‘blood libels’ when Jews were accused of spreading disease, poisoning wells or controlling economies,” he said during the report’s release.
Kantor said that as unemployment soars due to lockdowns to contain the coronavirus, “more people may seek out scapegoats, spun for them by conspiracy theorists”.
He called on world leaders to address the problem of growing extremism “already at our door”. Read more