Israeli researchers have traced a global trend of anti-Semitic hate speech imputing Jews and Israelis for the coronavirus. These coronavirus-related accusations against Jews are supported chiefly by “extreme rightists, ultra-conservative Christian circles, Islamists, and to a minor extent by the far-left,” according to a yearly report on global anti-Semitism by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University. This year’s report, released Monday, indicates an 18% increase in anti-Semitic violence in 2019.
The report states that “since the beginning of March 2020, [the center has] been receiving disturbing information on accusations of Jews, Zionists and Israelis, as individuals and as a collective, for causing and spreading the coronavirus.” Israeli researchers have linked these accusations to claims by Florida pastor Rick Wiles, who said God was spreading the virus in Israeli synagogues as punishment for Jews opposing Jesus, and by former KKK leader David Duke, who tweeted that global Jewry and Zionism conspire to undermine world economic stability.
The report also cites allegations in Turkey and Iran that Zionists and Americans invented the virus as a weapon against the Iranian people and Muslims. The study also mentions that Asians have been targeted and attacked and, some Muslim rulers insist that China faces divine punishment for killing its Muslim Uighur community.
The FBI in New York reportedly notified the public that neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups have urged members to spread the virus amongst Jews and police officers. U.S. Jewish organizations and synagogues have announced that their videoconference gatherings have been crashed by anti-Semitic hackers.
The Israeli anti-Semitism investigation was published on the eve of Israel’s yearly Holocaust Remembrance Day, an event that takes place Monday night and Tuesday to remember the 6 million European Jews butchered by Nazi Germany and its allies during World War II. As sirens mourned the victims during Tuesday morning’s annual moment of silence, volunteers and police officers in some Israeli cities stood outside the residences of Holocaust survivors sheltering at home during the pandemic, so they would not be physically separated on the special day.
Socially distanced recognitions included pre-recorded services and national Zoom video conferences with Holocaust survivors. Israel’s first coronavirus death was a Holocaust survivor in Jerusalem. Currently, there are more than 13,000 confirmed cases in Israel. This has caused concern amongst Israel’s leaders as the country houses 189,500 elderly Holocaust survivors, the world’s largest survivor population.
Reading about this is sickening. However, I am not surprised as ignorance is always present during hard times. Talking to these people would be useless as they would never listen to anyone but their leaders. Hate groups always tend to target historically persecuted communities, even now. It’s sad to see that people are blaming each other and targeting peaceful communities instead of following the WHO guidelines to prevent the spread and thus reduce the number of worldwide cases.