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With spread of coronavirus, Israel battling anti-Semitism as well

From the Arab and Muslim world to America, France and Germany, Israel is combatting a rise in anti-Semitism along with the spread of the coronavirus as conspiracy theories and accusations against Jews spreading the contagion abound on social media.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has requested that social media platforms monitor and block anti-Semitic posts during the COVID-19 crisis, but some responded that they are too overwhelmed and understaffed to catch everything.

Anti-Semitism erupted across the New York and tri-state area after several news reports showed that ultra-Orthodox were still gathering even after strict guidelines went into place for social distancing. Religious communities in New York are the epicenter of coronavirus cases in the state — and are being blamed by anti-Semites for the virus’ spread.

The Times of Israel reported that in New Jersey a fire marshal called Jews “trash” and “dirty ones” and said the ultra-Orthodox town of Lakewood should be turned into “a hole in [the] ground.” And at a car dealership in New York, an Orthodox Jewish man was kicked out and accused of spreading the virus and refused him service.

In New Jersey, a 23-year-old man was arrested for announcing on White Supremacist sites that he intended to target Jews for spreading coronavirus.

From conspiracy theories claiming a Zionist plot intended to control the world’s population to cartoons showing an Israeli flag spreading coronavirus or the virus itself replacing the star of David, hatred of Jews and Israel is clearly being fueled around the world.

“We have identified these posts and are warning against their dissemination. We would like legislators to be more vigilant and take action against them,” said Ran Yaakoby, who heads the Department for Combating Antisemitism. “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.”

In this grapic shared on Telegram two weeks ago, the coronavirus is portrayed as a “trojan horse” for “globalist” Jews. (photo credit: ADL/COURTESY)

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