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January 24, 2021 10:54 am

Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry Predicts Uptick in Antisemitism in 2021 Due to Coronavirus

avatar by i24 News

One of the antisemitic posters on display in the Argentine city of Neuquén. Photo: Simon Wiesenthal Center.

i24 News – Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry released a stark warning Sunday that Jews around the world will likely face a pronounced spike in antisemitic incidents in 2021 due to the spreading of conspiracy theories concerning the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry’s annual report that state actors, including Iran among others, spread rumors and blood libels that Jews caused the virus’ outbreak to financially profit from the chaos caused, according to the Times of Israel.

The report noted that while the worldwide lockdowns led to a sharp decline in antisemitic attacks in 2020 and to zero deaths in such incidents for the first time in years, they also laid the groundwork for a predicted rise in prejudice against Jews after the pandemic is over, particularly with people spending inordinately longer online.

It added that online antisemitism rose significantly, particularly by using the #COVID48 hashtag which compares Israel to the virus — with a nod to the year of the country’s Declaration of Independence — echoing past depictions of Jews, some dating back centuries, as viruses seeking to take over the world. It says that the hashtag, used approximately a quarter of a million times, appears to be an Iranian campaign.

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Despite this, the report stated that there had been a drop in the number of antisemitic posts on social media, due to steps taken by the main social media companies, which have caused antisemitic users to migrate to other platforms with less oversight, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Data from the ministry’s monitoring systems showed a 50% decrease in the number of antisemitic posts on Twitter between 2018 and 2020.

The 140-page document also noted an increase in antisemitism in the US as well as among German law enforcement officers.

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