The rise in antisemitism that has taken place since the start of the coronavirus outbreak is not likely to go away with the end of the pandemic, warns Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism Elan Carr.
Amid the rising tide of antisemitism this year comes a multitude of reports blaming Jews for the pandemic outbreak. Incidents have been widely documented across the globe, from Australia to Europe and the US.
Carr addressed this phenomenon on Monday during the virtual summit hosted by Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in lieu of the organization’s annual summit in Washington, reports the Jewish News Syndicate.
“We’ve seen a tsunami of antisemitic hatred on the Internet and social media that baselessly blames Jews for having invented the coronavirus, for intentionally spreading it, profiting from it or using it as a tool for global control," he said.
"The only thing new or novel about this absurd allegation is the coronavirus itself,” Carr continued. “Blaming Jews for the world’s maladies has been a standard feature of antisemitism for centuries.”
He added that an end must be put to the "antisemitism that feeds off of the economic downturn resulting from this global shutdown," adding that historically, economic downturns have always seen an increase in antisemitic acts, both verbal and violent physical attacks.
Within the last year antisemitism has risen by 18% worldwide, according to the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University.
“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,” Moshe Kantor – who established the center in 2010 and currently serves as president of the European Jewish Congress – said following the report's release.
“The language and imagery used clearly identifies a revival of the medieval ‘blood libels,’ when Jews were accused of spreading disease, poisoning wells or controlling economies,” he said.
Incidents blaming Jews for the coronavirus were seen as early as when the pandemic began to take hold globally. In March, the Foreign Ministry also produced a report that documented many conspiracy theories accusing Jews for the spread of the coronavirus in order to thin out the world population and profit from a vaccination, according to Ynet.
At the time, the ministry said that these reports were most frequent in nations such as the US, France and Germany, however they seen in the Middle East as well.Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.