Swastika spray painted on a synagogue. (Simon Wiesenthal Center) (Simon Wiesenthal Center)
anti-semitism

Conspiracy theories that blame Jews for the coronavirus pandemic head the top 10 list of anti-Semitic incidents in 2020.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) this week announced its annual Top Ten Worst Global Anti-Semitic Incidents for 2020, with the top offenders focused on “the weaponizing of the COVID-19 pandemic against Jews.”

“From the earliest stages of the pandemic in February 2020, far-right extremists across social media platforms blamed Jews and Asian Americans for the virus,” the report said.

Coronavirus conspiracy targeting Jews topped the list, with several ugly examples including a fake Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning that told anybody infected with coronavirus to “visit a local synagogue or mosque to spread the deadly virus.”

Another posting on social media had an image titled “Holocough”: “If you have the bug, give a hug. Spread the flu to every Jew.”

“Anti-Semites have blamed Jews for the medieval Black Plague to the WWI Spanish Flu,” the report said, pointing out that “in the 1930s, Nazi propaganda compared Jews to vermin who spread disease.”

The report noted that news of coming vaccines for the coronavirus brought protests by anti-vaxxers in Germany where far-right protesters showed up with anti-Semitic signs. In December, a UK Government report indicated that some anti-vaxxer online forums are “rife with anti-Semitism.”

Number two on the top ten went to the social media platform Telegram, whose unmoderated channels are widely used by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists groups that “have all found a home on Telegram.” Other anti-Semitic and anti-Israel groups like “Hamas and other Islamist terrorists with hate and violence agendas” also exploit Telegram to spread their propaganda.

Third place went to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, with the SWC calling him the “Godfather of hate [who] spreads Jews-hatred to new generations.”

Others in the top ten included:

-“The far Left and far Right in the U.S.,” both of whom carried out anti-Semitic attacks during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.

-The Iranian regime, which continues to call for Israel’s total annihilation.

-The European Court of Justice, for its ruling that will ban Jewish ritual slaughter, calling it “a move reminiscent of the Nazi-era.”

-German NGOs, diplomats and politicians who are trying to get German to lift its ban on the anti-Semitic BDS movement.

-The University of Illinois and the University of Southern California for failing to confront campus hate aimed at their Jewish students.

-The mayor of a Santiago, Chile suburb, Daniel Jadue, who used municipal funds to finance pro-BDS and anti-Israel activities.

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