In New Report, UK Anti-Semitism Adviser Warns of Increased Anti-Semitism in Anti-Vaxxer Movement

October 23, 2020

A new report released by The Office of Her Majesty’s Government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism, Lord John Mann, sheds light on the role of anti-Semitism in the anti-vaxxer movement. The report, titled, “From Anti-Vaxxers to Antisemitism: Conspiracy Theory in the Covid-19 Pandemic,” demonstrates the extent to which anti-Semitism has become prevalent in ‘anti-vaxxer’ conspiracy theories, a movement that has grown significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report’s analysis of 27 leading anti-vaxxer forums found that anti-Semitic content was present in 79% of them. The analysis contained within the document, evaluates the saturation of anti-Semitism in the anti-vaxxer and anti-lockdown movements within private and public Facebook groups.

The report lifts the lid on the level of anti-Semitism that has found its way into the main anti-vaxxer forums and highlights the connection of the vast majority of anti-vaxxers groups and campaigns with conspiracy theories and the inevitable anti-Semitism that this leads to, according to Amy Wagner, Special Advisor to Lord Mann.

Lord Mann, who is also a member of the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement advisory board, commented, “Far-left and far-right groups strongly overlap in their attitudes and arguments about vaccinations. But regularly fall back onto conspiracy theories to promote their argument.” 

The report states that the accusations that the pandemic is fake and that Jewish conspirators created the virus are the most dominant conspiracies in anti-vaxxer communities. Whilst the majority of anti-vaxxers do not express anti-Semitic beliefs, these claims have become more prevalent since the start of restrictions enforced by governments to limit the spread of COVID-19, the document says. These charges are directed at Jewish figures George Soros and the Rothschild family, or at non-Jewish figures including Bill and Melinda Gates and the Rockefeller family, public health officials including Neil Ferguson and Anthony Fauci and politicians, who are either accused of being Jewish or in the pay of so-called Jewish orchestrators of a ‘New World Order’.

Discussing the threat posed by this fast-growing form of anti-Semitism, Lord Mann continued, “Considering the current situation, directly challenging the myths and conspiracies peddled by the anti-vaxxers is of growing importance and essential for our future health. The exposure of the levels of antisemitism within the anti-vaxxer movement requires its own effective and robust response.”

Speaking more broadly, Lord Mann said, “Whether there is a big problem in society, some extremists will always seek to blame the Jews.” Lord Mann was a prominent critic of the anti-Semitism scandals that plagued the Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom.

Mann is considered one of the leading voices against anti-Semitism in the UK. He served for 19 years as a Member of Parliament for Labour before resigning in 2019 after accusing Corbyn of “giving the green light to anti-Semites.” 

The full report can be found here.