Simon Wiesenthal Center Releases Study on Rise of Anti-Semitism Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic
April 16, 2020
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling on digital platforms to remove posts that exploit the coronavirus pandemic to push anti-Semitism and violence against Jews according to the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS).
In a study released this month – “Deadly New Virus Intersects with History’s Oldest Hate: Report and Analysis,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center highlighted the starling rise in anti-Semitic posts on social media as a result of the global pandemic.
The report highlights many posts including one on Telegram (a popular instant-messaging app) that displays a caricature of the coronavirus with the caption: “Holocough: If you have the bug, give a hug, spread the flu, to every Jew.”
“The coronavirus pandemic may be new, but Jews have a long and tragic history of being accused of spreading deadly viruses,” the report highlighted.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told Fox News that telegram and other platforms had become a “breeding ground for extremists” particularly during the current pandemic.
In addition to publishing the recent study, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has contacted the U.S. Department of Justice and is calling on the FBI and local law enforcement to take action when necessary.
Rabbi Cooper also acknowledged addressed the increase in hate crimes against Asian-Americans since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Cooper explained that the rise in hatred “shows in a time of uncertainty and fear, people naturally look for a scapegoat or an outlet for their anger … or they have a predisposition, they might hate Asians or Jews.”