Kantor Antisemitism Report For 2020 Reflects Jew-Hatred, Tropes Exacerbated By Pandemic

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The results indicated contradictory trends: a decrease in physical violence due to lockdowns to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and an increase in accusations against the Jews, who were allegedly responsible for the global coronavirus and its disastrous results

The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Humanities, in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress, released the Antisemitism Report for 2020, the year of the novel coronavirus.

The results indicated contradictory trends: On the one hand, a decrease was seen in physical violence due to lockdowns put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, which reduced encounters between Jews and violent anti-Semites; and on the other, accusations against the Jews, who were allegedly responsible for the global pandemic and disastrous results, were manifested in a rise of blatant anti-Semitic expression on the Internet in general and social networks specifically.

The report is based on thousands of testimonies from different places around the globe, received throughout 2020 from the international network established by the Kantor Center several years ago, which includes about 60 participants who regularly send in information about anti-Semitism worldwide.

Professor Dina Porat, head of the Kantor Center, said “the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting reality dictated both the nature and extent of anti-Semitism in 2020, which was an unusually tense and turbulent year all over the world. Prejudice, superstition, primordial emotions and bizarre theories surfaced on the scene, and manifestations of anti-Semitism, both verbal and visual, were vicious and outrageous. Blaming the Jews and Israelis for developing and spreading the coronavirus (or ‘Judeovirus’) was the main motif in this year’s anti-Semitic manifestations. This notion is rooted in deep fear of the Jew/Israeli as a spreader of disease in both the past and present.”