WZO warns: With antisemitism, coronavirus ‘least of Diaspora’s worries’ (

If states do not step up to deal with antisemitism, coronavirus will be “the least of the Diaspora’s worries,” warned World Zionist Organization vice chairman Yaakov Hagoel on Monday at a meeting of the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee.Hagoel stressed that “the responsibility for the lifestyle and protection of Jews in a state of strictly on the government. Jewish blood is not worthless. If the states do not rally to deal with antisemitism, the coronavirus will be the least of the Diaspora’s worries. I call the representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to a committee meeting concerning antisemitic dialogue passing through social networks without inspection or censorship.”The warning was issued as the WZO presented a special report that found a 70% rise in antisemitic incitement and discussions on social media compared to the period before the coronavirus.During the coronavirus crisis, antisemitism and delegitimization of Israel have been tied together. Campaigns by the BDS movement tend to descend into antisemitism, including a campaign being spread with the hashtag #COVID48 that was started as Holocaust Memorial Day was marked in Israel portraying the State of Israel and Zionism as a “virus” affecting the Palestinians.Connections between ideological extremes were also tightened, as those who classically promoted antisemitism, including white supremacists and the far-right, shared content and conspiracies with those who promote the delegitimization of Israel, including the far-left and radical Islam, on blogs and forums.Television broadcasts in the Muslim world compared the virus to Israel as well. In Turkey, some journalists claimed that “the coronavirus is a Zionist plot spread by the Jews with the goal of reducing the global population.” Turkish politicians also blamed Israel for spreading the virus. The Iranian Press TV blamed both Israel and the US for spreading the virus and an Iranian official claimed that the virus was being used as “biological warfare” against Iran and China.Amid the riots and protests surrounding the killing of George Floyd, the WZO reported that the progressive left began attacks in an organized and antisemitic manner on Jewish institutions, synagogues and Jewish businesses for the first time. “Meaning to say, under the cover of the situation, even political correctness, that had protected Jews, disappeared,” said the WZO in a press release.“BLM rioters and antifa are erasing the dividing line between ‘legitimate’ antisemitism that focuses only on Israel, but apparently is not related to Jews, to Jewish American civilians. And now, the classic antisemites don’t fear raising their heads in the US,” added the WZO statement.Reports of antisemitic incidents during the Floyd protests have increased. A number of synagogues were vandalized by rioters and protesters have made anti-Israel and antisemitic comments on a number of occasions.

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