Photo Credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS

2021 is expected to see a sharp increase in the number of anti-Semitic and violent incidents against Jews around the world, according to a special report published Sunday by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Diaspora Ministry’s Anti-Semitism Report for 2020 shows that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been used by anti-Semites to spread conspiracy theories against Jews around the world and against the State of Israel.

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The report notes that the conspiracy theorists claim that the Jews spread the virus to profit economically from the chaos it causes and to create a new world order.

In addition, attempts were made to link Israel to the virus under the hashtag #COVID48, which compares the Jewish stated to the Coronavirus. This campaign was probably Iranian, and was shared 250,000 times, including by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and viewed by hundreds of millions of Twitter users.

According to the report, 90% of American Jews believe that “anti-Semitism is a problem,” and 82% believe it has intensified in the past five years.

In Germany, there has been a further rise in anti-Semitism. Between 2017-2020, 380 cases were opened against far-right activists working for the German police. Investigators within the police found evidence of police officers wearing Nazi uniforms and insignia and revealed many scandals related to anti-Semitism and racism in the ranks of the German police, the report noted.

The report further warned that in Europe in general, “for the first time since the Holocaust, there is an institutional threat to Jewish religious freedom in Europe by banning customs and labeling Jews in public by the establishment.”

The European Court of Justice in December ruled that each country can independently disqualify kosher slaughter within its borders, without violating the overall European law.

“The ruling constitutes a dangerous precedent and raises concerns about additional restrictions, such as a ban on circumcision,” the ministry warned.

As for the near future, the Ministry of Diaspora predicts an increase in anti-Semitism and a decrease in personal security for Jews.

According to the report, “continuing existing trends is expected to lead to a sharp rise in cases of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews and Jewish targets around the world, which poses a significant challenge to Jewish communities, with an emphasis on the Jewish community in the United States in the context of the Corona crisis and social polarization.”

“While the closures lowered the potential for friction between the populations, leading for the first time in years to 0 murders in anti-Semitic incidents, the outbreak of the virus ignited a wave of accusations and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories against Jews,” the Ministry of Diaspora explained, saying that the main arena for expressing anti-Semitism has moved from the physical space to the virtual arena.

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TPS - The Tazpit News Agency provides news from Israel.