(April 7, 2020 / JNS) The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging social-media platforms to remove posts that use the coronavirus pandemic to promote anti-Semitism and violence against Jews.
“This is exactly the breeding ground for extremists,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global social action of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told Fox News.
Its new study “Deadly New Virus Intersects with History’s Oldest Hate: Report and Analysis,” released in April, highlights one of many posts on Telegram, the popular instant-messaging app, that shows an image of the coronavirus with the words ”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 stated.
Such anti-Semitic posts are being used “to incite lone-wolf-type of attacks, God forbid, one-on-one, and to demonize a community,” said Cooper.
He added about Telegram, “It’s a hot spot in which extremists can promote and communicate with each other. While they occasionally take things off, I’m not holding my breath that we’re going to get any positive results.”
Cooper contacted the U.S. Department of Justice, and is calling on the FBI and local law enforcement to take action when necessary, reported Fox News.
He also addressed the increase in hate crimes against Asian-Americans since the start of the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China.
He explained that “what it shows [is that] 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, and use this as an excuse … this is indicative of the climate.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.