The Coronavirus-inspired antisemitic expressions constitute forms of traditional Jew-hatred. In addition, extreme right activists, who advocate for the spreading of the virus among Jews, and Muslim Middle-Eastern circles, levelled new anti-Jewish accusations.
2019 witnessed a rise of 18% in major violent cases compared to 2018 (456 cases in 2019 compared to 387 in 2018), seven Jews were killed, and a rise in most other manifestations, in most countries. At least 53 synagogues (12%) and 28 community centers and schools (6 percent) were attacked. An increase in life-endangering threats (47%) and in attacks on private properties (24 %).
The return of traditional, classic antisemitic stereotypes as well as the intensification of anti-Israeli and Islamist antisemitism, have contributed to the growing role of the antisemitic discourse that moved from the fringes of society into the mainstream public discourse.
Despite the adoption of the 2016 IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism by more than 20 countries and by a host of institutes and organizations, it is still widely under-appreciated and not enough in use in order to identify and define antisemitic incidents.
According to a 2019 FRA report, 41% of Jews aged 16-34 have considered emigrating from Europe because of antisemitism over the last 5 years. Antisemitism is the main factor pushing for emigration, a decision which might be enhanced by the perceptions regarding governments’ responses to antisemitism, which are overwhelmingly considered inadequate.
In Germany, the shooting at the Halle synagogue, on October 9, has become a landmark in the antisemitic activity in Germany that embodies all the present problems. The police registered 1839 antisemitic incidents nationwide, 5 cases a day, mostly perpetrated by neo-Nazis and extreme right-wingers. The role of radical Muslims in everyday harassments is yet to be fully assessed. Additionally, surveys have shown that the knowledge about the Holocaust is diminishing in Germany.
In the US, a new phenomenon is emerging, one of increased violent antisemitic manifestations, with shooting sprees and numerous casualties, inspired by right wing ideologies as well as by certain groups within the Black Hebrew Israelites and the Nation of Islam.
Online antisemitism proves to be increasingly dangerous: The perpetrators of major antisemitic attacks in 2019 were active in disseminating antisemitic propaganda online, through international networks of likeminded activists. “What happens on the internet does not stay on the internet” and the networks that propagate hate speech, whatever ideology inspires them, can have a direct impact on the life of groups targeted by various forms of hatred.