A new report has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is “amplifying” far-right voices. Meanwhile, the far-left and Islamists on social media have sought to tie Israel to the virus with the hashtag ‘#COVID48’, alluding to the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.
The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British think-tank, has published a report noting the “conspiracy theories propagated widely online” in connection with COVID-19 and calls for violence against minority communities, among them Jews. The report observed that “the pandemic has amplified antisemitic tropes and calls for violence against Jewish communities”, and also noted that there have been “calls online by groups such as the British National Socialist Movement for the virus to be ‘weaponised’”.
Recently, Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring the antisemitic hate preacher and conspiracy theorist David Icke, who suggested that Israel was using the COVID-19 crisis to “test its technology”, among other conspiratorial contentions.
Meanwhile, the far-left and Islamists have been active on social media trying to tie Israel to the virus by promoting the hashtag ‘#COVID48’. It is understood that the hashtag originated on Yom Hashoah, the day on which the Jewish world commemorates the Holocaust.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has been closely monitoring the connections between COVID-19 and antisemitism, especially online, since the pandemic began, and has been offering advice and assistance to the Jewish community.