Congregants attending a virtual Easter service at Grace Baptist Church in San Jose, California were zoombombed with hateful antisemitic hate speech on the last day of Passover.
Zoombombing is when people join a Zoom video call with the intention of derailing it. This usually involves spewing antisemitic, racist, or otherwise hateful rhetoric.
One culprit can be heard saying: “F*** the f*****g Jews, man. Send Jews to the concentration camp and gas all the f*****g stinky Jews.”
The perpetrators also spouted several homophobic and racist slurs.
The church’s Senior Pastor, Reverend George Oliver, believed that the church was a target for racists owing to its particularly progressive nature.
Reverend Oliver said: “They had a purpose. This church hires a gay, black pastor…they come and spew profanity about black people and LGBTQ persons. And on the last day of Passover, talk about gassing Jews? So, I don’t think this is some kind of coincidence.”
He added: “It was vile and repugnant. Not only was it Easter, which is the highest of holidays for the Christians, it was the last day of Passover. It was also the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.”
A spokesman for Zoom reportedly said: “We have been deeply upset to hear about these types of incidents, and Zoom strongly condemns such behaviour. We have recently updated a number of default settings and added features to help hosts more easily access in-meeting security controls, including controlling screen sharing, removing and reporting participants, and locking meetings, among other actions. We have also been educating users on security best practices for setting up their meetings, including recommending that users avoid sharing private meeting links and passwords publicly on websites, social media, or other public forums, and encouraging anyone hosting large-scale or public events to utilize Zoom’s webinar solution.
“We are committed to maintaining an equal, respectful and inclusive online environment for all our users. We take meeting disruptions extremely seriously and where appropriate, we work closely with law enforcement authorities. We encourage users to report any incidents of this kind to Zoom and law enforcement authorities so the appropriate action can be taken against offenders.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism has previously reported on the phenomenon of ‘Zoom bombing’ and has urged communal institutions to take precautions to safeguard against antisemitic disruption of online events.