Coronavirus conspiracies are modern day blood libel, says US deputy envoy

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In this image shared on Telegram on March 15, the coronavirus is presented as a trojan horse for “globalist” Jews. (photo credit: ADL/COURTESY)

Antisemitic conspiracy theories linking Jews or the State of Israel to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are a modern day blood libel, and American Jewry needs to work on taking steps to combat this hate, the US deputy special envoy to combat antisemitism Ellie Cohanim said on Monday, Jewish News Syndicate reported.
Speaking to Jewish leaders, Cohanim said that the conspiracy theories claim that there is a Jewish and/or Israeli connection or cause behind the worldwide pandemic, as well as variations stating that the motivation is world domination, control over the Palestinians or simply for profit.
However, these theories are especially dangerous as they are being circulated by government officials from a variety of different countries.
“It is not being spread by the usual bad actors on the dark web or elsewhere,” she said, according to JNS, “but by government officials spreading the lies – from Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and Iran.”
Cohanim is not alone in sharing these worries. Many others, including the US special envoy to combat antisemitism Elan Carr, have expressed worry over the rising wave of antisemitism in conspiracy theories behind the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to the virtual summit hosted by Christians United for Israel (CUFI) last week, Carr linked the rise in antisemitism due to the pandemic to a the historic trend, where economic downturns have always seen an increase in antisemitic acts, both verbal and violent physical attacks.
“We’ve seen a tsunami of antisemitic hatred on the Internet and social media that baselessly blames Jews for having invented the coronavirus, for intentionally spreading it, profiting from it or using it as a tool for global control," Carr explained.

"The only thing new or novel about this absurd allegation is the coronavirus itself. Blaming Jews for the world’s maladies has been a standard feature of antisemitism for centuries.”
Celia Jean contributed to this report.
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