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The Jews Are To Blame For Everything

The Internet and social networks have promoted the spread and radicalization of antisemitism − across the board, all facets of antisemitism can be found.
As soon as “the Jews” are assigned the role of the guilty ones by many mutually reinforcing digital users − be it with regard to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the 2007 financial and economic crisis, global warming, or the 2015 arrival of refugees − this can have fatal consequences. The apppeal of antisemitic worldviews increases especially in times of crisis, when collective fears and feelings of powerlessness (re)activate the need for simple explanatory models and scapegoats.

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The Internet enabled the unfiltered and almost limitless dissemination of antisemitic content. Social media provides ideal conditions for centuries-old antisemitism to be spread, explicitly and implicitly without taboos.

The associated normalization of antisemitic statements on the Internet is not without consequences. All perpetrators of antisemitic terrorist attacks in recent years were active in antisemitic online communities and engaged in spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories.

The spread of antisemitic content on social media has increased sharply during the Covid-19 pandemic. The amount of antisemitic content in German language on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram increased thirteen-fold in the first two months of 2021 compared to the same period the previous year, a study on “Rise in Internet Antisemitism During the Pandemic” by the European Commission showed.

The normalization of antisemitism in everyday discourse in the digital space represents a challenge for political, judicial and civil society institutions to protect those affected and to put a stop to radicalization. Schools need to incorporate media and image education/literacy for students and educators alike and therefore (antisemitic) symbols and codes need to be explained. Also, banning of antisemitic content and suspension of explicit antisemitic accounts must be enforced more strictly by the platform operators. Another ways to deal with this topic are establishing counter-discourses on the Internet and fostering interreligious dialogue.

References

Antisemitismus im Internet und den sozialen Medien (article published on November 26, 2021, by Rocío Rocha Dietz on the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung website)

 

Antisemitismus im Internet (article published on June 18, 2020, by

Matthias J. Becker on the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung website)

Visuals

The Happy Merchant (antisemitic meme)

Leaked Anne Frank nudes (inappropriate meme about Anna Frank)

DAS ZIONISTISCHE ISRAEL UND DIE ANNEXIONSFRAGE (video about the Middle East conflict)

Debunking response