A new European Union report has found a considerable rise in antisemitism during the pandemic, with a lot more of hateful content surfacing online.
According to the report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), “New antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories that blame Jews for the pandemic have come to the fore. Antisemitism, especially online, grew during the pandemic.”
The research also noted that antisemitic acts were consistently underreported. The lack of data on the issue made it harder to tackle the problem, said the report.
The report based its findings on a review of official data compiled by EU member states, and what it called unofficial data collected by civil society organizations.
Commenting on the report findings, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty said in a statement, “Antisemitism is a serious problem. But without the data, we do not know how serious it is. EU countries need to encourage reporting of such incidents and improve the recording and collection of the data. With that, we will be better able to tackle hatred and prejudice against Jews.”
In the initial months of the pandemic, the Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism Berlin (RIAS), said 44 percent of the incidents it had recorded were linked to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, a federation of Jewish communities in the Czech Republic recorded 874 incidents in 2020, up from 694 the previous year.