A well was poisoned long before anti-Semites lied about Jews and Covid
Centuries-long theme is now morphing and adapting the ‘Zionist bioweapon’ myth for the coronavirus and internet age
As the coronavirus spread through Europe last year, cartoons and posts began going up on French social media that might as well have come straight from the 14th century. In one series, Agnes Buzyn, who is Jewish and was France’s health minister until February 2020, was depicted with grotesquely distorted features dropping poison into wells.
This trope of Jews poisoning wells to kill Christians has made the rounds in most European epidemics since the Middle Ages, but was particularly rife during the Black Death, when it led to pogroms and massacres of Jews throughout the continent. The vile meme is just one example of a shocking, if sadly unsurprising, surge in anti-Semitism that correlates with the pandemic. That’s the disturbing conclusion of a new report by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think-tank, for the European Commission.
The authors mined French and German posts on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram between January 2020 — that is, just before Covid-19 first surged in Europe — and March 2021. They looked for content that was anti-Semitic according to a definition by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. They found not just petri dishes of hatred but entire cesspools...