Report: Major spike in online antisemitism after Gaza conflict

May 2021 saw an uptick in virulently anti-Israel social media posts, which correlated with attacks on Jews across the world.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Online antisemitism reached record levels in 2021, with a major spike in posts expressing hatred for Jews, Israel, and Zionism occurring on the heels of last year’s Israel-Gaza clash, according to a new report from Israel’s Diaspora Ministry.

But an increase in antisemitic sentiment spilled out into the real world as well, with the paper citing a 115% increase during 2020 in antisemitic incidents in the public sphere reported to the Anti-Defamation League.

The Ministry’s Antisemitism Cyber Monitoring System (ACMS) pulled data from Twitter and other major social media sites, as well as from fringe online communities, when compiling the report.

There were some 3.5 million antisemitic social media posts made in 2021 alone, according to the ACMS, which broke down the content by categories including Holocaust distortion and denial, classic antisemitism and new antisemitism. The latter is primarily framed as criticism of “Zionists.”

The spike in virulently antisemitic social media posts during Operation Guardian of the Walls correlated with violent attacks against Jews in New York, Los Angeles, London, and other cities.

Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai said that Israel has a special responsibility to support Jewish communities across the world during times when the Jewish State is engaged in conflict with the Palestinians

“When Israel conducts a military operation, it has a tremendous impact on the lives of Jews around the world,” said Shai in a statement.

“Israel, therefore, has a moral obligation to take steps to assist Diaspora communities in coping with the antisemitism that accompanies such operations, be it communal resilience in the face of increased antisemitic attacks, clear information and reasons for Israel’s activities, or other appropriate forms of support.”

The report noted that American Jews are in a precarious position, contending with both right-wing antisemitism and Jew-hatred coming from the left.

“Far-right activists continue to pose a security risk to Jews and, on the other hand, a coalition of left-wing activists is working to exclude Jews because they see them as a privileged [group] who belong to the oppressive majority and who are supporters of Israel,” the Ministry wrote.