Covid lockdown fuels online anti-Semitism

Demonstrations against government measures to contain the spread of Covid have attracted all kinds of protesters, some which openly use anti-Semitic symbols or a copy of the Swiss constitution. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are on the rise in Switzerland as a result of the growing criticism of the government’s policy to halt the spread of the Covid pandemic.

This content was published on February 22, 2021 - 17:30

A report by the Federation of Jewish communities and the Swiss Federation of Jewish CommunitiesExternal link and the Foundation against Racism and Anti-SemitismExternal link found that nearly half of the reported 485 anti-Semitic incidents on the internet were linked to coronavirus.

The authors of the annual survey pointed out that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, statements and pictures were posted but to a lesser extent than in other countries.

Anti-Semitic symbols and statements were regularly used by protestors during public demonstrations. It’s therefore crucial to step up criminal investigations and increase prevention measures, the authors say.

Beside the online incidents, A total of 47 anti-Semitic cases were reported in Switzerland’s main German-speaking region last year, including 11 verbal attacks and 15 anti-Semitic graffities.

The figures are similar to those in 2019, according to the report which was published on Monday.

However, there were no reports of physical attacks against Jews in Switzerland.

The authors of the annual survey caution that their data may be incomplete as they are not based on official reports.

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