As early as March 14, Eric Cortellessa wrote on The Times of Israel that as the coronavirus spreads across the globe, “a new conspiracy theory has been brewing on the fringes of society: The Jews are behind it.” By March 31, it was no longer on the fringes: “An internal Foreign Ministry report warns of a sharp rise in anti-Semitic posts around the world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” stated Itamar Eichner on Ynet News.
Since then, matters have gone from bad to worse as Jews have been increasingly targeted in relation to COVID-19. On April 20, Reuters quoted a Tel-Aviv University report which found that the coronavirus crisis was stoking anti-Semitism worldwide, and on May 13, the independent media organization NPR stated that “American Jews are finding themselves in a historically familiar position: Scapegoated for a plague.” Finally, on June 23, another report by Tel-Aviv University has found that the pandemic “unleashed a unique worldwide wave of anti-Semitism,” and that “The new wave of anti-Semitism includes a range of libels that have one common element: The Jews, the Zionists and/or the state of Israel are to blame for the pandemic and/or stand to gain from it.”
I do not doubt the accuracy of the reports, but I certainly don’t think that this “worldwide wave of anti-Semitism” is in any way unique. Nor is it unexpected. It is a pattern that repeats itself with every single plight and crisis that the world encounters, just as we are seeing that the people are already blaming Israel for teaching the US police the knee chokehold that killed George Floyd.
The Jews have been, are, and will be blamed for all the troubles in the world. And as time passes, more and more people will do so openly. At some point soon, the number of accusers will reach a critical mass, or the socio-political circumstances will be just right, or both, and the landslide will begin: The world will determine that to save itself, it must get rid of the Jews. I have been warning about it for nearly two decades; I have written two books about it (see links below); and now it is coming to pass.
Yet, as long as the landslide has not begun, we can still reverse the trend. We must remember that the darker the world becomes, the more it turns its anger at the Jews. It is doing so precisely because it expects Jews to dispel the darkness.
Today, the dark shade encroaching on the world is hatred. Jews are being blamed for spreading hatred, racism, diseases, and every conceivable (and inconceivable) evil. The Jews will not be able to refute these accusations, however irrational, precisely because irrational feelings don’t need rationality.
To refute the accusations, we must make the nations feel that we are not spreading hate, but love. And to do that, we must create love among us and project it to the world. As we can see, the world does not want the love of the Jews; it does not want our genius, our moralism, our values, or anything to do with us. It feels that we are spreading hatred, and no one wants to be around people who spread hatred. So if we can’t show love to the world, we can and must show love to one another.
Our nation is an ancient one. It was forged thousands of years ago by a man who dedicated his life to spreading kindness and love. His name was Abraham. His descendants continued his legacy and centuries of famine and slavery had brought them to the realization that they must love one another as themselves, “as one man with one heart.” Only when they achieved that profound level of unity were they declared a nation, and immediately thereafter, they were tasked with sharing that unity with the entire world, with being “a light unto nations.”
For centuries, their progeny had fought against internal elements within the nation that sought to spread hatred and alienation, so they could carry on Abraham’s legacy and spread the light of love. For centuries, they won, until they lost two thousand years ago and the nation was exiled from Jerusalem because of baseless, unfounded hatred.
Since then, we have been vilified, demonized, ridiculed, despised, and loathed throughout the centuries and the world over. Even when the nations welcomed us, it was in order to exploit us. And as soon as they had no use for us, they got rid of us.
Indeed, what good are we if we are not spreading love, if we are not a light unto nations? We complain that judging us by a different standard than the rest of the world is anti-Semitism. But the truth is that we have never been judged by the same standard as the rest of the world because we are not expected to do what the rest of the world does. The world does not expect love to come from anyone but the Jews, and unless we forge it among ourselves and spread it, humanity will see no reason to keep us on this planet.
We are running out of time. The chasm among us is vast, and growing. But we have no choice. If we want to save ourselves, we must unite above our disunity, above our hatred for each other. We must do it not because we are stronger together, but because when we are together, the world feels that we are spreading unity, and this is all it expects us to do.
And if my words sound irrational, remember that so is anti-Semitism, so give my message a chance in your heart, for our sake.
For more on this topic, read my books Like a Bundle of Reeds: why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour, and The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord.