Definition of anti-Semitism
Definition of anti-SemitismiStock

Calls for violence against Jews on social media platforms spiked dramatically during Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza in May 2021, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs’ Antisemitism Cyber Monitoring System (ACMS) has demonstrated.

Data from ACMS shows that there was a 1,200% increase in the number of anti-Semitic posts which included a call for violence against Jews, Zionists, and Israel on all five platforms tracked by ACMS increased by May 2021 over May 2020’s figures, most of which was on Twitter.

The data also demonstrated a general outpouring of anti-Semitic content on social media during Operation Guardian of the Walls against Hamas, with the number of anti-Semitic posts on Twitter increasing by 230% during the war over the previous month’s figures.

The data on expressions of anti-Semitism on social media platforms has been published in the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs annual report on anti-Semitism, which Minister of Diaspora Affairs Dr. Nachman Shai (Labor) will present to the cabinet on Sunday morning ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

“When Israel conducts a military operation it has a tremendous impact on the lives of Jews around the world,” said Minister Shai after reviewing the report.

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

“Israel and world Jewry have a shared destiny, and the State of Israel therefore needs to take responsibility and do more to help combat anti-Semitism around the world. If Israel is the home of the Jewish people then it needs to address their concerns wherever they might be.”

ACMS monitors expressions of anti-Semitism on Twitter as well as four alternative or extremist social media platforms - 4Chan, 8Kun, BitChute, and Stormfront. It is a real time monitoring system based on artificial intelligence and semantic analysis technologies, developed and operated by Sayiqan Cyber Technologies for Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

On Twitter, there was a 31.3% increase in total anti-Semitic posts on Twitter in 2021 over the 2020 figures. The number of anti-Semitic posts on Twitter in May 6 - 21, 2021 increased by 230% over the figures for April 6 - 21, 2021.

Of the total anti-Semitic posts on Twitter in 2021, 74% were defined as “new anti-Semitism,” (meaning that the post included anti-Semitic hate speech but referred to “Zionists,” “Israel,” “the IDF,” “the Mossad,” or similar references, instead of “Jews”); 21% was “classic anti-Semitism”; and 5% was “Holocaust denial and distortion.”

Data from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the US show that real-world anti-Semitic incidents increased by 115% from May 11, 2021 to May 31 over the figures for May 2020.

Data from the Community Security Trust in the UK show that real-world anti-Semitic incidents increased in the 30-day period starting with the increase in Israel-Hamas tensions on May 8, 2021 by 330%.

The hashtag #Covid1948 was mentioned 366,500 times on Twitter between May 10th and May 16th, 2021. Of those, 56% were in Persian and 44% were localized in Iran.

Ahead of the publication of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs’ annual anti-Semitism report, the Ministry conducted a poll on the attitudes of Israelis towards anti-Semitism abroad. According to the poll, 89% of Israelis state that they are troubled when they hear of antisemitic incidents abroad, and 77% of Israelis think that the State of Israel should allocate resources to the struggle against anti-Semitism.

Sixty three (63%) of Israelis think that the State of Israel should assist Jews and Jewish communities who were attacked during and immediately following Operation Guardian of the Walls.

The poll was conducted by Keilim Sheluvim between Jan. 6 and 7, among 500 Israeli Jewish adults with a sample error of +/-4.5%.