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Thursday, 07 May 2020 09:25
By Victor Isaak Eliezer*

LIFO, 5.5.2020.- The  Covid-19 pandemic has left its indelible print to humanity mourning thousands of dead, whilst millions are struggling for their lives in hospitals and others that seem healthy are confined in their homes, doing apprehensively their first steps toward a new different daily reality.

It is about a war in which, maybe for the first time, people are not taking lives of each other but are saving lives…, social responsibility, solidarity, massive attendance of people to sorrow and joy from the balconies in the neighborhoods of the world; the applause of the doctors for their patients who won death, the sound of  encouragement heard by firemen and policemen, the frustration of the doctors and the paramedics when they are forced to choose who is going to live and who is not, their sadness for the loss of every man and woman who passed away alone, away from his beloved ones, the hope, the concern, the fear…  images and feelings changing before a new reality.


In the morning of the very Μay Day, I went to a store of a well known fast-food and coffee delivery chain and I saw in front of me a group of "special analysts", who used to seat around the small tables in the pre-corona virus era and now they were standing and holding their cup of coffee in their hands. I was waiting patiently my turn, there was no need to be in a hurry, witnessing different approaches: "Let's keep the distance buddies, this guy Tsiodras [the head of Public Health Committee in Greece] is right", "Come on, it's over, once we were not infected till now, we escaped it... but we were  close", "Can't you understand there is no corona virus... the Jews forced Mitsotakis [the Greek Prime Minister] to take these measures and take us back to crisis, so that their banks will be gaining money. The name Tsiodras is a Jewish one (1), I read it in a newspaper". Hold it, I said, here we are… let's follow the story…  "And for those that died, is Mitsotakis guilty for that?", someone else that would like to defend Mitsotakis rather than presenting a different opinion about a "Jewish conspiracy" asked. "The virus exists all over the world, all over Europe, all over the planet", another guy added; a third "analyst"  intervenes "Israel has created a virus reproduction chamber which can lead to an holocaust not only the Palestinians but also several neighboring countries and even Europe (2) at any time, a journalist wrote in a newspaper".  

This fact is not limited to the meeting of the "analysts" at this fast food restaurant in Athens. Michael Caputo, the man that was appointed by American President Trump as spokesman of the Ministry of Health accused David Rothchild that "he is an inbred elitist sphincter whose family craves control. That’s one reason why he constantly lies about President Trump.” Of course, a populist and plot expert would never leave the other well known "Jew", George Soros, posting a photo of him close to skulls and bones characterizing him as the "real virus besides everything" (3).  As populism allies almost always with foolishness, David Rothchild, New York's economist who severely criticizes the American President, has no relationship at all with the well known European Rothchild family.   

Unfortunately, after any big crisis, after any big change that happens in the world, we Jews are founding ourselves in the line of fire of conspiracy theories and populism. The Romans considered that the Jews were the enemies of their Empire, forced them to leave their land and destroyed their Temple (the Western Wall is what remained), the Inquisition, which came later, executed all Jews that refused to convert to Christianity considering them enemies of the religious status quo. The Spanish pogroms and then the Russian ones and then the Nazis... and today those who don't hesitate to accuse the Jews founding them guilty for the expansion of the corona virus in order to control mankind and impose their power, are not missing.  

... and what comes after?

Another day dawned, the world is slowly coming back to everyday life… but poorer… millions of unemployed youngsters and a new financial crisis, never seen after WWII, has affected our society. Populist leaders are coming back stronger… they try to blame third parties for this pandemic, in the countries they are already ruling, denying their own responsibilities for not having taken protective measures for their people and their countries on time. In countries where populists are the opposition leaders, they are impatient to denounce to society that the government is satisfying the interests of third parties taking millions of citizens to despair and distress. Conspiracy theories and populism expand very quickly, exactly like Covid-19 pandemic, worldwide.     

With the difference that this pandemic has united people against an enemy who makes no distinction to age, gender, color, ethnicity or religion; conspiracy theory and populism divide society creating scapegoats, based on stereotypes, disseminating hate and encouraging violence. The more the confrontation of the pandemic was able to put a crab to religious fanaticism, to limit armed conflicts, to set passion and to put aside empathy the most populist paraphernalia reproduces fallacies and false expectations to its desperate citizens by encouraging fanaticism.

Political leadership, mass media and society have to stand against populism by building a wall of providence, thoughtfulness and concern. Mainly they need to defend any attempt for the creation of scapegoats by those who based on stereotypes and to asininity could easily incubate the serpent's egg again…

(1) «Eleftheri Ora», 24/4/20 

(2) «Εfimerida ton Syntakton» 28/3/2020

(3) “Jerusalem Post”, 24/4/2020

* Victor Eliezer is a journalist and the Secretary General of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.


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