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Thursday, 21 October 2021 08:55
By Victor Isaak Eliezer*

The waves of the anti-vaccination advocates are not harmless. They base their arguments on conspiracy theories, prejudices and stereotypes, with absolutely no scientific justification. Vaccination is considered as a threat to the national and religious identity of the nation.

Flags and religious symbols are integral "tools" of the anti-vaccination campaign and the protests of the anti-vaccination supporters. The phenomenon is spreading rapidly in France, Germany, Italy and in Greece.

The use of violence is part of the planning of the demonstrations, in order to ensure their widest possible coverage in the media and on the internet. The far right, which has longed to seize every opportunity to promote fascist and Nazi ideals, does not hesitate to adopt the argumentation of the anti-vaccination supporters, in order to appear once again as the pre-eminent anti-systemic movement, even organizing “task forces” which aim to spread fear and panic.

And of course, there is no conspiracy, there is no national threat where there is not a Jew behind it, sometimes named and sometimes anonymously! Targeting Jews as vaccination carriers is easy and effective! It is easy because the CEO of one of the vaccination-producing companies happens to be Jewish - and efficient because, according to conspiracy theorists, Jews always "inspire" envy and hatred.

The anti-Jewish myths

According to French philosopher Pierre André Taguieff "in the anti-vaccination camp, one can discern elements of the two traditional anti-Jewish myths: Firstly, the conspiracy theory depicting Jews as world rulers imposing a “vaccination dictatorship” and secondly, the myth of the Jew-criminal who uses the vaccine as a deadly weapon or seeks to carry out a genocide through mass vaccinations".

The exact same, timeless myths have prevailed for centuries now. From the time of Christ's crucifixion (even though Christ himself was born and died as Jew), to the time of the Spanish pogroms where the Church regarded Jews as an obstacle to its expansion, to the Russian pogroms where the Tsarist regime expelled Jews so as to ensure its survival.

And when the plague ravaged Europe from 1347 to 1350, thousands of Jews were tortured and slaughtered because they were held responsible for the deaths of millions. And then the Nazis, who deprived Jews of their human property and massacred them. Hence Europe ended up in the Holocaust which was carried out by the Nazis and their collaborators, when millions remained mere spectators.

So, when today, in less than 80 years after the darkest page in world history was written, the European Commission announces its new strategy to counter anti-Semitism, it means that states and societies have allowed the snake’s egg to hatch again in Europe and in various forms.

In a recent Ipsos poll, people were asked if "it would be better if the Jews were to desert the country where they dwell." A thousand adults were asked to respond in each of the 16 European countries covered by the poll. In countries such as Poland, Greece and Hungary, where there are few violent anti-Semitic attacks, the percentage of positive responses was the highest of all: 24%, 23% and 21%, respectively.

In Germany, where a record of 2351 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded, only 7% responded positively. Similar trends emerged in France with 687 recorded anti-Semitic attacks in 2019 and in the United Kingdom with 1668 cases of anti-Semitic violence. Low rate of anti-Semitic sentiment was recorded in the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy.

The rhetoric of hate, the denial of the Holocaust and the demonization of the state of Israel are the three pillars of modern anti-Semitism. In Greece, none of these three pillars are missing, despite the ambitious efforts of the State and the contribution of the scientific community to enlighten the public about the lessons of the Holocaust and the tragic consequences of intolerance to the quality of democracy and the prosperity of society.

Theories are circulating on the internet that would match Russia’s “The Protocols of the sage of Zion” which forms the base of modern anti-Semitic literature, whose zealots are in Greece.

Desecration of monuments, vandalism of cemeteries and synagogues, sketches that idolize Nazi atrocities, texts reproducing anti-Jewish stereotypes and of course Holocaust deniers, are elements that shape the picture of anti-Semitism in Greece and render the implementation of the European plan to counter it, indispensable.

The victimization of the Jews is over, because now everyone is beginning to realize that anti-Semitism, by allying with silence, threatens open society and is toxic to the very survival of democracy. Former Austrian Foreign Minister and current Chancellor, Alexander Salenberg, representing 52 countries, including Greece, at the UN Human Rights Council, was unambiguous: "We are committed to promoting education as key in the fight against anti-Semitism and any type of hatred for that matter. The nullification of one’s dignity, threatens the dignity of all of us…. I emphasize that the battle is not between Jews and anti-Semites. It's a battle between anti-Semites and those who believe in the values ​​of equality, justice and freedom."

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


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