Italian Antisemitism Observatory: Hatred against Jews on the rise in an era of conspiracy theories

There were 251 registered antisemitic incidents in Italy in 2019 according to the 2019 Antisemitism Observatory report, a 27% rise from the 197 recorded incidents in 2018.

“The growth in antisemitic incidents and the increase in online incidents are connected to events that directly or indirectly concern Jews or Israel”, reads the report. The second half of 2019 was characterized by two significant phenomena: “the political debate about antisemitic abuse on Senator Liliana Segre and a general growth in intolerance and Holocaust denial, which led the Italian government to establish the position of the Coordinator for combatting antisemitism.

Conspiracy theories characterise the rise of antisemitism in 2019, the report stresses. Antisemitic conspiracy theories rest on the belief that everything we are told is false, that everything that happens is not true. These ancient conspiracy theories and are repurposed along contemporary themes, for example, on the issue, such as migration or the coronavirus.

The report stresses that “in times of social, political and economic chaos antisemitism re-emerges, it is a sign of societal malaise, of the degradation of forms of civic and democratic coexistence. The socioeconomic climate makes certain attitudes plausible, and Jews become the element on which hateful manifestations are projected and malice is rekindled on level of culture and identity”.


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