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Antisemitism skyrockets on Twitter as Israel's requests go ignored

With the number of antisemitic posts on social media on the rise, Israel’s Foreign Ministry focuses on tracing such dangerous trends and battling them on the platforms they are published on.
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks with Elon Musk in the Paddock prior to final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 06, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Foreign Ministry is increasingly focusing its efforts on Twitter, where according to a report by the European Institute for Strategic Dialogue released end of March, the number of antisemitic posts has considerably grown since Elon Musk took over the platform last October.

Since Musk took over Twitter, the report cited 325,739 English-language antisemitic Tweets in the 9 months from June 2022 to February 2023. The number marks an increase of 106% weekly increase, when comparing the three months before and after Musk’s acquisition.

What happened just last Wednesday, right after Musk tweeted a derogatory comment targeting American-Hungarian billionaire George Soros, clearly illustrates the nature of the campaign the Foreign Ministry has been waging for the past few years against antisemitism on social media. That morning, Director of the Digital Diplomacy Bureau David Saranga signed on to Twitter, as he usually does, but this time, the hottest trends jumped out at him. At the top of the list was #The_Jews. Saranga immediately started to surf the platform more largely, only to discover it was flooded with antisemitic content. 

Saranga is used to seeing antisemitic content, particularly when security incidents take place in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They often come with a slew of antisemitic rhetoric. This time, however, it was clear to the digital head that the antisemitism he encountered had reached a whole new level. It didn’t take long before Saranga realized that all the commotion revolved around a tweet by Twitter owner Musk. Musk’s tweet was short but full of meaning: “Soros reminds me of Magneto.” Magneto is a comic book villain featuring in Marvel’s X-Men series, who, like Soros, survived the Holocaust.

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