2020-2021 Antisemitism report in Romania

The Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania launches a new monitoring report.

An analysis of the evolutions in the last year (May 2020-April 2021) of hate speech in the online environment, antisemitic manifestations and an inventory of actions taken by the Romanian state.

The main conclusions of the report:
  • The degree of acceptance of Jews in Romanian society seems to be at a level that shows no alarm signals. Paradoxically, in the last year, the incidents containing anti-Semitic elements and symbolism have intensified.
  • Antisemitic messages reappeared in Parliament through a party that encourages chauvinistic and xenophobic behavior.
  • Acts of vandalism and verbal aggression continue to manifest themselves in contexts that emphasize the depth of the antisemitic act (Jewish religious holidays, election campaigns) and are directed against notorious representatives of the Jewish community.
  • The context generated by the COVID-19 pandemic allowed the trivialization of the Holocaust through the associations created by those who were vocal against the restrictions imposed by the health situation; there are many comparisons between the extermination measures applied to Jews during the Nazi regime and the vaccination campaigns against COVID.
  • Facebook remains the most popular social network and the environment in which hate speech is intensively disseminated. At the same time, there is an improvement in the reaction level of Facebook in removing graphic symbols or photos that belong to fascist or far-right iconography. The removal of hate content has also led to an adaptation by users who have the ability to camouflage messages by altering messages, using symbols or codes.
  • During the period covered by this report, the Government of Romania adopted the National Strategy for preventing and combating antisemitism, xenophobia, radicalization and hate speech, and the Prime Minister appointed a special representative of the Government to promote policies on memory, antisemitism and xenophobia. At the same time, a court in Romania established, for the first time, implementing a 19-year-old law that a citizen is guilty of Holocaust denial.

Source: inshr-ew