May 17, 2023

Eurovision Aims to Unite People Around Music, Yet Antisemitism Rages Online

As the annual Eurovision Song Contest got underway in Europe, CyberWell detected online antisemitic rhetoric alleging Jewish control of the contest and targeting Jewish individuals.

Photo of a microphone in purple and pink light

Last week, the 67th Eurovision Song Contest took place in Liverpool, England, with the theme “United By Music,” highlighting the power of live music experiences to bring people together. Despite the event’s positive intentions, CyberWell detected widespread Eurovision antisemitism on social media platforms surrounding the contest.

CyberWell identified dozens of these posts, focusing on 30 posts in English and Arabic from Twitter and Facebook for closer analysis. As in a previous analysis by CyberWell, which found that 90% of violent antisemitic content was hosted on Twitter, antisemitic posts about Eurovision were overwhelmingly found on Twitter — over 90% of this data set. Of the 30 posts CyberWell analyzed, the Tweets alone earned nearly 5,000 views in a matter of days.

The antisemitic content CyberWell identified took the form of both original posts as well as comments on non-antisemitic posts that contained news about Eurovision or that expressed support for Israel’s Eurovision contestant, Noa Kirel.

 

Antisemitism in Arabic language posts

In Arabic language posts, such as content posted about Eurovision by the official Arabic Twitter page of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a common motif found was the repetition of the Houthi slogan (pictured below): “God is the greatestDeath to AmericaDeath to IsraelCurse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.” This slogan, in addition to specifically cursing the Jewish people, also alludes to the conspiracy theory of Jewish world domination and Jews controlling the Western world, specifically.

 

Screenshot of an antisemitic Tweet in Arabic promoting violence toward Israel

The five main themes identified in Eurovision-related antisemitic posts:

  1. Jews control Eurovision
  2. Demonization of Jews
  3. Slandering specific Jewish individuals, such as Noa Kirel and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
  4. Antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes (e.g. the Rothschild family controls Eurovision and the world or Jews are using Eurovision to destroy Christianity)
  5. Using symbols of classic antisemitism to characterize Israel and holding Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s actions

 

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