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No Response From Rep. Ilhan Omar: Some Constituents Say Jews Spread COVID

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Some of the people in Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district believe some of the most antisemitic conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, revealed in a new video by journalist Ami Horowitz this week.

This reporter requested a comment from Rep. Omar’s office but didn’t receive one. Additionally, her office phone numbers in both Washington D.C. and Minneapolis either immediately disconnected or didn’t have a voicemail box set up.

The video starts with one question directed to Omar’s Muslim constituents, “Do you believe that Jews created the coronavirus to target Muslims?”

That question, and others on the same line, got shocking responses of unequivocally “yes.”

“Depopulization, especially in the Muslim community,” one man said, adding “Definitely, Israel could’ve had a hand in it.” That same man said he believes that the Jews, Russia, and/or China ‘worked with each other’ and are responsible for spreading the virus.

Another said, “They want to destroy Muslims! That’s what I think… They’re trying to torture all types of Muslims.”

“They want to rule the world, all that stuff,” one man explained.

Each person interviewed believed that Jews were taking advantage of the financial markets amid the COVID financial downturn. “If everything’s cheap now, you can buy all the lands! They probably want to buy all the Muslim lands so they can control Muslims!” one young man said.

Video here:

The truth is these antisemitic tropes have existed for centuries and throughout some of the most devastating diseases of our time. That includes the Black Death in Europe that occurred in 1348.

As scholar Catherine M. Porter points out in her writing on the subject, there was an overarching lack of medical reasoning that would explain where the virus spreads, why certain symptoms occur, and how to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Now, we know that people living in medieval times didn’t practice proper hygiene and there wasn’t the proper sewage infrastructure in place, causing rats and flees to rule the streets.

Many Christians at the time, however, blamed the virus on the Jews.

“While the Catholic Church did not condone the persecution of the Jews, many Christians at the time still thought the European Jewry was responsible,” wrote Porter. “There was no concrete or logical reason behind the blame except hundreds of years of prejudice and persecution.”

“During the plague of 1348, a rumor was started that led to more persecution. Even today, this myth is still synonymous with the bubonic plague. A rumor was started that Jews were secretly poisoning water sources and that was the cause of all of Christianity’s pain and suffering,” she stated in her article.

That same trope is certainly making its way into Rep. Omar’s district, but whether she will speak out against it remains to be seen.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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