Why China Is So Eager to Foment Antisemitism

People burn the Israeli flag during a protest to express their solidarity with Gaza in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, on November 2, 2023. (Photo by Hasan Mrad/DeFodi Images News/Getty Images)

While the whole world is talking about Israel, let’s take a moment to talk about China. 

Why? Well for starters, one of the reasons the whole world is talking about Israel, is that’s the way China wants it. 

In the wake of Hamas’ barbaric anti-Jewish pogrom on October 7, anti-Jewish hate has exploded exponentially on the Chinese owned social media platform TikTok. This has reignited calls for banning the platform in the U.S. Opponents note—correctly— that anti-Semitism has exploded on other social media platforms, and TikTok itself insists that it is working hard to combat the spike in bigotry and death threats. 

That will be a tall task because the Chinese state, which ultimately controls the platform,  has been encouraging antisemitism and anti-Zionism for years now. State-run media regularly claim that Jews control the world economy and American foreign policy. Social media “influencers” have a free hand to cheer on Hamas and claim Israelis are Nazis. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Chinese companies Baidu (a search engine) and Alibaba (an e-commerce site) literally erased Israel from their maps. When Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently visited Beijing, a debate erupted over whether China should deal with an “Old Jewish lady” who has a dual loyalty to the interests of the U.S. government and to Wall Street.  

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