Government officials meet in Prague to advance fight against antisemitism

0

PRAGUE – Meeting in Prague with representatives of
more than twenty-five governments and international organizations at this
week’s World Jewish Congress’ Forum for Special Envoys & Coordinators
Combating Antisemitism (SECCA), held in cooperation with the Czech Republic’s EU
Presidency and the European Commission , the WJC outlined an
aggressive agenda to increase efforts to rein in hate speech on social media
platforms and develop resources to foster Jewish life in their respective
countries.

“Continued cooperation between governments,
international organizations and Jewish communities has allowed us to make
progress and better understand how and where we can be impactful in the fight
against antisemitism,” said Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission
Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life and meeting
co-chair. “However, it is troubling that the hatred that we see online doesn’t
remain there. We must direct our attention and resources to limiting its spread
and the often-tragic consequences that follow.”

The officials were joined
by Jordana Cutler, Meta’s Director of Public Policy for Israel & Jewish Diaspora,
for a conversation about the company’s work to address antisemitism and support
Jewish communities across its various platforms. Cutler was introduced by Yfat
Barak-Cheney, WJC’s Director of International Affairs & Human Rights, who
outlined the organization’s next priorities to limit the impact that various
forms of hate speech have on Jewish communities around the world.

Ob 5153 low
Ondrej Besperat / World Jewish Congress

According to the WJC, areas
which require further action by social media companies and governments include:
:

  • Enhancing
    content moderation policies by properly defining and recognizing antisemitism,
    including the specification of keywords, proxies and coded language used to
    refer to Jews and Jewish communities. Also, strengthening the ability of
    content moderators and AI to recognize local context and languages.
  • Where no content moderation policies exist, it is vital that governments and intergovernmental organizations work toward legislation to regulate internet platforms and applications that are used to spread hate and antisemitism.
  • Ensuring that Holocaust denial and distortion, both recognized as hate speech, do not appear on the platforms.
  • Urging companies to create a position responsible for antisemitism and Jewish community issues, similar to that held by Cutler at Meta.
  • Using platforms to better educate users on Jews and Jewish life and on combating antisemitism, Holocaust denial and distortion, and the harm of hate speech.
  •  Improving access to data and increasing institutional support for research on hate speech and antisemitism.
  • Ensuring that terrorist organizations are not visible on the platforms, and that terrorist acts and organizations are not praised, supported or represented on the platforms.

WJC has forged strong partnerships
with internet companies, including Meta and TikTok. Both platforms have
launched features encouraging users who search for keywords associated with the
Holocaust to learn more by visiting the WJC and UNESCO site AboutHolocaust.org,
developed to showcase basic facts about the destruction of European Jewry by
the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. The site, now available
in 19 languages, has about 15,000 daily users. Total users number more than 1
million.

Other topics discussed at
the Prague forum included the state of affairs for Jewish students in Europe,
modern-day Jewish life in the Czech Republic, and further development of formal
and informal networks of officials to counter antisemitism, develop sustainable
initiatives to fight hate, and foster Jewish life.

“For the fight against
antisemitism to be effective, we need to be united,” said Julius Meinl, the
World Jewish Congress’ Commissioner for Combating Antisemitism. “Today’s
conference shows our unwavering commitment to fighting the scourge of hatred
that has been directed at Jewish communities for centuries. It must be
understood that it is not merely a threat for Jews, but all of our societies
and for generations to come.”

Ob 5550 high
Ondrej Besperat / World Jewish Congress

Amb.
Colette Avital,
Executive Committee, World Jewish
Congress

Rabbi
Andrew Baker,
Personal Representative of the
Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Antisemitism, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Prof.
Irwin Cotler,
Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust
Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, Government of Canada

Ms.
Jordana Cutler,
Director of Public Policy for Israel and
the Jewish Diaspora,

Meta

Amb.
Arvydas Daunoravičius,
Ambassador-at-large, Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania

Mrs.
Shuli Davidovich,
Head of Bureau for World Jewish Affairs
and World Religions, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel

Dr.
Nicolas de Torrenté,
Head of Division, Federal Department of
Foreign Affairs of Switzerland

Amb.
Stuart Eizenstat,
Special Adviser on Holocaust Issues to
the United States Secretary of State

Mrs.
Sophie Elizeon,
National delegate against racism,
antisemitism, and LGBTphobia,  DILCRAH

Mrs.
Brankica Jankovic,
Commissioner for Protection of Equality
of Serbia

Dr.
Felix Klein,
Federal Government Commissioner for
Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism, Federal Ministry of
the Interior of Germany

Dr.
Robert Klinke,
Special Representative for Relations with
Jewish Organisations, Issues relating to Antisemitism, International Sinti and
Roma Affairs, Holocaust Remembrance, Federal Foreign Office of Germany

Amb.
Deborah Lipstadt,
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat
Antisemitism, United States Department of State

Dr.
Fernando Lottenberg,
Commissioner for Monitoring and Combating
Antisemitism, Organization of American States

Ms.
Sara Lustig,
Special Advisor for Holocaust Issues and
Combating Antisemitism, Office of the Prime Minister, Republic of Croatia

Mr.
Øystein Lyngroth,
Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or
Belief and head of IHRA delegation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway

Dr.
Antonio Martino,
Task Force Austrian-Jewish Cultural
Heritage, Federal Chancellery of Austria

Mr.
Julius Meinl,
Commissioner for Combating Antisemitism,
World Jewish Congress

Ms.
Rosa Méndez,
Head of Education, Holocaust and
Antisemitism Department, Centro Sefarad-Israel, Spain

Dr.
Kathrin Meyer,
Executive Secretary, International
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

Dr.
Iulian Alexandru Muraru,
Special Representative for Promoting
the Policies of Memory, for Fighting against Antisemitism and Xenophobia,
Government of Romania

Mr.
Petr Papoušek,
President, Federation of Jewish
Communities in the Czech Republic

The
Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles,
Special Envoy for post-Holocaust
Issues, United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Amb.
Julie Elisabeth Pruzan,
Senior Representative, Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Dr.
Robert Řehák,
Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

Dr.
Ringo Ringvee,
Adviser, Ministry of Interior of Estonia

Amb.
Vitalie Rusu,
Ambassador-at-large, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Moldova

Ms.
Irina-Dumitrita Solomon,
Coordinator of the Inter-Ministerial
Committee, Government of Romania

Dr.
Maram Stern,
Executive Vice President, World Jewish
Congress

Amb.
Dr. Ulrika Sundberg,
Special Envoy for Interreligious and
Intercultural Dialogue, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden

Mrs.
Katharina von Schnurbein,
Coordinator for Combating
Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life, European Commission

Amb.
Dimitris Yannakakis,
Special Envoy on Combating Antisemitism
and Promoting Holocaust Remembrance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece

The Special Envoys and
Coordinators Combating Antisemitism forum comprises officials tasked with
combating antisemitism in their constituencies, with participants hailing from
dozens of countries, as well as international organizations such as the
European Commission, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA),
Organization of American States (OAS), and UNESCO. SECCA officials have been
described as important actors in the fight against antisemitism. The regular
gatherings have solidified the network among these officials and provided a
platform for better allyship. Learn more about
SECCA.

About the World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.




Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.