The UN Special Rapporteur on Racism has urged countries to stop adopting the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Earlier this week, E. Tendayi Achiume told the General Assembly’s Third Committee that the push for nations to adopt the Definition should be suspended, saying: “I highlight the controversial status, divisive effects and negative human rights impacts of the [International] Definition [of] Antisemitism.”

Ms Achiume made the remarks in connection with a report that she had submitted to the Committee, which she said focused on the rising dangers of antisemitism, neo-Nazism and racism but which was also critical of the supposed instrumentalisation of tools designed to address those trends. She added: “Precisely because…antisemitism remains an urgent issue of human rights concern, I urge the UN system and UN member states to launch an open and inclusive process.”

Her position was condemned by the United States, Canada and Israel, while the UK, European Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Austria and Italy all reportedly spoke in support of the Definition and its utility in identifying and combatting antisemitism.

An American official accused Ms Achiume’s report of having “politicised the [International] Definition,” while a Canadian diplomat observed that the Definition is carefully crafted to enable a common fight against antisemitism and it is not meant to inhibit the ability to criticise the state of Israel, saying: “Too often the contemporary examples included in the Definition is employed as justification for hatred…online and off and in university campuses and across public discourse.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has shown how the International Definition of Antisemitism does not conflict with freedom of expression under UK law.

The sentiments appeared to conflict those of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, who said a couple of years ago that antisemitism is the “canary in the coalmine of global hatred” and “toxic to democracy” as he delivered his ground-breaking report titled Combatting Antisemitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief.

Earlier this year, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres disappointed mainstream Jewish groups for merely “acknowledging” the International Definition of Antisemitism but failing to adopt it.

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism worldwide.

A United Nations investigator, who is tasked with a much-criticised probe into Israel’s conflict with the antisemitic genocidal Hamas terrorist group, is facing calls to end his investigation after he accused the “Jewish lobby” of controlling social media during his appearance on a podcast.

In an interview with David Kattenberg, a contributor to the controversial publication Mondoweiss, Miloon Kothari, who forms part of the UN Human Rights Council’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said that “We are very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by the Jewish lobby or specific NGOs.”

Jewish groups have described Mr Kothari’s comments as “appalling” and “outrageous and absurd”.

The US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, Deborah Lipstadt, also described the comments as “outrageous”.

The Israeli Government has cited Mr Kothari’s reference to a trope about excess Jewish power as indicative of his unfitness to lead the investigation, and as evidence of UN bias.

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism worldwide.

The BBC World Service has been accused of failing to ensure its foreign-language content meets BBC editorial guidelines after a presenter on the BBC World Service failed to challenge an antisemitic conspiracy theory advanced on air by a Somali politician.

The BBC Somali Service is part of the London-based BBC World Service. In an edition of a programme called Dooda Jimcaha broadcast on 18th December on the Somali Service, the Somali MP Mohamed Omer Dalha claimed that there was a conspiracy against Somalia by “Jews running these affairs both in the West and the East.”

According to the translation of the segment for CAMERA UK by Dr Moshe Terdiman, Founder and Research Director on Islam and Muslims in Africa, the assertion was not challenged by the presenter.

A CAMERA spokesperson said that such antisemitic statements “should have no place in BBC content,” adding that this case once again “raises questions concerning the ability of the BBC World Service to oversee the foreign-language content put out in its name and ensure that it meets BBC editorial guidelines.”   

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Research into the educational materials used by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has discovered that the content contains antisemitic prejudice and the glorification of terrorism. The recent study was conducted by the research body IMPACT-se, which monitors school curricula on a global scale.

The report claims that the materials violate the United Nations’ requirements, outlined by the cultural organisation UNESCO, to remain neutral, respect “the other” and pursue peace, in order to refute incitement and potential bias.

It stated further that UNRWA resources actively encourage martyrdom and terrorism, and fail to condemn the use of violence. The idea of a Jewish state is described as “the Enemy” and multiple conspiracy theories and false claims are mentioned to justify violence. The materials, also included in unrelated subjects such as mathematics, reportedly seek to demonise the Jewish community and undermine Jewish history and culture.

Some of the resources have allegedly been copied from Palestinian Authority textbooks that have received significant criticism for their overtly antisemitic views.

UNRWA educational materials are used to teach over 500,000 children.

IMPACT-se concluded that the content of UNRWA educational materials undermines “any facade of UN-mandated neutrality”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

The UN General Assembly has approved an operating budget that includes money to commemorate an event which has been widely described as antisemitic.

Despite protests from the United States, the $3.231 billion budget containing a provision to mark the notorious 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, was approved. The General Assembly voted 167 in favour, with only the United States and Israel voting against.

Kelly Craft, the US Ambassador to the UN, accused the world body of “extending a shameful legacy of hate, antisemitism, and anti-Israel bias” by supporting an official event to mark the infamous Durban conference during the next General Assembly session.

The Durban conference was dominated by clashes over the Middle East. The US and Israel walked out over a draft resolution that equated Zionism with racism. The language was amended in the final documents, but the conference was seen as the beginnings of the boycott of Israel known as BDS, the tactics of which an overwhelming majority of British Jews believe are intimidatory.

The UN regular budget is funded on a sliding scale with the US paying the largest share. In September, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote to the 193 member states warning that UN operations were under great pressure due to a “deepening liquidity crisis” exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. That being said, the approved budget was higher than the draft budget that he had proposed.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist us with this project.

The major online retailer VOVA has recently removed controversial “Hitler hoodies” from its website after their sale sparked significant outrage. The popular webpage had listed the item described as “Men’s Casual Adolf Hitler Funny Graphic Hoodies”.

Dr. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre wrote to the company’s headquarters in London and Hong Kong as well as its press office in Paris. He stated that, “the banalisation of this archetype of hate and discrimination is scathing” and the global clothing retailer had subsequently “betrayed” and undermined its identity as a “trusted company”.

It was recommended that VOVA immediately destroy all supplies of the “Hitler hoodie” and terminate all contacts with the distributor following internal investigations.

On its website the item of clothing is currently listed as “out of stock” and the company has said that the product has been permanently removed. VOVA has declined to comment further and has not issued an apology despite concerns that the hoodies may be used as merchandise for neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Video chat platform Omegle is being described as the “Wild West” of the internet for allegedly hosting antisemitic, racist and other abusive encounters.

The extreme racism on the Omegle platform came to light as some users apparently became “social media vigilantes” to record and share their encounters on the platform. Unlike mainstream social-media platforms, Omegle allegedly does not have policies for reporting users’ behaviour if they violate its terms of service. Also, as an account is not needed, the platform affords anonymity.

Though founded in 2009, Omegle was barely known until recently, as searches for the site soared in November and December following the publication of videos with the Omegle hashtag were posted on another social media platform, TikTok, and garnered millions of views.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A senior official at the United Nations has tweeted to ask whether a Labour Party politician pledging to a Jewish audience that she will fight antisemitism has also ‘offered solidarity to Palestinians’.

Mark Seddon is media advisor to the President of the General Assembly and has previously worked as a speechwriter for a former UN Secretary-General, as well as for Al Jazeera as its UN correspondent.

Mr Seddon was reacting to a report on Twitter that Labour’s Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, told a Jewish group: “If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that. Because we cannot and we will not accept an injury to one, because an injury to one is an injury to all.” Ms Rayner was referring to attempts to address Labour’s scandal of institutional antisemitism.

Mr Seddon replied to the tweet saying: “Today is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Has Angela Rayner recorded her support and solidarity for those being oppressed? A genuine question.”

There is no interpretation of Mr Seddon’s question, given its context, other than that he sees efforts to combat antisemitism in the UK as somehow connected to or even contrary to certain stances on Middle Eastern politics, and that Ms Rayner had no moral authority to address a domestic Jewish group on antisemitism without also expressing a position on a foreign policy matter.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel” is an example of antisemitism.

The Jewish community will not be surprised at all that UN officials hold these sorts of views. The media outlets that publish work by Mr Seddon should, however, think twice in future about doing so.

Facebook is under pressure following the revelation that a network of 80,000 white supremacists is operating on its platform, as well as on Instagram, which is owed by Facebook.

The network reportedly includes more than 40 neo-Nazi websites, has links to the far-right in Britain and offers merchandise incorporating Nazi symbols. According to the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, which is based in London, these merchandise sales fund two far-right groups in the Ukraine, Azov Battalion and Misanthropic Division.

Azov Battalion is believed to have recruited far-right Britons to fight in the Ukraine, while a British man is facing twelve terror charges after being found in possession of material linked to Misanthropic Division. One of the Azov Battalion’s Facebook pages is called “Gas Chambers”, and visitors are directed to websites where imagery of white skinheads standing next to murdered Jewish and black men are featured, and products for purchase.

According to the Coalition for a Safer Web, Facebook was first warned of this network two years ago and failed to act, and it has only grown since then.

It is understood that after being contacted by The Observer, Facebook reportedly began removing the neo-Nazi material, and a spokesperson has reportedly said: “We have removed the content which violates our policies prohibiting dangerous organisations. We regularly work to improve our technology to find and remove this content faster, and, while there is more work to do, we are making progress. We’ve banned over 250 white supremacist organisations from Facebook and Instagram.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years, continues to urge the Jewish community to remain vigilant and welcomes the seriousness with which the authorities are treating the danger.

More than 1,000 Muslim leaders from around the world have agreed to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism.

According to a report in Al Arabiya, the Global Imams Council also made the Beirut-born, New York Rabbi, Elie Abadie, a permanent member of its inter-faith board. The Global Imams Council comprises 1,300 imams from different denominations.  

The Islamic religious leaders’ organisation adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism by “an overwhelming majority,” according to a statement. The move was intended to strengthen “bridges of peace between Islam and all religions.”

Noting that the Council was joining numerous countries that have adopted the Definition, the organisation’s President, Imam Mohammad Baqir al-Budairi, added: “We live in a time of rising antisemitism and terrorist attacks, which makes our responsibility as faith leaders greater.”

The American State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, welcomed the vote. In a statement on Twitter, he thanked the Council for working with him to “banish bigotry”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Several major music streaming platforms have reportedly removed antisemitic and racist music, following an investigation.

The BBC found that sections of speeches by Adolf Hitler, references to white power and celebrations of the Holocaust featured in songs on the platforms, with Spotify, Apple, Deezer and YouTube apparently having now removed them.

One song on Spotify, for example, contained the lyrics: “Aryan child, listen to what is said/ So rise your hand and learn to love your land/ For the white revolution needs your uncorrupted hand.”

According to the BBC, Spotify said that the songs violated its hate content policy, while YouTube reportedly said that there was no place for hate on its platform. Apple Music has apparently hidden the majority of the songs while it investigates, and Deezer is investigating.

Following an antisemitic rampage by the grime artist Wiley over the summer, more than 700 musicians and members of the music industry signed a letter decrying racism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Twitter has confirmed that it will ban and remove posts that endorse Holocaust denial, following Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement last week that Facebook will now enforce a similar policy on its platforms.

A spokesperson for Twitter reportedly said that posts and accounts that “deny or distort” or circulate disinformation on events, including the Holocaust, would be banned under Twitter’s hateful conduct policy. This has also been extended to include the glorification of historical acts of violence, persecution and genocides.

Mr Zuckerberg announced on 12th October that his platform’s revised hate speech policy would prohibit such offensive content and instead direct users to “authoritative sources to get accurate information.” The recent move followed a decision to ban the antisemitic conspiracist movement QAnon, which saw thousands of associated Twitter accounts removed over the last few months as well.

Twitter has assured users that the company will continue to work with a number of partners to tackle antisemitism and hateful conduct across the platform, including NGOs, the Jewish community, governments and several civil society partners.

In a public statement, a spokesperson reportedly said: “We strongly condemn antisemitism, and hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service. Our Hateful Conduct Policy prohibits a wide range of behaviour, including making references to violent events or types of violence where protected categories were the primary victims, or attempts to deny or diminish such events.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

An employee was sacked by one of the world’s leading banking groups after he was found to be running a conspiracy theory website which attracted millions of visitors.

An investigation into Jason Gelinas, an information technology specialist with New York City-based Citigroup, began after a fact checking website showed that Mr Gelinas was the “sole developer and mouthpiece” of a QAnon website. This was apparently in violation of Citigroup’s policy of engaging in paid business activity outside the company. He was put “on leave in mid-September” while the investigation was pending, and was subsequently sacked.

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that believes that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles, consisting of political figures, celebrities and billionaires, is running a global paedophilic ring and plotting against the President, who is planning to make a stand against the secret group.

At the height of its popularity, Mr Gelinas’s  site was attracting ten million visitors a month, according to the traffic-tracking organisation, SimilarWeb. It also reported that the site was receiving around $3,320 (£2,654) a month in donations made via Patreon, a US-based artists’ platform.

The firing came within days of an announcement by Facebook that it will no longer host pages linked to QAnon in line with its policy of stopping the promotion of conspiracy theories.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist us with this project.

The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has just announced that the company’s hate speech policy will now include Holocaust denial.

In his statement, Mr Zuckerberg said: “Today we’re updating our hate speech policy to ban Holocaust denial.

“We’ve long taken down posts that praise hate crimes or mass murder, including the Holocaust. But with rising antisemitism, we’re expanding our policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust as well. If people search for the Holocaust on Facebook, we’ll start directing you to authoritative sources to get accurate information.

“I’ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust. My own thinking has evolved as I’ve seen data showing an increase in antisemitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech. Drawing the right lines between what is and isn’t acceptable speech isn’t straightforward, but with the current state of the world, I believe this is the right balance.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We welcome this policy announcement from Facebook, which, along with its ban on QAnon conspiracy theories earlier this month, shows that the company is beginning to take antisemitic incitement on its platforms seriously. There is a direct line between online incitement and threats and violence against Jews in the real world, and social media companies must take responsibility for the role that their platforms play in this vicious process.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

The social media platform Facebook stated that as of 6th October all accounts linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement would be removed from Facebook pages, groups, advertisements and Instagram accounts.

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that believes that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles, consisting of political figures, celebrities and billionaires, is running a global paedophilic ring and plotting against the President, who is planning to make a stand against the secret group.

Many of QAnon’s conspiracy theories are inspired by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery, a hoax document. Several followers also support theories which draw inspiration from the antisemitic blood libel, claiming that these “elites” drink the blood of abused children to acquire power.

A search engine known as Qresear.ch provides tools to explore posts on 8chan/8kun, QAnon’s former and current ‘host’ platform, comprised of around 14.5 million associated data sources. The term “Jews” when searched generated over 86,000 retrievable antisemitic posts. 

The largest Facebook group dedicated to QAnon had approximately 200,000 members before it was banned in mid-August. The movement gained traction amongst parenting groups through the “#SaveTheChildren” hashtag that was harnessed to recruit and organise concerned users. In June this year, Twitter took similar action and limited features for around 150,000 accounts with links to QAnon.

In a recent statement, Facebook claimed that staff had begun removing inappropriate content and deleting the pages responsible. Restrictions have been placed on over 1,950 Facebook groups and more than 10,000 Instagram accounts. With a Dangerous Organisations Operations team to enforce the introduced regulations, the platform has said that it will actively detect offensive content or disinformation rather than simply relying upon the reports of other users. 

However, it was emphasised that “this will take time and will continue in the coming days and weeks” with traffic to mainstream social media sites increasing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Numerous technology companies recently blocked a webinar featuring a convicted terrorist, plane hijacker and member of the violent Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Following protests, Zoom refused to host a webinar featuring Leila Khaled held at San Francisco State University (SFSU) on 23rd September. As a member of the PFLP, Ms Khaled took part in two terrorist hijackings in 1969 and 1970. Opponents of the event noted that the U.S. Government has designated the PFLP as a terrorist organisation and claimed that by hosting Ms Khaled on its service, Zoom was exposing itself to criminal liability for providing “material support or resources” to a terrorist group.

In a statement confirming that it had cancelled the webinar, a Zoom spokesperson said that Ms Khaled’s participation in the webinar potentially breached its terms of service. In light of her membership of “a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organisation…we determined the meeting is in violation of Zoom’s Terms of Service and told SFSU they may not use Zoom for this particular event.”

After Zoom’s ruling, the event organisers turned to Facebook, which also blocked the webinar. YouTube, which is owed by Google, then terminated the live-streamed talk after 22 minutes when Ms Khaled referred to the “right of occupied peoples to fight their occupiers by any means possible, including weapons.” A message appeared stating: “This video is unavailable.” An attempt to stream the event on another YouTube channel was also blocked by the company.

That three of the most significant technology companies in the United States have finally moved to block antisemitic hatred online is a significant and welcome development, and shows the effect that enforcement of American regulations restricting the activities of antisemitic terrorist groups can have.

It is regrettable that SFSU was unrepentant, with the University’s President, Lynn Mahoney, saying in an open letter that the University disagreed with Zoom’s decision but recognised its right as a private company to enforce its policies. She had previously stated that she supported the right of her staff to invite controversial speakers, insisting that “an invitation to a public figure to speak to a class should not be construed as an endorsement of point of view.”

It is notable that the controversial far-left group, IfNotNow, also appeared to regret that the webinar was blocked.

Khaled was scheduled to speak as part of a roundtable discussion entitled “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice and Resistance.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is excited to announce the international expansion of our unrivalled coverage of antisemitism in the UK.

This significant initiative follows requests from both our British supporters wishing to learn more about antisemitism in other parts of the world and also our growing international audience interested in reading more about antisemitism in their own countries and elsewhere.

Like many of our projects, this international coverage will be volunteer-led, and we are grateful to our new volunteers — men and women of all ages, nationalities and creeds — who have joined Campaign Against Antisemitism to help make this happen. We are also keen to recruit additional volunteers with knowledge of other jurisdictions, fluent readers of foreign languages, and those with writing experience who may be interested to join our growing team.

We are also interested in hearing from you, our supporters, over the coming weeks about how you think this coverage is developing. We hope you find our international coverage of antisemitism informative and useful, and that it motivates you and others to raise awareness and help combat these latest manifestations of the world’s oldest hatred.

The hacktivist group known as Anonymous has posted an antisemitic cartoon on Twitter by the notorious Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff.

The cartoon shows two arms, one with an Israeli flag on the cuff and the other with an American flag, using a plaster labelled “antisemitism” to muzzle the mouth of a man wearing a “Free Palestine” bandana. The connotation is that accusations of antisemitism are being cynically used by Israel and the United States to muzzle criticism of Israel.

This notion is an example of the “Livingstone Formulation”, which holds that accusations of antisemitism are bad faith attempts by Jews to stifle criticism of Israel. It was deployed by the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, which is how it earned its name, and it is antisemitic.

The post has been liked over 17,000 times. Anonymous has over 7 million followers on Twitter.

Mr Latuff has previously placed second in Iran’s Holocaust Denial Cartoon Contest, and has drawn other outrageous cartoons, for example a cartoon comparing Israel’s policies to those of the Nazis, in breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism. That cartoon was shared by Baroness Tonge.

This is not the first time Anonymous has shared antisemitic material on social media. Last month, the group posted an image of the antisemitic Freedom for Humanity mural on Facebook.

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Numerous users of the social media video platform TikTok are pretending to be Holocaust survivors in a abominable new antisemitic trend dubbed “trauma porn”.

Some videos feature the user wearing a Star of David or the striped clothing worn by inmates at Nazi concentration camps, while others feature makeup to simulate bruising. Other videos use Auschwitz as a backdrop.

Most of the users are teenage girls and consequently we are not showing the images, although they remain available on TikTok and other social media platforms.

Some of the videos have thousands of views and likes.

However, some users have defended the videos on the basis that they are somehow educational.

One user, for example, has removed her video, saying: “I’ve always been interested in the history of the Holocaust and just wanted to make a creative video informing people about it on TikTok. It was never intended to be offensive.”

Another reportedly said: “I’m very motivated and captivated by the Holocaust and the history of World War II. I have ancestors who were in concentration camps, and have actually met a few survivors from Auschwitz camp. I wanted to spread awareness and share out to everyone the reality behind the camps by sharing my Jewish grandmother’s story.”

Last week, TikTok announced that it had removed 380,000 videos in the United States over violations of its hate speech policy.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has previously reported on the infestation of far-right videos and Holocaust-denial on TikTok, and has taken action in the past over Holocaust mockery on the platform.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a petition calling for new legislation urgently to introduce a requirement for technology companies to remove racist incitement within set timeframes, a duty of care for social networks with personal liability for executives, and tighter requirements to provide evidence to police under warrant.

The petition can be signed here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/333146/

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “These videos are TikTok’s latest antisemitic abomination. The obsession among too many users of the platform with Holocaust mockery and Holocaust denial should be of grave concern to the company, but time and again TikTok shows even greater indifference than other social media networks to the hate spewed on its platform. Tech companies have shown that they are incapable of regulating themselves, which is why we have called on the Government to bring forward an Online Harms bill immediately.”Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Earlier this week, the hacktivist group known as Anonymous posted a picture of an antisemitic mural on Facebook, but when a member of the public brought it to the attention of the social media company, it declined to take any action.

The mural originated on a wall in London’s East End in October 2012 after the Los Angeles-based street artist Mear One painted the image, which featured apparently-Jewish bankers beneath a pyramid often used by conspiracy theorists playing Monopoly on a board carried by straining, oppressed workers, several of whom had dark or black skin. The mural, called Freedom for Humanity, was widely perceived as antisemitic, and was eventually removed.

Former Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn was heavily criticised when it transpired that he had defended the mural. More recently, the same image was approvingly tweeted by the rapper Ice Cube who refused to remove it, and it was used by the Oxford branch of Black Lives Matter to promote an event, but the group retracted the advertisement and apologised.

A concerned member of the public reported the Anonymous post to Facebook, which apparently replied: “Thanks for your report – you did the right thing by letting us know about this. The post was reviewed, and although it doesn’t go against one of our specific Community Standards, we understand that it may still be offensive to you and others. No one should have to see posts they consider hateful on Facebook, so we want to help you avoid things like this in the future.”

We are grateful to the concerned member of the public for bringing this matter to our attention.

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Urban Dictionary, the online crowd-sourced dictionary of slang words, has deleted antisemitic definitions of “anti-Zionism” following a campaign by online activists, including Campaign Against Antisemitism.

However, while “anti-Zionist” has no definitions and several antisemitic definitions of “anti-Zionism” have been removed and replaced by new, more accurate definitions, a new offensive definition has also arisen.

There is also a new offensive definition of “Zionism”.

During the campaign against the antisemitic definitions, Campaign Against Antisemitism threatened to bring the matter to the attention of advertisers in order to go after Urban Dictionary’s advertising revenue, as we have done before, in order to pressure Urban Dictionary to remove the definitions. We will continue to campaign against anti-Jewish racism on Urban Dictionary and other major websites and social media.

Campaign Against Antisemitism recently and successfully pressured advertisers to withdraw from Urban Dictionary due to its promotion of antisemitism, and the website removed a particularly offensive entry as a result. In the past, the website has removed other gratuitously offensive terms, but is generally slow to act against racism on the website.

The robotic Twitter handle of the online crowd-sourced dictionary of slang words known Urban Dictionary has promoted an antisemitic entry on the website about “anti-Zionism”.

If someone sends the Twitter handle a term that features on the controversial website, it will automatically provide a screenshot of the definition.

A Twitter user asked the handle to provide a definition of “Zionism” but instead got a definition for “anti-Zionism”, which read: “Anti-Zionism is in no way connected to antisemitism. To be antizionist is to be anti-fascist. Zionism is based on the idea that millenia old literary myth is the basis for nationhood and that religion (which is a matter of choice) is genetically predetermined, both of which are clearly shite. Zionists believe that they can turn up in a country and kick out the indigenous population, as did Hitler. Zionists are fascist.” (emphasis in original).

The definition has received, at time of writing, 2,715 thumbs up compared to 1,433 thumbs down. These ratings determine how prominent the definition is as opposed to alternative definitions for the same term.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said “Comparing Zionism to Nazism is textbook antisemitism, which has become all too common on Urban Dictionary. Those behind the website have been slow to act against racism on their platform, but in the past we have successfully pressured them to delete gratuitously antisemitic entries by going after their advertisers. We will not hesitate to do so again if Urban Dictionary does not remove this entry and prove that it is capable of administering a site that doesn’t incite hatred.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism recently and successfully pressured advertisers to withdraw from Urban Dictionary due to its promotion of antisemitism, and the website removed a particularly offensive entry as a result. In the past, the website has removed other gratuitously offensive terms, but is generally slow to act against racism on the website.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is among 140 groups calling on Facebook to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism just as Facebook told the Chief Rabbi that it “wants to listen”.

In an open letter to the technology company’s board of directors, the international coalition called on Facebook “to implement a hate speech policy on antisemitism that includes the full [Definition]”.

The letter asks whether Facebook “will take responsibility and move toward removing the scourge of antisemitism from today’s most important online public square”.

The letter comes as Facebook has written to the Chief Rabbi agreeing that “we have more to do” and wishing to “listen and learn from those who live with these issues every day”.

Facebook can show that it is listening and learning by heeding the call of the letter and adopting the Definition.

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has apologised for posting a tweet that appeared to celebrate the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games hosted by Nazi Germany.

To mark the lighting of the Olympic cauldron a year in advance of the postponed Tokyo Games, the IOC tweeted a film about the conclusion of the first-ever Olympic torch relay, when the torch entered the stadium at the Berlin Games.

The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games was used by the Nazi regime to try to sanitise its global image, hide its nascent atrocities and advance its racial ideology. The latter objective was shattered most famously by Jesse Owens, the Black American athlete who won four gold medals at the Games. At least six Jewish athletes – Samuel Balter of the United States, Gyorgy Brody, Miklos Sarkany, Karoly Karpati and Endre Kabos of Hungary and Robert Fein of Austria – also won gold medals in basketball, water polo, wrestling, fencing and weightlifting.

The IOC deleted the tweet and wrote: “We apologize to those who feel offended by the film of the Olympic Games Berlin 1936. We have deleted this film, which was part of the series of films featuring the message of unity and solidarity, from the @Olympics Twitter account.”

Avery Brundage, who led the United States’ team in the Berlin Olympics, served as President of the IOC for twenty years until 1972, and is widely considered to have been a Nazi sympathiser with racist views.

Although racist products are prohibited on Amazon, Google and Wish according to their policies, not only have neo-Nazi items been available for sale, but the platforms’ algorithms have been promoting the white supremacist merchandise.

Amazon was selling a flag with a Celtic Cross, a popular white supremacist symbol, while Wish was selling Ku Klux Klan-themed products and the page was recommending “related items”, such as a hood and a Celtic Cross.

The revelations came following an investigation by the BBC.

The companies each released a statement:

Amazon said: “The products in question are no longer available and we’ve taken action on the bad actors that offered the products and violated our policies.”

Google said: “We don’t allow ads or products that are sold on our platforms that display shocking content or promote hatred. We enforce these policies vigorously and take action when we determine they are breached.”

Wish said: “We are working hard to remove these items and taking additional steps to prevent such items appearing again.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has previously been in contact with online retailers over neo-Nazi merchandise available for sale.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Online Monitoring and Investigations Unit is aware that Wiley, who has was finally banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram following worldwide outrage, is now uploading disturbing videos to a small Instagram account that appears to be new, and a YouTube channel with almost 250,000 followers.

The videos continue in the same vein as his previous videos and his recent interviews with Sky News and The Voice, a newspaper for the black community, in which he reaffirmed his belief in antisemitic conspiracy theories and bigoted stereotypes about Jews.

For example, in one of the new videos, Wiley demands that an unspecified “you”, which appears from the context to refer to Jews in general, try taking his passport away so that Wiley can see quite how much power Jews have.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Facebook and Google, which own Instagram and YouTube, have been made aware of Wiley’s latest attempts to use their platforms to broadcast his appalling views. We have discussed this with them and asked that they urgently close down his remaining accounts. Wiley seems to be on a quest to discredit himself even further and to persuade his audience to hate Jews and even to go to ‘war’ with Jews. His musical career is undoubtedly over, but we are concerned that his fans could be inspired to act on his hateful broadcasts. That is why we have asked social networks to take him off air, and reported Wiley to the police and intend to privately prosecute him should the authorities refuse to act.”

Twitter has permanently deleted antisemitic performer Wiley’s account. They did so following discussions with Campaign Against Antisemitism under immense pressure amid a worldwide 48-hour boycott of Twitter under the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate.

Last night, Campaign Against Antisemitism went to Twitter’s London headquarters to shine a light on the company after it failed so spectacularly to address racist incitement on its platform.

Numerous examples of antisemitic tweets were projected onto Twitter’s building in an effort to embarrass Twitter into cleaning up the mess that it has enabled and allowed to fester online.

The video can be watched here.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Following discussions with Campaign Against Antisemitism, during which we made clear that the beginning of their path to building faith would be the removal of Wiley’s account, this morning Twitter has finally listened. The closure of Wiley’s account is too little too late, but it is at least a start for this deeply irresponsible social network.

“After Twitter’s abysmal response to blatant anti-Jewish incitement on its platform, last night we decided to literally shine a light on the company and project onto its London headquarters some of the hateful tweets that Twitter permits on its platform.

“From their pitiful responses to the hate spewed daily on their platforms, it is evident that social media companies will stop at nothing to make a profit. It is time for these deeply damaging and irresponsible companies to be held accountable for the hatred they help to spread.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism and others walked out from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for 48 hours from Monday morning as part of a #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate campaign following the social media platforms’ failure to take appropriate action against racism on their websites.

It has taken Facebook several days, but it has finally made the decision to ban Wiley from Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), soon after Campaign Against Antisemitism publicised Facebook’s private damage control outreach to advertisers.

In a statement, Facebook said: “There is no place for hate speech on Facebook and Instagram. After initially placing Wiley’s accounts in a seven-day block, we have now removed both his Facebook and Instagram accounts for repeated violations of our policies.”

It is unclear whether Wiley will be able to open new accounts in future, without any assurance or evidence that he will refrain from racist incitement.

Twitter, however, has so far failed to ban Wiley from its platform for any longer than seven days, despite the rapper’s antisemitic rant having begun on Twitter and only later moved to Instagram and Facebook.

Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Although it took Facebook several days to reach the right decision, it has now banned Wiley from its platforms. Twitter, however, has yet to do so, despite Wiley having launched his antisemitic tirade on that platform. All eyes are now on Twitter, which evidently still values profit over decency. Twitter has disgraced itself in failing to take responsibility and act against antisemitism but it can still follow Facebook in belatedly making the right decision to ban Wiley for his unrepentant racist incitement.

“It is a lamentable state of affairs that it takes a 48-hour global boycott of social media to convince Twitter and Facebook to take the most elementary action against someone using their platforms to call for Jews to be shot. Twitter’s performance over the past few days has been beyond abysmal. Nobody makes a better case for regulation of social media than the technology companies themselves.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism and others have walked out from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for 48 hours as part of a #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate campaign following the social media platforms’ failure to take appropriate action against racism on their websites.

Those who oppose antisemitic racism are encouraged to join the walkout and to add the #TogetherAgainstAntisemitism profile badge in solidarity.

Facebook has sent a message to advertisers, the Government and NGOs in a desperate bid to stem rising backlash over its failure to delete antisemitic performer Wiley’s Instagram messages.

The e-mail from Steve Hatch, Facebook’s Vice-President for Northern Europe, which we have reproduced in full below, sought to justify the steps that Facebook has taken, but even as the e-mail was sent, Wiley continued to post prolifically on Facebook.

So far it appears that Facebook has done little more than to remove several of Wiley’s antisemitic posts and enforce a block on his official Instagram account for 7 days (Facebook owns Instagram).

In its statement, Facebook said that “No one at Facebook finds this type of content and behaviour anything other than abhorrent.”

The statement explained that after Wiley’s posts were reported to it, its teams investigated and gathered “contextual advice from our partners who represent the Jewish community. Their partnership and expertise is invaluable in understanding the nuances of antisemitic language.”

It added that “Our dedicated law enforcement engagement team was also made aware that a criminal report had been made to the Metropolitan Police,” after Campaign Against Antisemitism made a complaint to the Metropolitan Police regarding Wiley’s posts.

Facebook continued: “These initial investigations led us to remove a number of posts from Wiley’s Instagram account. Generally, the first time we remove a user’s post we let them know why they broke our guidelines as we think it’s important they have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. But in common with many platforms, on Facebook and Instagram if a user repeatedly breaks our rules we take a series of further enforcement actions. These can range from different types of restrictions on their activity to a total removal of their account. We have enforced this policy numerous times globally and locally regarding hate speech including the suspension and subsequent removal of numerous UK organizations and individuals from our platforms.”

Facebook says that it continued its investigations over the course of Saturday 25th July and “removed further pieces of content that violated our hate speech guidelines, subsequently placing his account in a 7 day block.”

“We absolutely recognize,” Facebook concluded, “that we always have more work to do in tackling complex and evolving situations like this one. Hate speech has no place on our platforms and we will continue to update you on how we evolve our approaches and policies to counter it.”

The full e-mail is reproduced below.

Incredibly, even as this update was disseminated to advertisers, Wiley has continued to rant on his Facebook account, including against high-profile Jewish individuals, with no consequences. Facebook has yet to take any action against these posts and this account.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Facebook is in panic mode as it realises it can longer hide from the consequences of its promotion of racist Jew-hatred on its platforms. But even as it seeks to assure advertisers that it is taking action against behaviour on Instagram that it considers ‘abhorrent’, it is allowing that behaviour to continue on Facebook.

“Despite all the media attention that this story has received, Wiley has still been able to maintain his Facebook account and continue posting from it. There is evidently no depth to which a user can sink before Facebook decides to put human decency before profit.

“In its statement, Facebook is trying to claim that it has done enough against Wiley’s account, but it has not taken long for reality to catch up and betray the company’s failure to take hate seriously.

“Advertisers would be wise to think twice about whether to associate their brands with corporate enablers of racism, and the Government must take action to bring an end to the culture of impunity at social media companies.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism and others have walked out from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for 48 hours as part of a #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate campaign following the social media platforms’ failure to take appropriate action against racism on their websites.

Those who oppose antisemitic racism are encouraged to join the walkout and to add the #TogetherAgainstAntisemitism profile badge in solidarity.

Facebook’s e-mail to advertisers in full

Good afternoon.

I wanted to update you about the actions Facebook has taken following the antisemitic posts on Instagram by UK artist Wiley this weekend, which have now included removing a number of posts and enforcing a seven day block on this account. I am also setting out some further details of our broader approach to preventing and tackling hate speech on our platforms. We are sending the same communications both to our partners in Government and NGOs.

If you or any of your teams would like to discuss over VC in more detail over the coming days please do let me know.

Best wishes,

Steve

No one at Facebook finds this type of content and behaviour anything other than abhorrent.

We currently work with a number of anti-hate speech NGOs representing the Jewish community who advise us on our policies, and help us to deliver education programmes off and on our platforms. Our partners are also able to report content that concerns them directly to us, often providing invaluable additional context that can help us enforce our rules.

Late Friday night, one of our partners contacted us regarding recent posts on Instagram from the account of the UK artist Wiley. Following the temporary suspension of his Twitter account, Wiley began to post similar content about Jewish people on his Instagram account. This included screenshots of posts that had been deleted from Twitter, and a series of videos. 

We have trained teams who handle reports of hate speech content, and this includes those who specialize in the way hate is expressed against different communities, and team members with specific knowledge of the UK context. Immediately after the report at around 11pm on Friday 24th July, our dedicated teams began to investigate the posts from Wiley. 

As part of this investigation, we continued to gather expert contextual advice from our partners who represent the Jewish community. Their partnership and expertise is invaluable in understanding the nuances of antisemitic language. Our dedicated law enforcement engagement team was also made aware that a criminal report had been made to the Metropolitan Police. We work closely with the Met in situations such as this one, and our team stands ready to provide any assistance that we can.

These initial investigations led us to remove a number of posts from Wiley’s Instagram account. Generally, the first time we remove a user’s post we let them know why they broke our guidelines as we think it’s important they have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. But in common with many platforms, on Facebook and Instagram if a user repeatedly breaks our rules we take a series of further enforcement actions. These can range from different types of restrictions on their activity to a total removal of their account. We have enforced this policy numerous times globally and locally regarding hate speech including the suspension and subsequent removal of numerous UK organizations and individuals from our platforms.

Over the course of Saturday 25th July, Wiley’s activity on Twitter led him to receive a further suspension from that platform for seven days. From this point on Saturday morning, his use of Instagram to post videos increased significantly. During this time we continued our investigations into his posts, and removed further pieces of content that violated our hate speech guidelines, subsequently placing his account in a seven day block. This means the user is not able to log in for seven days, and subsequently cannot post or message other users. That block was put in place just over 24 hours from the first report from our partners. The account will continue to be monitored and its content reviewed.

I hope that you will find this update today useful. We absolutely recognize that we always have more work to do in tackling complex and evolving situations like this one. Hate speech has no place on our platforms and we will continue to update you on how we evolve our approaches and policies to counter it.

Steve Hatch
VP | Northern Europe

The British rapper Wiley has spent the day delivering an antisemitic rant on Twitter, comparing Jews to the Ku Klux Klan, making comments about Jewish power and control of the “system” and insisting repeatedly that “Israel does not belong to you”.

Among the comments were:

  • “Is it anti semetic [sic] to say Jewish people have power?’
  • “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired”
  • “My ex manager was South Africa/ Jewish and I promise you he taught me so much about how this all works I was shocked [sic]”
  • “Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law…Work that out [sic]”
  • Listen to me Jewish community Israel is not your country I’m sorry”; Jewish community ya too touchy anyway Israel is not yours hold that”; “Israel does not belong to you”; “I don’t care Cos Israel is ours what about that”; and “Israel is ours who wants to talk about that?”; a sentiment also repeated herehere; and here
  • “Certain people out here actually using hitlers tricks and I don’t like hitler just saying tho [sic]”
  • “In some cases the oppressed become the oppressor [sic]”
  • “The Star of David that’s our ting [sic]”
  • “I’m not anti semetic I am anti slippery people there’s a difference [sic]”

Some other tweets in the rant can be accessed herehereherehereherehereherehere; and here.

Wiley’s repeated claim that “Israel does not belong to you”, accompanied by the assertion that “Israel is ours who wants to talk about that?”, as well as his claim that “The Star of David that’s our ting [sic]”, suggests that he may be espousing views associated with the hateful Black Israelite Hebrews movement, which has been known to harass Jews and has been connected to at least one violent antisemitic shooting in the United States.

Wiley’s racist ramblings, which he apparently referred to as “Black History Lesson For Today”, come after Ice Cube tweeted a picture of an antisemitic mural and several other celebrities have promoted the antisemitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Likening Jews to the KKK is a hideous antisemitic slur, which Wiley can add to the antisemitic tropes he has tweeted about Jewish power and Jews in business. He joins a number of celebrities who have promoted antisemitic themes or individuals in recent weeks, some of whom have apologised and sought rehabilitation. Wiley must immediately do the same, otherwise no respectable label or manager should work with him ever again.”

https://twitter.com/WileyCEO/status/1286611940836544518
https://twitter.com/WileyCEO/status/1286615262003900416
https://twitter.com/WileyCEO/status/1286616589001986048
https://twitter.com/WileyCEO/status/1286616759575941120

After Campaign Against Antisemitism reported that Twitter was locking accounts featuring Stars of David in their profile pictures, Twitter is reviewing its policy, which it claims was directed at ‘yellow stars’ specifically, which it categorised as “hateful imagery”.

Several Twitter users recently contacted Campaign Against Antisemitism reporting that their accounts had been locked, and Twitter provided the following rationale: “What happened? We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules. Specifically for: Violating our rules against posting hateful imagery. You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header. As a result, we have locked your account.”

Twitter appeared to have deemed the Star of David, a symbol of Judaism and Jewish pride, to be “hateful imagery”, and was locking the accounts of users who displayed it.

Now Twitter has claimed that the policy was directed only at ‘yellow stars’. Yet the Stars of David in the profile pictures of locked accounts that we saw also included artistic blue Stars of David and graffitied white Stars of David.

Twitter has claimed in its statement that “While the majority of cases were correctly actioned, some accounts highlighted recently were mistakes and have now been restored.”

We are pleased that Twitter has taken remedial action in this individual cases, however questions remain as to whether this was a genuine policy ineptly administered, or whether Twitter has provided an after-the-fact rationalisation for why the accounts of Jewish users displaying their identities were locked.

In response to Twitter’s statement, Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Only one of the accounts locked featured a yellow star, and it very clearly did so as a means of reclaiming the yellow stars used by the Nazis. This is precisely the kind of inept response to antisemitism that we have come to expect from Twitter, which just last week tried to convince us that the viral antisemitic #JewishPrivilege hashtag was legitimate.

“We would happily help Twitter, but they largely ignore us when we approach them, which we take as a reflection of their inconsistency in addressing this. It seems that Twitter prefers to go after Jewish users who proudly display their identity but not after antisemitic users who unabashedly promote anti-Jewish vitriol.”

Others also observed the locking of accounts with Stars of David in their profile pictures.

Recently, Twitter refused to take action against the viral antisemitic hashtag #JewishPrivilege, and earlier this year the social media giant was forced to apologise for permitting advertisements to be micro-targeted at neo-Nazis and other bigots.

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

The social media platform TikTok is infested with far-right antisemitism and Holocaust denial, according to a new report.

The report comes just weeks after Campaign Against Antisemitism called attention to the problem of mockery of the Holocaust on the popular platform.

The findings are particularly worrisome given that Ofcom has also just reported that the COVID-19 lockdown has meant that teenagers are spending record amounts of time on the platform.

The report by the Institute for Counter Terrorism at the University of Haifa, titled “Spreading Hate on TikTok”, scanned the platform from February to May 2020 and found numerous antisemitic posts, including Adolf Hitler speeches, postings of the ‘Sieg heil’ salute, neo-Nazi inspired violence, white supremacist symbols and Holocaust denial.

TikTok has 1.5 billion users, 41 percent of whom are between the ages of 16 and 24. Although its terms of service prohibit users under the age of thirteen, it is believed, based on their videos, that many users are below the minimum age.

The CST also recently published a report into far-right activity on alternative social media platforms such as Bitchute, Telegram, Gab and 4chan, where it found thousands of “easily accessible, extreme and violent” videos, memes and posts.

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has marked World Refugee Day by releasing a short video about “the forgotten refugees”: the hundreds of thousands of Jews who fled Arab and Muslim lands in the Middle East from the 1940s, leaving behind a civilisation built over millennia.

The video is available to watch and share on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.