Twitter has refused to take action as an antisemitic hashtag, #JewishPrivilege, has gone viral over the past 24 hours.
The abusive tweets were remarkable for the range of antisemitic motifs they adopted, as a small sample of examples illustrates.
One user wrote, in a post reminiscent of classical Christian antisemitism and nineteenth-century philosophical antisemitism: “#JewishPrivilege is being born into a world where your ancestors have ‘progressive-ly’ transformed an entire civilisation into a Jewish ‘utopia’ by inverting its formerly Christian values into their exact opposites.”
Another said: “#JewishPrivilege is running the Slave Trade, owning the Slave Ships and owning the Cotton Plantations but constantly blaming Slavery on White people with the very media that you completely control.”
Contrast that post with yet another: “#JewishPrivilege is shaming whites while pretending to be one of us…”.
Radical left-wing antisemitism blames the Jews for being white, while for white supremacist antisemites the Jews are not white enough.
The hashtag was also then co-opted by Jews and allies attacking it.
However, on being challenged to take action against the hashtag, Twitter reportedly refused, saying that it did not breach its terms of service, which evidently permit the platform to be used for the dissemination of racist material.
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The idea that Jews are a ‘privileged’ group is a slur designed to deny that antisemitism exists and to imply that Jews are a cause of racism towards other minorities. It is an antisemitic concept targeting a people who have suffered relentless persecution, exile, mass murder and the Holocaust, and it has no place in decent discourse.
“It is horrifying to see that #JewishPrivilege has been one of Twitter’s most popular hashtags of the past 24 hours. That it has gone viral demonstrates how ‘unpriveleged’ Jews in fact are. The accounts spewing this anti-Jewish hatred will still be there tomorrow, retweeted in the thousands as Twitter predictably but disgracefully refuses to take any action, adding yet another entry to the platform’s long record of enabling racism against Jews. Twitter’s refusal to act is not just tone-deaf but brazen. Antisemites are able to use Twitter to reach millions and by failing to act on anti-Jewish incitement Twitter is enabling it. Social networks are allowing racism to run rampant and it is high time they were regulated like all other mass media.”
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.