Alarmed about the surge of antisemitism across the world, WJC International Relations Officer Elizaveta Zaidman called on all the state and non-state actors present to “recognize the imminent dangers of online antisemitism and do everything possible to curb its spread,” during an intersessional meeting of the UNHRC commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
In her remarks, Zaidman warned that “Antisemitism has intruded and spread throughout online social media platforms, targeting and endangering the Jewish people. This phenomenon is aided and advanced through historical revisionism and disinformation, especially Holocaust denial and distortion, and lack of education that allows for such falsehoods to be accepted.”
Zaidman also highlighted the implications of the unabashed spread of online hatred of Jewish people and other communities around the world by terrorist organizations or state actors and presented best practices to combat the spread of antisemitism online, including the development of educational resources about the Holocaust. She also stressed the importance of the removal of content denying or diminishing the history of the Holocaust, which states and social media platforms should implement in order to uphold the principles of the Genocide Convention and prevent future violence against minority groups, which inevitably starts through the spread of racist and religious hatred.
Her remarks followed the publication of a WJC report that highlighted the spread of antisemitic and bigoted social media posts positively approving the Hamas terror attack against Israel.
The word “genocide” was first introduced by Jewish-Polish lawyer Raphäel Lemkin in 1944 in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, as he created the term during and in response to the events of the Holocaust, the systematic mass murder of European and North African Jewry by the Nazi regime. Raphäel Lemkin advocated for the recognition of genocide as an international crime with the Genocide Convention of 1948.