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United Nations Releases First Ever Report on Antisemitism

For the first time ever, the United Nations released a report on anti-Semitism on Sept. 20; the report warned of anti-Semitism from white supremacy and anti-Zionism.

The report notes that U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion of Belief Ahmed Shaheed was “alarmed” at the rising anti-Semitism worldwide, specifically citing white supremacy and radical Islamists as sources of it. He went on to warn of “left-wing” anti-Semitism involving criticism of Israel veering into anti-Semitism.

“In some cases, individuals expressing such views have engaged in Holocaust denial; in others, they have conflated Zionism, the self-determination movement of the Jewish people, with racism; claimed Israel does not have a right to exist; and accused those expressing concern over anti-Semitism as acting in bad faith,” the report states.

“[Shaheed] emphasizes that it is never acceptable to render Jews as proxies for the Government of Israel. He further recalls that Secretary-General [Antonio] Guterres has characterized ‘attempts to delegitimize the right of Israel to exist, including calls for its destruction’ as a contemporary manifestation of anti-Semitism.”

The report then provides both sides of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

“Critics of BDS assert that the architects of the campaign have indicated that one of its core aims is to bring about the end of the State of Israel and further allege that some individuals have employed anti-Semitic narratives, conspiracies and tropes in the course of expressing support for the BDS campaign,” the report states. “The Special Rapporteur notes that these allegations are rejected by the BDS movement, including by one of its principal actors, who asserted that the movement is ‘inspired by the South African anti-apartheid and U.S. Civil Rights movements;’ maintained that they oppose all forms of racism and that they take steps against those who use anti-Semitic tropes in the campaign, and stressed that they employ ‘nonviolent measures to bring about Israel’s compliance with its obligations under international law.”

Shaheed denounces anti-BDS laws, as he calls boycotts a form of “legitimate speech,” although he did call for anti-Semitic tropes to be condemned.

Later on, the report warns of rising anti-Semitism online, mainly through white supremacists promulgating their rhetoric on  platforms like Twitter, 4chan and Gab. Their narratives focus on “conspiracy theories” of “white genocide” through mass immigration and feminism.

“One study of the neo-Nazi web forum, Stormfront, found that more than 9,000 threads related to feminism had been established since its inception,” the report states. “Of those threats, more than 60 percent mentioned Jews with many claiming that Jews are leading the feminist movement.68 Another study, focused on 4chan, found, conservatively, 630,000 anti-Semitic posts in 2015, rising to 1.7 million in 2017.”

Shaheed believes that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism should be used “as a non-legal educational tool” to alleviate concerns the IHRA definition could be used to curb free speech against criticism of Israel while. Shaheed urged “a human rights-based approach” to fight anti-Semitism.

“This includes implementing measures which foster the development of democratic societies that are resilient to extremist ideologies, including anti-Semitic propaganda, by fostering critical thinking, empathy, and human rights literacy among self-reflective citizens with the requisite proficiency and confidence to peacefully and collectively reject anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance and discrimination,” the report states. “It also requires investments in education and training to enhance society-wide literacy about the different ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself.”

Source: https://www.jns.org/un-releases-first-ever-report-on-anti-semitism-and-urges-its-universal-adoption/?fbclid=IwAR36YfPmszMtWJHg1y2szG_aWwYETm0Pd-R5HsvJDbnyxNpmk1YHoYc1e3k