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Israelis tried to enlist Mark Zuckerberg

18 months ago Israel realised that it was time to tackle the disease of anti-Semitism. The World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the Israeli Knesset set up the “Committee for Combating Anti-Semitism”. Little did they realise what a hot-button issue it was. The disease grew rapidly in both size & scope. So bad has the problem become in Europe, that French Aliyah numbers doubled and redoubled over the past four consecutive years to hit an all-time record in 2014 .
by Jewish Report | Jan 14, 2015

Anti-Semitism is a disease, and by July 2013 the sharp growth in international anti-Semitism was becoming apparent and World Zionist Organization (WZO) who, together with the Israeli Knesset, set up the Committee for Combating Anti-Semitism.

Initiated by MK Dr Shimon Ohayon and in collaboration with the Department for Countering Anti-Semitism at the WZO, this committee was set up due to the sharp rise in cases of anti-Semitism on online social networks and around the world.

wzo8 - Yaakov HOME


RIGHT: Chief Counter-insurgent - Head of the Department for Combating Anti-Semitism at the WZO, Yaakov Hagoel

Little did they realise what a hot-button issue they had identified. The disease of anti-Semitism grew rapidly in 2013, and redoubled in both size and scope in 2014. So bad has the problem become in Europe, that French Aliyah numbers doubled and redoubled over the past four consecutive years to hit an all-time record in 2014. France is host to the world’s third largest Jewish population – some 500,000 – but even more who are leaving are headed State-side.

Last weekend, in the light of the current anti-Semitic rallies, a Jewish leader in France said that one percent of French Jewry was now emigrating annually.

The committee which was set up in July 2013 to combat anti-Semitism, contacted Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of ‘Facebook’, by writing him a letter in which they “called on Facebook to remove links to sites that allow anti-Semitic content and to block any anti-Semitic remarks,” according to Eitan Behar, the director of the Centre for Diaspora Communications & Countering Anti-Semitism (CDCCA).

Prophetic – but was enough action taken

Some 18 months ago, on the WZO’s iZIONIST website Eitan Behar wrote:

“In light of the significant increase of cases of anti-Semitism around the world, among them:

  • cases of physical violence against civilians;
  • anti-Semitic remarks by Governments and officials;
  • acute desecration of tombstones and graves; and
  • anti-Semitism on electronic media, social networks and websites;

The CDCCA brought out ministers and MKs from the Israeli Government, including: Avigdor Lieberman Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, MK Uzi Landau Minister of Tourism, MK Naftali Bennett Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora, Natan Sharansky Jewish Agency Chairman, MK Nachman Shai, MK David Rotem and MK Hamad Amar.“

wzo7 Yaakov & Eitan - CopyThe lobby for Combating anti-Semitism was initiated jointly by MK Dr Shimon Ohayon, head of the Committee on Combating anti-Semitism, and Head of the Department for Combating Anti-Semitism at the WZO, Yaakov Hagoel.

It was agreed that the purpose of the lobby would be to find effective ways to fight against the anti-Semitic manifestations with the help of officials in Israel and the diaspora, “among them Knesset members, parliamentarians, members of Congress, ambassadors, heads of communities, private and commercial, and more,” wrote Behar.


 LEFT: Eitan Behar, the WZO’s Director, International Centre for Countering Anti-Semitism

 

“The first and most important activity,” the committee decided at its first meeting 18 months ago, was a plan to turn to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to request that he remove links to sites that allow anti-Semitic content and to block any anti-Semitic remarks.

But it was always going to be non-starter

The idea of enlisting Zuckerberg was understandable in response to “the sharp rise in cases of anti-Semitism (on) online social networks,” wrote Behar on the website to explain the committee’s reasoning.

But it could never have worked them. Now, pundits are saying that it may be a different time and are hoping to get some self-censorship on major social platforms. But, say others, where does one start or stop when it comes to self-censorship. 

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Report anti-Semitism


If you would like to report an incident of anti-Semitism to the WZO, Click on the image (right) and it will take you directly to the form on their website


A good deal of other measures and counter-measures were put in place and Yaakov Hagoel was entrenched as Israel’s top point–man on countering anti-Semitism in the Gola. One of these strtegies was to engage the diaspora community.

Three conferences have been held:

  • 2013: 08 December - Conference in New York to address the rising Anti-Semitism across the globe – READ MORE about this conference on the WZO’s iZIONIST website;
  • 2014: 08 to 10 March – Paris, WZO met over 150 European Jewish leaders from 12 European countries for an “Emergency Conference for Countering Anti-Semitism in France.”
  • 2014: Held in Brussels between 05 and 7 December, the conference was themed "Tactics of Countering Anti-Semitism in the Face of Ongoing Media Incitement and Worldwide Anti-Semitic Incidents.”

READ MORE about this conference on WZO’s iZIONIST website or on SA JEWISH REPORT’s website.

Other activities will lobby to promote the struggle against anti-Semitism:

  • Formulating effective ways to combat anti-Semitic manifestations with the help of officials in Israel and abroad, among them Knesset members, parliamentarians, members of Congress, ambassadors, heads of communities, private and commercial, and more.
  • Promoting legislation worldwide to prevent anti-Semitism.
  • Monitoring of anti-Semitic expressions and contacting various factors in order to remove their children from the network social networking website.
  • Raising awareness and overcoming anti-Semitic phenomena with mutual strengthening the Jewish community worldwide.

WZO Conference reads on SAJR.CO.ZA


14 Jan:
 ISRAELIS TRIED TO ENLIST FACEBOOK’S MARK ZUCKERBERG
ANT KATZ 
Israel was on the mark but got off to a slow start. Can they beat this disease?


05 Jan: 75% OF VIOLENT ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS GO UNREPORTED –WZO
EITAN BEHAR 
“Enough of anti-Semitic Violence! Increase legislation to combat anti-Semitism!”

31 Dec: ANTI-SEMITISM REARED ITS HEAD OPENLY IN 2014
ANT KATZ 
publishes details of hundreds of violent anti-Semitic attacks worldwide in 2014

23 Dec: BATTLEGROUND BELGIUM - HOTBED OF ANTI-SEMITISM
ANT KATZ 
details how over a million Euro-Jews are sitting on their shpielkes, and why

17 Dec: GERMAN JEWRY IS “SITTING ON THEIR SUITCASES”
GABRIEL GOLDBERG
 of German Fed – on how it feels like to be a Jew in Europe in 2014

17 Dec: DANGEROUS BUT WONDERFUL THING TO BE JEWISH
BARON KLENER
, Survivor& head of Belgian Jewry, tells how tough it is on European Jews

10 Dec: EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITISM HEADING BACK TO 30’S 
Introduction to series on December conference of WZO attended & written by ANT KATZ

1 Comment

  1. 1 Denis Solomons 16 Jan
    Sure Israel needs mark Zuckerberg's money but what is he going to do ?
    Is Zuckerberg going to put the whole of Israel on Facebook ! ? 

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