Tag Archives: Facebook

Algeria cancels soccer match due to Israeli manager

Algeria’s soccer team have pulled out of a friendly match with Ghana only because the latter has an Israeli head coach.

The Algerian team dropped out of the match to ensure that Avram Grant did not enter the country.

Avram Grant - not allowed into Algeria
Avram Grant – not allowed into Algeria

“The Algerian national team cancelled the friendly match with Ghana because it refused to host Ghana’s Israeli coach, Avraham (sic) Grant,” Algerian journalist Ayman Gada confirmed on Facebook.

Grant, the former Chelsea manager, has been in Ghana for the past two years. He had been the coach of the Israeli national team from 2002 to 2006.

Algeria last played Ghana in 2015’s Africa Cup of Nations, when Grant’s team won 1-0.

Algeria has long been a supporter of the Palestinian cause. The country used to have more than 100,000 Jews, but the vast majority of them left after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and during the country’s bloody war of independence against France.

Algeria has a mixed attitude toward Jews. In 2014 the country announced it would reopen synagogues that had been closed since the 1990s. However in 2015 Algerian Islamists called for attacks on Jews and later that year a video surfaced of Algerian troops marching to chants about murdering Jews.

Algeria came fourth on a list of the world’s most anti-Semitic countries.

Twitter’s failure to deal with anti-Semitism leads New York Times editor to pack up

Inundated with anti-Semitic tweets and frustrated by Twitter’s initial response, New York Times editor Jon Weisman is packing up and leaving the social media platform.

Twitter - doing too little too late on anti-Semitism?
Twitter – doing too little too late on anti-Semitism?

Weisman said Wednesday — in a tweet — that he will be “moving to Facebook where at least people need to use their real names and can’t hide behind fakery to spread their hate.”

The deputy editor of the Times’ Washington bureau and a published novelist, Weisman has more than 34,000 followers and a coveted blue check mark indicating his account is verified.

But his prominence also made Weisman, who is Jewish, a frequent target of anti-Semitic trolls. Fed up, Weisman said one of the Times’ social media gurus forwarded a compendium of some of those tweets to Twitter on Monday.

In one tweet, Weisman was referred to as a “kike.” Another threatened to have him put “in the oven.”

Weisman said that Twitter responded by saying the tweets didn’t violate the company’s rules and none of the users would be suspended.

By late Wednesday morning, however, Twitter appeared to change course. The two accounts that Weisman linked to earlier in the day have since been suspended.

Weisman said that, although his complaints have clearly been heard, it is still a mystery why some users get booted and others do not.

“I started getting notifications from Twitter that accounts are being suspended as soon as I said I was quitting Twitter, so yes, somebody is listening,” Weisman told CNNMoney in an email. “Not all the accounts that I reported, however, are being blocked. I really don’t understand what is deemed acceptable and what is over the line.”

Weisman isn’t sure if he will abandon Twitter for good. The company’s actions on Wednesday suggest they don’t want to lose him.

“They seem to be trying to get me back already,” Weisman said.

Read more here.

Shocking anti-Semitic abuse faced by young US politician

A young Jewish candidate for Congress in California has been targeted with shocking anti-Semitic abuse just days prior to the state’s primary election.

Erin Schrode (photo from LinkedIn)
Erin Schrode (photo from LinkedIn)

Erin Schrode, 25, whose underdog campaign against incumbent Jared Huffman has attracted recent media attention, has been hit with the abuse on social media and text messages, she revealed in a Facebook post late Saturday night.

Personal information such as her phone number and email also were posted online.

Among the messages she has received, Schrode said, are “Everyone knows it’s TIME for America’s first evil retarded teen c— Congress kike!”; “Fire up the oven!” and “All would laugh with glee as they gang raped her and then bashed her bagel eating brains in.”

She called the messages “Indiscriminate hatred. Pure evil.”

Writing on Facebook, Schrode said, “I cannot and will not remain silent. I have never been much good at standing idly by in the face of injustice. I am not writing these words to spark an outpouring of sympathy, but rather to call attention to the fact that pointed, blatant hatred is rampant and on the uptick at this moment in history, particularly in the context of a fear-based election cycle. Those who know me can attest to the fact that I have spoken out time and time again when I have NOT been the one targeted. I am a citizen activist through and through – who refuses to give that shrug of inevitability.”

She added: “We must not stand silent in the face of hatred, violence, attacks, bullying, or oppression; we cannot recoil in fear; we cannot lose our sense of human dignity and respect. May we respond with a chorus of positive voices and powerful action. May we rise up and not only preach tolerance, but understanding and love.”

The FBI has been notified of the cowardly attacks made by anonymous trolls and local police have agreed to step up their visibility in her home neighbourhood.

Read more here.

New social media anti-Semitism fightback tactic

So what do we think about the latest anti-Semitic fightback tactic?

AntiSemitismWatch has previously reported on the rapid rise of the use of social media by anti-Semites to ‘troll’ or otherwise harass Jewish journalists, groups, politicians and others with Jewish-sounding names. The European Union just recently launched an initiative with the major social media companies to combat the problem.

Indeed, until it was removed last week, a user-generated Google Chrome extension allowed those who installed it to identify Jews and coordinate online attacks against them.

social-mediaLast week, Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for the US newspaper, The Atlantic, decided to fight back. He changed his Twitter username to (((Goldberg))), co-opting a symbol that neo-Nazis use to brand Jews on blogs, message boards, and social media. The “echoes,” as they are called, allude to the alleged sins committed by Jews that reverberate through history, according to Mic, a news site geared toward millennials that first explained the origins of the symbol.

Then, Yair Rosenberg of Tablet Magazine, another popular troll target, encouraged his followers to put parentheses around their names as a way to “raise awareness about anti-Semitism, show solidarity with harassed Jews and mess with the Twitter Nazis.” Several journalists and other Jewish professionals followed suit.

Jonathan Weisman, a New York Times editor who changed his username to (((Jon Weisman))) over the weekend, wrote on Twitter that the campaign was a way to show “strength and fearlessness” in the face of bigotry. Weisman was the victim of a barrage of anti-Semitic abuse last month after he tweeted the link to an article in the Washington Post that was critical of Donald Trump. Weisman retweeted much of the filth — including memes of hook-nosed Jews and depictions of Trump in Nazi regalia — that came his way. “Better to have it in the open,” he wrote. “People need to choose sides.”

In Israel, where Twitter is less popular than other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, a small number of journalists, including Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, joined the cause.

Many non-Jews also added the parentheses to their usernames out of solidarity. Among them was NAACP President Cornell Brooks, who tweeted on Saturday: “Founded by Jews & Blacks, the haters might as well hate mark our name [too]: (((@NAACP))).”

Yet the move has struck some Jews as unseemly, the virtual equivalent of willingly pinning a yellow “Jude” star to one’s shirt. On Sunday, the journalist Julia Ioffe tweeted that she was “really uncomfortable with people putting their own names in anti-Semitic parentheses.”

Mordechai Lightstone, a rabbi in Brooklyn who works in the Jewish social media world, said it was dangerous “if we only subvert these hateful acts and use that as the sole basis to define our identities.” A better solution, he said, would be to “channel this into positive actions expressing Jewish pride.”

AntiSemitismWatch believes any tactic people feel empowers them in fighting anti-Semitism has merit. As such, we support those who have determined it is appropriate for them. Indeed, there is something to be said for stealing the tools of anti-Semites, if nothing else other than to annoy and frustrate them! However, the fight does require more. It requires exposure of these people and groups, holding authorities and governments to account, recognition of the global nature of the problem and people dedicated to ensuring the lessons of history are not forgotten or ignored.

But do let us know what you think by using our comment section below or by emailing us at secretary@antisemitismwatch.com

Read more here.

Do we really believe new EU initiative will clean up anti-Semitic and other hate speech from social media?

The European Commission together with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft have today unveiled a code of conduct that includes a series of commitments to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe.media

The code is seen as part of the response to the challenge of ensuring that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally.

While the effective application of provisions criminalising hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, the Commission and IT companies recognised such work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame. However, they did argue that to be considered valid in this respect, a notification should not be insufficiently precise or inadequately substantiated.

Twitter’s Head of Public Policy for Europe, Karen White, commented: “Hateful conduct has no place on Twitter and we will continue to tackle this issue head on alongside our partners in industry and civil society. We remain committed to letting the Tweets flow. However, there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate.”

Google’s Public Policy and Government Relations Director, Lie Junius, said: “We’re committed to giving people access to information through our services, but we have always prohibited illegal hate speech on our platforms. We have efficient systems to review valid notifications in less than 24 hours and to remove illegal content.”

Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management at Facebook said: “We welcome today’s announcement and the chance to continue our work with the Commission and wider tech industry to fight hate speech. With a global community of 1.6 billion people we work hard to balance giving people the power to express themselves whilst ensuring we provide a respectful environment. As we make clear in our Community Standards, there’s no place for hate speech on Facebook. We urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our standards so we can investigate. Our teams around the world review these reports around the clock and take swift action.”

The code of conduct includes the following public commitments:

  • The IT Companies to have in place clear and effective processes to review notifications regarding illegal hate speech on their services so they can remove or disable access to such content.
  • Upon receipt of a valid removal notification, the IT Companies to review such requests against their rules and community guidelines and where necessary national laws.
  • The IT Companies to review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content, if necessary.
  • The IT Companies to educate and raise awareness with their users about the types of content not permitted under their rules and community guidelines.
  • The IT Companies to encourage the provision of notices and flagging of content that promotes incitement to violence and hateful conduct at scale by experts.
  • The IT Companies to provide regular training to their staff on current societal developments and to exchange views on the potential for further improvement.
  • The IT Companies to intensify cooperation between themselves and other platforms and social media companies to enhance best practice sharing.
  • The IT Companies and the European Commission, recognising the value of independent counter speech against hateful rhetoric and prejudice, aim to continue their work in identifying and promoting independent counter-narratives, new ideas and initiatives and supporting educational programs that encourage critical thinking.

However, considering the sheer scale of anti-Semitic and other hate speech that floods social media platforms and the suspect nature of the IT companies response to it, we believe many in the community will wait to see the results of this initiative in action before endorsing it.

 

Anti-Semitism on social media rocketing

Anti-Semitism has skyrocketed on social media, mirroring the experiences of many Jewish communities particularly in Europe. The latest data was released by the Shem Olam Institute and social media monitoring and analysis company Buzzilla.

Anti-Semitism on social media has reached new heights, according to a Shem Olam Institute study released Tuesday.
Anti-Semitism on social media has reached new heights, according to a Shem Olam Institute study.

The study revealed that anti-Semitism online was four times higher after September 2015, when the recent spate of terror attacks began in Israel, than it was before Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

“From October 2015 to March 2016 there was a significant increase in the average number of conversations showing anti-Semitic expressions,” the report said. “For the purpose of the present research, anti-Semitism is defined as any deliberate verbal attack towards Jews and the Jewish people (including its history).”

According to the report, half of online anti-Semitic comments include rhetoric such as “Hitler was right.” At the same time, 22% include comments such as “I hate the Jews”; 11%, contain statements like”Burn the Jews” and “I hate the Jewish people”; and 6% contain epithets such as “Bloody Jews.” The study found that the Facebook pages with the most anti-Semitic comments are the pro-Hamas Middle East Monitor, with 710,000 followers, followed by Americans Against Genocide in Gaza, Images of Palestine, Israel Lies and Deceits, and the International Solidarity Movement.

The most anti-Semitic posts were of a video, stemming from the Facebook page of Al Jazeera, purportedly showing the IDF bombing a school in Gaza and a video allegedly showing Israeli police threatening to murder Palestinians. The first video garnered 1.2 million views, 33,000 shares, hundreds of comments, and 20,000 likes. The second video topped it with 1.8 million views, 34,000 shares, and almost 2,000 comments.

In a statement, Shem Olam chairman Rabbi Avraham Krieger described the anti-Semitism on social networks as a “red flag” that reflected the hatred of Jews harbored by many individuals around the world.

Follow the link to the original article here.

 

French campaigners combine to tackle social media giants over hate content

Three French anti-racism associations have joined forces to file legal complaints against social network giants Facebook, Twitter and Google’s Youtube for failing to remove “hateful” content posted on their platforms.

French law requires websites to take down racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic material and tell authorities about it.

But French Jewish students union UEJF and anti-racism and anti-homophobia campaigners SOS Racisme and SOS Homophobie said the three firms had removed only a fraction of 586 examples of hateful content the anti-racism groups had counted on their platforms between the end of March and May 10.

images-5

Twitter removed only 4%, Youtube 7% and Facebook 34%, according to the associations.

“In light of Youtube, Twitter and Facebook’s profits and how little taxes they pay, their refusal to invest in the fight against hate is unacceptable,” UEJF president Sacha Reingewirtz said in a statement.

Germany got Facebook, Google and Twitter to agree in December to delete hate speech from their websites within 24 hours.

Read more here.

Our offer to Labour and Corbyn – A five point plan to tackle their anti-Semitism crisis

coollogo_com-23172872

AntiSemitismWatch is perhaps uniquely placed to offer the UK Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn a considered solution to the anti-Semitic crisis currently engulfing them.

We were the first to identify the clear source of the problem in our article entitled, ‘The inconvenient truth for the left and why Labour is in such a mess‘.

In the simplest terms, the political left-wing forms the ‘natural home’ of the ideology that views with hatred everything associated with and related to Israel. In essence, it is anti-Zionist sentiment that is driving the current wave, insurgency if you will, of anti-Semitism.

corbynThese views that have come so much to the fore within Labour were sparked by left-winger Corbyn’s party leadership victory, which brought with it an influx of new members with these ‘out-dated and prejudiced’ views.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is the living embodiment of this problem. There is now overwhelming evidence that BDS is home to vile anti-Semitic rhetoric, debate and policy. BDS, and its acolytes such as Israeli Apartheid Week, drives this, in part, through its lack of respect for the dignity of the individual and for the rights of others to hold and express different intellectual positions.

The article prophetically concluded that BDS movement is systemically anti-Semitic and that the political left was in danger of becoming similarly so, and so was the Labour Party!

AntiSemitismWatch just the evening before the Ken Livingstone furor erupted also predicted troubled times ahead for the relationship between the former London Mayor and Corbyn.

Corbyn’s response to the overall issue has been three-fold:

The first point has, indeed, seen some action follow with various party members, officials and MPs, including Livingstone and Naz Shah, suspended. However, it is this very same evidence that leads AntiSemitismWatch to conclude that this response is doomed to failure.

With each new accusation there have been issues of indecision, prevarication or lack of leadership shown.

  • Gerry Downing, accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ and being ‘obsessed with Jews’, kicked out, readmitted on appeal and then kicked out again.
  • Vicki Kirby, probed by the party in 2014 after a series of posts on Twitter in which she apparently suggested Adolf Hitler might be a “Zionist God” and Jews had “big noses”, subsequently reinstated with a warning, appointed vice-chairman of Labour’s Woking branch, and then suspended again.
  • Naz Shah, who following the Facebook revelations was not suspended for 32 hours until Corbyn succumbed to the pressure exerted by the media, the Prime Minister, Jewish commentators and some within his own party.
  • The Oxford University Labour Club mess which triggered the recent crisis has still not been resolved despite the launch of an inquiry into the matter.
  • Even the suspension of Ken Livingstone was weakly handled by Corbyn. Virtually all party communication on the subject was dealt with by Labour ‘spokespeople’. We also had the spectacle of John Mann being seen be many as the hero of the hour in his facing down and castigation of Livingstone. While not perhaps expecting precisely the same from the leader of the official government opposition something of the spirit displayed by Mann has been entirely lacking in Corbyn.
John Mann
John Mann MP

There are other Labour members in addition to John Mann worthy of mention for their mettle shown in fighting anti-Semitism in the party, including Wes Streeting and Luciana Berger who has herself been subjected to vicious anti-Semitic abuse.

Yet, these example are not set to be the sum total of what Labour will have to contend with. It is inevitable that the injurious damage will continue through further revelations. As such, they will persist in making mockery of the claim of a party with zero tolerance against anti-Semitism.

That brings us to the announcement of an independent inquiry to be led by Shami Chakrabarti, the former head of the rights group Liberty, who will be tasked with opening a dialogue with the Jewish community and will report back to Labour headquarters within two months on how the party can best tackle antisemitism and other forms of discrimination.

It is entirely inconceivable that this inquiry will deliver the necessary radical and truthful thinking and proposed action to deliver the step-change necessary for the Labour Party to emerge from this crisis with a realistic prospect of regaining its credibility.

Instead, it will likely focus on tightening party processes for dealing with potential  transgressors of Labour rules on racism and anti-Semitism etc. It will also undoubtedly conclude that there exists a real desire within the party leadership to tackle the issues but, AntiSemitismWatch predicts, it will entirely fail to offer up the necessary action plan to tackle the causes.

So AntiSemitismWatch offers up to Corbyn, Labour and Chakrabarti our own radical five point plan:

  1. As with any plan for recovery, first admit there is a problem. Labour’s Chuka Umunna has alluded to it, but still shied away from admitting the full extent, when he said: “I think there is a problem with anti-Semitism on the fringes of the left, there is no doubt about that; it would be completely disingenuous to deny that.”
  2. The message must come from Corbyn himself. No longer is it viable or acceptable for him to stand behind others speaking on his behalf.
  3. The admission must acknowledge that, like all parts of the political spectrum, Labour will contain individuals who hold plain, old-fashioned anti-Semitic attitudes. Labour is not immune to this just because of their long association with human rights but neither is it unique to them.
  4. The more radical aspect to the admission is to accept that while criticism of any foreign state, including Israel, is legitimate, the rhetoric on this one lone country has, all too often, been used as a disguise for attacking the Jewish people more widely.
  5. The issue of anti-Zionism would also need to be addressed as part of the admission, acknowledging that the right of self-determination is an unalienable right. That anything that calls for the destruction, removal, transportation or dismantlement of a democratic state and its people is in itself anti-Semitic. This provides for Corbyn and Labour to reassert a commitment to achieving a peaceful two-state solution.

Only such explicit clarity offered by our five point plan will take Labour towards a path out of the mire. It provides the only clarity necessary for Labour to then be able to hold true on its zero tolerance pledge.

Danny Cohen, the former head of the BBC, recently suggested of Labour, ‘If you are Jewish how can you vote for them?“. The relationship between Corbyn’s party and the Jewish community hangs by a thread. There remains limited time and opportunity for repair, our five point plan is an offer that should not be rejected.

Labour - opportunity hanging by a thread
Labour – opportunity hanging by a thread

 

 

 

UPDATE: Labour’s Naz Shah suspended following revelation – full coverage

UPDATE: Following yesterday’s comprehensive coverage of the fallout over Labour’s Naz Shah and her Facebook posts, the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn has finally bowed to pressure and suspended her from the party.

Yet the decision came just hours after he appeared to have accepted an apology without imposing a punishment.

Ms Shah had a second meeting with Mr Corbyn this afternoon after which Labour said she would be suspended with ‘mutual agreement’.

A Labour spokesman said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the General Secretary.

‘Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed.’

Speaking in the Commons, Ms Shah today made her fourth apology saying: ‘I fully acknowledge I have made mistakes and I wholeheartedly apologise to this House for the words I used before I became a member.

‘I accept and understand the words I used caused upset and hurt to the Jewish community and I deeply regret that.

‘Anti-Semitism is racism, full stop.’

ORIGINAL POST: Labour MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah, today resigned from the shadow cabinet over her now well publicised Facebook post that called for relocation of Israel to the US to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Naz Shah (centre)
Naz Shah (centre)

Shah stepped down as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, over the remarks she made two years ago.

Shah has since apologised, saying: “I deeply regret the hurt I have caused.

“This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused.”

2016-04-26-19-35-32-1220909472

In a second statement, she added: “I made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict.

“But that is no excuse for the offence I have given, for which I unreservedly apologise.”

Shah won her parliamentary seat in 2015 from George Galloway following an acrimonious election campaign that at times became very personal. Indeed, Shah referred to it as, “One of the most vile and personalised election campaigns ever seen in Great Britain”.

One particular spat centred on Shah’s claims about being forced into a violent and sexually abusive marriage aged 15.

This was disputed by Galloway telling her she had “only a passing acquaintance with the truth”. Galloway said: “You claimed – and gullible journalists believed you – that you were subject to a forced marriage at the age of 15. But you were not 15, you were 16 and a half. I have your nikah [marriage certificate] in my pocket.”

Shah at one point suggested she would sue Galloway over the issue.

However, it has been the series of messages on social media for which she has paid today’s price. She had said that the “solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States”, with the additional comment “problem solved”.

2016_04_26_20.28.08~2

Alongside the post, Shah added a smiley-face emoji and suggested she would lobby the prime minister to adopt the plan.

More recently Shah threw her opinion into the ring over the controversial election of Malia Bouattia as the new president of the National Union of Students. Shah shared a tweet warmly congratulating Bouattia on her victory.

2016-04-26-18-53-11--2069651452

Bouattia’s election, amid allegations by some of anti-Semitism, has taken some university student unions to the brink of disafilliation.

The Labour party confirmed that Shah had stepped down as Parliamentary Private Secretary, an unpaid backbench assistant.

The original post was publicised by the Guido Fawkes political website.

Naz Shah conclude her apology with a suggestion she would be,”Seeking to expand my existing engagement and dialogue with Jewish community organisations, and will be stepping up my efforts to combat all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.”

However, her troubles are almost certain to continue with other MPs questioning whether Shah should continue as a parliamentarian.

2016_04_26_19.46.09~2

Her Labour colleague John Mann told Guido Fawkes that, “The last person to propose a forced repatriation of this kind was Adolf Eichmann on August 15 in 1940 (the Madagascar plan).”

Shah, is also a member of the House of Commons home affairs select committee which is conducting an inquiry into the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK. In the circumstances it is inconceivable that she will be able to continue in that role.

Labour ‘suspends’ another member as crisis continues

As Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis staggers on, it has been announced that the party membership of a columnist from Ireland who apparently said Israel was using the Holocaust to receive money has been suspended. However, the individual in question disputes the claim.

John McAuliffe (Facebook)
John McAuliffe (Facebook)

John McAuliffe, an international member of the British party, columnist at Digital Journal and the Cambridge Globalist, was apparently suspended this week after allegedly posting on Facebook a message in which he described the genocide as:

“The most useful political tool of the Zionist government in Israel to establish a financial racket in the West, whereby Israel receives an unlimited sum for the duration of its existence.”

The suspension, made known to the Jewish News by a Labour spokesperson, represents the latest twist amid a string of crises concerning prominent Labour members who have made anti-Semitic comments. However, in a recent Twitter response, McAuliffe said that he is unaware of any suspension and has not, “even been contacted.”

In his Facebook post, McAuliffe wrote: “The large level of poverty in Israel among Holocaust survivors shows they don’t care about the emotional impact they are trying to generate. It is about money and military technology. This further paints a clearer picture of the divide between Zionism and Judaism, and their incompatibility.”

John-McAuliffe-1024x510

The Jewish Labour Movement has put forward a proposal to change Labour rules to make it easier to permanently exclude those who express anti-Semitic or Islamophobic sentiment.

Following publication of this article there followed an exchange of Twitter tweets between AntiSemitismWatch and Mr AcAuliffe:

Capture

Read more here.