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Opinion A solution to antisemitism in the media

08:05  21 october  2021
08:05  21 october  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Holocaust forum focuses on social media role in antisemitism

  Holocaust forum focuses on social media role in antisemitism COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A one-day conference starting Wednesday will focus on the receding memory of the Holocaust as Sweden marks the 20th anniversary of a conference on remembering the genocide, with participants focusing on how social media is contributing to a rise in antisemitism. “There is a dangerous rise of antisemitism all over the world mainly because of the new social media,” said Nachman Shai, Israel’s diaspora affairs minister, upon arrival at the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance in Malmo, southern Sweden.

Axel Springer, the publishing giant that just bought Politico, made waves last week when its CEO said in an interview that he wants all staffers to adhere to companywide guiding principles, including support for “Israel’s right to exist.” As Mathias Dopfner explained, this is simply part and parcel of his newsroom expectations for unbiased nonpartisan journalism.

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Dofpner’s statement drew immediate criticism from those who see recognition of Israel’s right to exist, and a newspaper's requirement that those who report the facts not openly deny them, as a company enforcing “propaganda.” Articles twisted Dopfner’s words to make it seem as if he required everyone who works for him to actively support the Jewish state. To be clear, Dopfner never said that anyone could not or should not criticize the state of Israel or vociferously disagree with any or all aspects of its policies or leadership. All he said was that he did not want to print lies pretending that Israel does not have a right to exist — a right that even Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has openly affirmed.

Facebook Sees 15 Times More Hate Speech Than 5 Years Ago As It Vows to Fight Antisemitism

  Facebook Sees 15 Times More Hate Speech Than 5 Years Ago As It Vows to Fight Antisemitism Social media and government representatives at the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance blamed social media for contributing to a rise in antisemitism.Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was one of the government and social media representatives who attended the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance in Sweden, where many blamed social media for contributing to widespread rises in antisemitism.

If you cannot tell the difference between acknowledging Israel as a legitimate country and “partisan propaganda,” you might want to ask yourself whether you might be harboring some antisemitism. Here is a simple test: Are there any other countries in the world that you dislike and think should not exist? If the answer to the second question is no, then the answer to the first one is yes.

The pushback in this particular episode is surprising only because Israel’s right to exist should have been a fairly easy line to draw in the sand. Usually, the antisemitism in legacy media newsrooms is a little bit more nuanced. Still, there are times when it positively screams out.

In July of 2020, for example, former New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss resigned, citing, among other things, alleged instances of unlawful discrimination and harassment. This included being called a Nazi by her colleagues and hearing disparaging comments about how often she would write about “the Jews.” In describing the editorial policies of the New York Times that she could no longer abide by, she called out a comparative willingness to amplify antisemitic voices without caveat as opposed to other problematic or controversial statements that received disclaimers. Casual antisemitism in the media is not really surprising and has not gone away — it’s just not every day that an editor confirms it.

Teaching 'opposing views' of the Holocaust is the latest effort to rewrite history

  Teaching 'opposing views' of the Holocaust is the latest effort to rewrite history Holocaust denial is part of a broader effort to create a celebratory version not only of U.S. history but of Western civilization. Its proponents embrace American exceptionalism, believe in manifest destiny, excuse the removal of Native Americans, and play down slavery and Jim Crow. Holocaust denial fits well into this narrative. The United States did not perpetrate the genocide, but it has a history of antisemitism, which has increased in recent years.

The truth is there have been entire books written on the New York Times and its biased coverage of both Jews and the Jewish state. Sometimes it gets caught, and when the bias is egregious enough and there is overwhelming pressure, it apologizes. But more often, this bias goes unchecked because it is so routine that it has just become part of the background.

To be fair, the New York Times is not alone in its not-so-subtle antisemitic slanting. Study after study, report after report, and book after book after book have documented the persistent media stereotypes and misrepresentations that are contributing to a rise in antisemitism around the country and around the world — a fact made even more incredible given that research shows many people actually believe the antisemitic claim that Jews control the media.

The normalization of antisemitism in public media forums — from the lowbrow rants of John Oliver and Trevor Noah to the interview with proud antisemite Alice Walker that Weiss mentioned in her letter — allows hateful rhetoric, including classic and surprisingly unoriginal antisemitic motifs, to seep into public consciousness. What then should be done?

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  Shari Redstone Pushes for ViacomCBS to Be Where “You Can Be Your Authentic Self” Ahead of ViacomCBS’ annual Inclusion Week, chair Shari Redstone told staff in a video message that “we want to be a place where you can be your authentic self and know that your voice is heard.” In the video, shared with employees on Friday, she also said: “With our global reach, our platforms can connect […]In the video, shared with employees on Friday, she also said: “With our global reach, our platforms can connect the world and help to create a better and more inclusive future, one free of ‘otherisms’ like racism, sexism, antisemitism, ableism and more.

Over the last couple of years, there has been a very public pushback on cancel culture, with an accompanying desire to hear more about fixing than firing, to use identified problems as teachable moments that can perhaps effect real change. There is incredibly important work being done now on racial equality and gay rights, yet at the same time, there is another slow-boiling problem that needs to be addressed. In that spirit, what can we do about persistent media bias so insidious and deep that editors often seem unable to detect it, even when it is literally highlighted?

Here is one solution, or at the very least a concrete first step toward eliminating conscious and unconscious antisemitism in the media: Journalists should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and refrain from publishing anything that violates its terms.

This idea is hardly radical, and I am not the first to propose it. Indeed, several other people and groups are working on similar initiatives, including Jeff Ballabon, formerly a senior executive at CBS News. But recent events, and particularly Axel Springer’s announcement, make the timing right for this to finally happen.

Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin accused of anti-Semitism after saying George Soros plants 'political operatives' on school boards

  Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin accused of anti-Semitism after saying George Soros plants 'political operatives' on school boards Glenn Youngkin's spokesman said the accusations of anti-Semitism towards Jewish billionaire George Soros were "ridiculous partisan nonsense."Youngkin, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, made the comments at a rally at in Burke, Virginia on Tuesday.

There must be some objective standard for what is and is not acceptable, and the IHRA definition is as close to a consensus as it is possible to get. It is already used by the federal government, the 31 member countries of IHRA, almost all 50 countries that comprise the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Commission, the European Parliament, Australia, Serbia, Bahrain, and Albania. It has been endorsed by a growing number of world leaders, including U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and adopted by a growing number of universities. It is used by a variety of intergovernmental agencies, including the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, and nongovernmental agencies, including the Iraq-based Global Imams Council. While it is not an exhaustive definition, its use as a standard in media will increase the awareness and understanding of the parameters of contemporary anti-Jewish discrimination.

The IHRA definition is particularly helpful precisely because it includes useful examples of discriminatory anti-Israel statements that cross the line into antisemitism. Legitimate criticism of Israel is explicitly fine under IHRA, and if you are merely criticizing Israel, even harshly and regularly, then signing on to such a statement should not affect your writing or publishing one iota. If you are actually demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state or applying a double standard by requiring of it behaviors not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, then maybe your paper should stop and think twice about the impression you are giving with your coverage.

White House appoints Chanan Weissman as liaison to Jewish community

  White House appoints Chanan Weissman as liaison to Jewish community The White House has appointed Chanan Weissman to serve as as liaison to the Jewish community, following calls from many to take action amid a rise in antisemitism in the U.S.Weissman, who is the director for technology and democracy on the National Security Council, served as the Jewish liaison during former President Obama's final year in office. He also worked in the Trump administration as a section lead for internet freedom and business and human rights until April. A White House official confirmed the appointment in a statement to The Hill on Thursday."We are thrilled to have Chanan Weissman serve as the White House's liaison to the Jewish community.

It might be challenging at first to swim against the current, but when the world is finally recognizing that the current is antisemitic, it is time to take the plunge.

Mark Goldfeder is director of the National Jewish Advocacy Center.

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Tags: Opinion, Op-Eds, anti-Semitism, Media, Israel

Original Author: Mark Goldfeder

Original Location: A solution to antisemitism in the media

2 on trial for stabbing of elderly French Holocaust survivor .
PARIS (AP) — Two men went on trial in Paris on Tuesday accused of killing an 85-year-old French Holocaust survivor, who was stabbed to death in her Paris apartment in what prosecutors call an antisemitic attack. Mireille Knoll’s brutal death in 2018 shocked France and served as a reminder of both historic antisemitism and its resurgence in recent years. The two chief suspects accuse each other of the killing, and their lawyers deny any antisemitic reasons, according to French press reports. They are charged with killing a vulnerable person based on religious motives, as well as aggravated theft.

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This is interesting!