This week, the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, which includes three members of the Florida congressional delegation, held a virtual meeting with groups from the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Back in September, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., helped launch the task force with legislators from Australia, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom.
“With so much antisemitism online, we must come together now to stop it. That’s why I’m joining with other elected officials around the world to bring greater attention and action to this critical problem and hold social media platforms accountable,” Deutch noted when the group was formed. “Whatever country’s government we serve in, and whatever party we belong to, the time to join forces is now.”
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, is also on the task force.
This week the task forced looked at online antisemitism and how groups and political leaders are responding to it.
The American Jewish Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, B’nai Brith Canada, Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Community Security Group and Online Hate Prevention Institute all offered presentations. Later this month, groups from the United Kingdom and Israel will offer presentations to the task force.
“We are living through a time when hate of all kinds is rapidly increasing, especially over the Internet. While online platforms have fostered global connections and reshaped society, they can also be a magnifier of and a catalyst for antisemitism, racism, misogyny, and other forms of hate and discrimination. Amid this global pandemic, when more people are online, the urgency to act is even greater. We must expose online antisemitism and racism that goes unaddressed or inadequately addressed on social media platforms, especially as disinformation continues to rise,” Wasserman Schultz said after the meeting.
“I was honored to join with so many colleagues and renowned organizations from around the world in uniting against online antisemitism. We are committed to working together to fight this insidious hatred, and to ensure a safer, brighter future for generations to come,” said Diaz-Balart.
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