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Dutch watchdog reports record levels of online anti-Semitism

(JTA) — A Dutch watchdog group said it was observing record levels of anti-Semitic hatred online.

Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet, or MDI, said the current volume of reports on punishable hate speech against Jews is unparalleled during the organization’s 17 years in existence, the AT5 television channel reported Monday.

“Usually, we get three to five reports [of incidents] per week, but now we have received 73 reports,” MDI cofounder Suzette Bronkhorst told AT5. “We are talking about 200-300 incidents of anti-Semitic hate speech within 10 days,” Bronkhorst added. The jump is connected to Israel’s offensive in Gaza, she said, and largely consists of statements on Twitter.

One Twitter message flagged by MDI read: “I want all Jews, but really all of them, to drop dead until not a single one is left.” Another, belonging to the Twitter user “goldmocro,” identified as James Rodriquez, read: “Hitler needs to come back to kill the Jews. #FreePalestine.”

In France, the hashtag #PalestineVivraIsraelBrulera, or “Palestine will live, Israel will burn,” was ranked third-most popular among users from the Toulouse region on Tuesday.

Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the number symbol that are used to index messages on Twitter and other social networks.

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