Coalition outlines protocol on combating anti-Semitism


TORONTO (JTA) — Criticism of Israel is not in itself anti-Semitic, a new protocol on combating anti-Semitism says.

The Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism on Tuesday ratified the Ottawa Protocol, a series of measures that seeks to end hateful propaganda online and in places such as university campuses.

Following a two-day meeting in the Canadian capital, experts and politicians from 50 countries said the coalition aims to stop the growth in the kind of criticism of Israel it says is increasingly a vehicle for anti-Semitism.

"Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is wrong," the protocol states. "But singling Israel out for selective condemnation and opprobrium — let alone denying its right to exist or seeking its destruction — is discriminatory and hateful.

The coalition called on universities to "combat anti-Semitism with the same seriousness with which they confront other forms of hate."

The Internet is the next frontier in the fight against anti-Semitism, the document notes.

"We are alarmed by the explosion of anti-Semitism and hate on the Internet, a medium crucial for the promotion and protection of freedom of expression, freedom of information, and the participation of civil society," the protocol says.

The coalition hopes to convince major Internet companies, such as Google and YouTube, to play a bigger role in the fight against anti-Semitism and remove offensive material from their websites.

The Ottawa Protocol builds on the Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism crafted in London last year at the founding conference of the coalition, which will meet next year in the United States.

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