Online hate makes up most of rising anti-Semitic incidents in Argentina


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Anti-Semitic incidents in Argentina rose by 14 percent in 2017 over the previous year, according to a new report.

The Annual Anti-Semitism Report prepared by the Center for Social Studies, or CES, of the Delegation of Argentine Israelites Associations, or DAIA, was released on Wednesday.

The research body of the Jewish political umbrella also reported that nearly 90 percent of the 404 complaints filed in 2017 dealt with incidents that occurred online, on social networks or on news websites.

Online anti-Semitic incidents made up 88 percent of the 2017 total, nearly double the 47 percent in 2014. They were just 3 percent of the total in 2008.

“Anti-Semitism constitutes a current prejudice in our society,” DAIA President Alberto Indij said Wednesday at the presentation of the report in in Buenos Aires. “In a very efficient way, the hate message is deepened through new forms of communication driven by technological advancement.”

Most of the online incidents on social media took place on Facebook, which has 23 million users in Argentina. Next was the Argentine social platform Taringa, according to the report, followed by Twitter.

The 19th annual report was presented to the country’s secretary of human rights at a public event at the National Memory Archive. A panel of experts discussed the findings.

Even though Argentina has had an anti-discrimination law since 1998, online and social network hate has presented a challenge due to national jurisdiction.

“We face a challenging situation with this constantly increasing trend of online hate due to the territoriality issue,” Marisa Braylan, the CES director, told JTA. Braylan was part of the panel.

Marcelo Isaacson, executive director of the Jewish Community of Chile, said at the presentation that there are “radical Palestinian leaders” in his country, where the spread of hatred of Jews takes place not only on social networks but also in the mainstream national media.

The Palestinian community in Chile is believed to be the largest outside of the Middle East. At least 300,000 Chileans are of Palestinian descent, according to reports. Some 15,000 Jews live in Chile.

Israeli tourists have complained previously of anti-Israel sentiment in the southern part of South America, both in Chile and Argentina.

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