Foxman Briefs Knesset on Internet Hate
Jerusalem, February 19, 2008 … Citing the widespread use of hate on the Internet, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged Israeli high tech companies to utilize their ingenuity to develop technology to confront anti-Semitism and bigotry on the Web.
"The unintended result of the Internet is the dissemination of hate globally in nano-seconds under the protection of anonymity," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director in a briefing before the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee.
"The vicious anti-Semitism and bigotry found on the Internet has reached a level unparalleled in history considering the web's scope. We urge Israeli high tech companies to utilize their ingenuity to help develop technologies for the consumer to be able to differentiate between information, misinformation and disinformation," Mr. Foxman said.
Mr. Foxman also shared with the committee the latest ADL statistics on anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, which have declined for the third consecutive year in 2007. Mr. Foxman noted, however, that there was a steady number of troubling incidents in US high schools and university campuses.
According to ADL statistics released to the Knesset, there were some 1,350 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in 2007, representing a 13 percent decline from the 1,554 reported in 2006. This was a 12 percent decline from the 1,757 reported in 2005.
"While the downward trend in numbers of incidents is clearly welcome, and may reflect some degree of success of security programs and preventative countermeasures, it does not justify complacency," Mr. Foxman told the committee.
Mr. Foxman said that over 200 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in U.S. high schools and some 80 at U.S. college campuses, where anti-Israel events often turned into ugly spectacles of anti-Semitism.
"When they start holding up placards saying 'Death to the Jews' or equating Israeli policies with Nazis, then the line has clearly been crossed," Mr. Foxman said.
One in three Americans, Mr. Foxman noted, believe that US Jews are more loyal to Israel than the United States, and that an ADL survey showed that some 15 percent of U.S. citizens hold anti-Semitic attitudes.
"This may not sound like a large number, but it represents some 35 million people," Mr. Foxman said.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.