Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo hosted and delivered opening remarks during the first-ever U.S. Government conference focused on combatting online anti-Semitism.  Organized by the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, the virtual conference aimed to explore the threats posed by anti-Semitism on the internet and social media and to consider practical responses for governments and civil society.

The [pre-recorded] conference was shown virtually on the State Department website on October 21 and 22. Below are videos and descriptions of each session as they appeared in the original broadcast. Please refer to the program for speakers’ full titles and credentials.

The views expressed in the conference are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the State Department.

First Day: October 21, 2020

OPENING SESSION

This first-ever U.S. Government-sponsored conference is dedicated to investigating and understanding the relatively new and explosively growing phenomenon of online anti-semitism.  We aim to explore together the threats posed by anti-Semitism on the internet and social media, and to consider practical responses for governments and for civil society. We will also be joined by U.S. and world leaders from government, religious communities, civil society, social media and academia who will explore the sources and parameters of the problem of anti-Semitism online, and its viral spread. And perhaps more importantly, many of our speakers will propose creative strategies for combating this very 21st century permutation of the world’s oldest hatred.

MICHAEL R. POMPEO | BENJAMIN NETANYAHU | MICHAEL GOVE | KATHARINA VON SCHNURBEIN | ANDREW BAKER

 

FRAMING THE CHALLENGE: TRIPLE THREAT – FAR RIGHT, FAR LEFT, MILITANT ISLAM

Some people mistakenly think that anti-semitism on-line and on social media emanates from only one source; or from one end of the political spectrum.  We are joined by three experts who will explain the true breadth and diversity of this problem.

Dave Rich | Lorenzo Vidino | Orit Farkash-Hacohen

 

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

There are many who ask why we don’t simply enact laws and regulations that ban expressions of anti-semitism on the internet.

Jeffrey A. Rosen | Robert P. George | Alyza D. Lewin

 

IHRA WORKING DEFINITION OF ANTI-SEMITISM

An essential part of solving any problem is defining it.  We will examine the absolute sea change in understanding exactly what anti-semitism is, and what anti-Semitism looks like, that has come as a result of the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of anti-Semitism by nations and institutions. The U.S. Department of State has been using the IHRA definition since 2010; and President Donald Trump’s Executive Order Combatting Anti-Semitism of December 2019 adopted the IHRA Definition for all U.S. Executive Agencies as well.

Michaela Küchler | Cherrie Daniels | James Lankford | Debbie Wasserman Schultz | Akiva Tor

 

MY STORY – “UNDER ATTACK”

Many people rightly view anti-semitism as vile and hateful. For some, it can be life changing.  Here to describe her personal experiences is former Member of Parliament from the British Labour Party Luciana Berger.

Luciana Berger

 

“POOL OF KNOWLEDGE”

It is often said that “knowledge is power.”  We are joined by two speakers who will discuss some intriguing new techniques for measuring the extent of online anti-semitism, and identifying dangerous trends.

Charles Small | Joel Finkelstein

 

Second Day: October 22, 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA PANEL – ONLINE HATE SPEECH

We have a panel to examine the fundamental question when it comes to anti-semitism on the internet: How much responsibility do internet providers and social media giants have for controlling what appears on their platforms?  Put another way, who should set the rules?

Peter Stern | Jeffrey Collins | Michal Cotler-Wunsh | Hany Farid

 

CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS IN REAL LIFE:  ACTIVISTS’ STATEMENTS

Different organizations use different techniques to combat online anti-semitism.  We have invited three activists to describe some of the real-world solutions they have employed—some strategies that have met with success, and perhaps some others that were not so effective.

Imran Ahmed | Nitzan Tamari | Milica Pesic

 

PANEL – BUILDING COALITIONS AND ALLIANCES – ANTI-SEMITISM: THE CANARY IN THE COAL MINE? THE NEED FOR COOPERATION

Jews have often been called “the canary in the coal mine.”  Anti-semitic attacks can be a sign of a deeper sickness in society.  They can warn of coming attacks on other populations.  If we are to fight anti-semitism and other forms of hate, we need to build coalitions and form alliances among people of good will from across the political and religious spectrum.

Samuel Rodriguez | Salim Mansur | Shari Dollinger | Abraham Cooper

 

“RAPID RESPONSE” MODEL

When fighting a fire, it is important to bring all the necessary equipment and personnel to the scene as quickly as possible – before the fire rages out of control.  And so it is with combating anti-semitism.

Eran Teboul

 

A VIEW FROM THE ARAB WORLD

We are living in historic times. We recently witnessed the first Middle East peace deal in 26 years brokered by President Trump with Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain, and between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. We felt that coming so soon after these historic events it is important for all of us to hear from a prominent Arab leader, and indeed we are so proud to be joined by His Excellency Dr.  Ali Al Nuaimi of the United Arab Emirates.

Ali Al Nuaimi

 

CLOSING SESSION

In this, our final session,  we will be hearing from Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, who will offer a global view on the necessity for shared goals.

Ahmed Shaheed | ELAN S. CARR

 


We have covered a lot territory together over the last two days.

Our thanks to U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo for hosting this event; we also thank the many world leaders, distinguished speakers and panelists for providing their expertise, insights, and recommendations for the future. Together, we have made a journey around the world hearing from heads of state, members of Parliaments and Congress, leaders from faith groups, civil society, academia and social media platforms representing over 10 nations and 3 multilateral organizations.

The time has come for all of us to come together to advance this common good for all societies everywhere.  We must remain committed to combating anti-semitism in all of its forms, whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.  There is much work to be done.  But if governments, NGO’s, faith communities, citizens’ organizations, and all individuals of good will work together as one, then there is reason to hope that we will be able to stem the tide of anti-Semitism. Together we can make a difference.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future