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Marty Morantz of Winnipeg working with group of Parliamentarians seeking accountability from Facebook and other platform operators

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Marty Morantz, a Jewish member of Parliament from Winnipeg, is on an international Task Force working with governments and media platforms to tackle Jew-hate online

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Members of the national legislatures of Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States have launched an Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to combat online antisemitism.

The Task Force includes Canadian MP’s Marty Morantz of Winnipeg of the opposition Conservatives, and Montreal’s Anthony Housefather of the governing Liberals, as well as Israeli Knesset member Michal Cotler-Wunsh, a Canadian-Israeli who is with Blue and White. 

The Task Force will be “underscoring that the fight against antisemitism is a non-partisan consensus in democratic countries”, as it seeks to get buy-in from legislators worldwide. According to the press release, a major goal will be “establishing consistent messaging and policy from Parliaments and legislatures around the world in order to hold social media platforms, including Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Google, accountable.”

In an interview with TheJ.ca, Morantz explained, Our work will be focused on exposing online antisemitism, establishing consistent messaging and policy from elected officials across the globe, and to raise awareness about the consequences of antisemitism and other hate speech. If one minority cannot be protected by hate speech policies, then none can.”

The only Jewish member of the Conservative Party of Canada federal caucus, Morantz noted he had personally reported vile antisemitic tropes posted on Twitter in the past. He referred to concerning trends in antisemitism domestically.

In 2019, there was an 8% increase of recorded incidents compared to 2018, and it was the fourth consecutive year of historical highs of antisemitic incidents in Canada. Assaults have also become more bold and violent in 2019, with several occurring in broad daylight, and some directly in front of eyewitnesses. Antisemitism is on the rise and this translates directly to online platforms where people have the ability to express their views quite easily.”

The rookie MP, who represents the riding of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, revealed the group “has already discussed a desire from all participants to conduct our work within the context of the IHRA definition of antisemitism and using this as a standard across social media platforms. This is a globally accepted definition of antisemitism which the House of Commons has adopted, other Canadian municipalities, and legislatures/parliaments across the world.”

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He acknowledged that not all antisemitism flow from the same motivations, as some are rooted in ‘old-country’ hate and rivalries, while there is an upswing in more modern, politically-motivated types of hate.

“I think what’s important to recognize here is that regardless of what motivation is being used by individuals or groups who espouse antisemitism, the fact is there is no situation where online antisemitism or any hate should be tolerated”, Morantz insisted. “The aim of the task force is to discuss online antisemitism with our fellow legislators and Parliamentarians from across the globe and all political stripes to discuss how we can ensure social media platforms are taking the appropriate steps to prevent hate on their platforms. We are looking to gain consensus amongst all participants and work toward the adoption and publication of transparent policies related to hate speech.”

In December, the election in the United Kingdom saw the opposition Labour Party thumped, after years of mounting complaints about antisemitic behavior and comments by party officials, all the way up to then-leader Jeremy Corbyn.  

Andrew Percy, a Conservative Member of Parliament in United Kingdom who has joined the Task Force, noted, “In recent years we have seen a disturbing rise in antisemitic hate online. This worrying trend has been seen here in the UK and all across the globe. It is, therefore, important that we work together with allies across the world to tackle the rise in this vile bigotry.”

Even a joyful film about an electric toy car ride in Israel gets a torrent of online Jew-Hate in response (Twitter)

In the United States, recent protests and social upheaval have also resulted in online memes and posts declaring that Jews are implicitly part of so-called “white supremacy” oppression, synagogues and Jewish establishments have been defaced, and individuals attacked.

Task Force member Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican in the US Congress, said he believes “we are living through a time when antisemitism is increasingly spread over the internet and electronic media … We need to be ever vigilant with regard to all forms of antisemitic hatred, whether it comes from the alt-Right, the political Left, or Islamist groups. Fortunately this Inter-parliamentary Task Force will allow us to share best practices across our borders, and help us combat what itself is a borderless enemy.”  

From the perspective of Israel, “Always and at this time in particular as we stand united in fighting a global pandemic, another virus rages that requires global collaboration and cooperation”, said Cotler-Wunsh. “By working with multi-partisan allies in Parliaments around the world, we hope to create best practices and real change in holding the social media giants accountable to the hatred that exists on their platforms. It is imperative that we work together to expose the double standards.”

Marty Gold is the Editor-in -Chief of TheJ.ca. Known for investigative reporting, he has specialized in covering municipal and provincial politics, and a wide range of sports and entertainment, in newspapers, magazines, online, and on his first love, radio. His business and consulting experience includes live events and sales, workplace safety, documentary productions, PR, and telecommunications in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, and as a contestant on CBC-TV Dragons Den.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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