11th Israel – EU High Level Seminar on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism
25 June 2017
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The 11th EU-Israel High level Seminar on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Antisemitism, brought together today June 25, 2017, representatives from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, the European Commission, EU Member States and civil society organisations to deepen cooperation and exchange best-practices in tackling hate and intolerance in Europe and Israel. Convened in the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, the Seminar was chaired jointly by Věra Jourová , European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality and by Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The seminar focused on three main topics:
Means of preventing cyber hate and online antisemitism
Tools to advance monitoring of antisemitism in Europe and elsewhere
Education for Tolerance
In his opening statement, Yuval Rotem, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General said:
"Israel believes that the IT industry needs to take on greater responsibility in the proactive effort to detect hate speech online. Without such a proactive approach, we will find ourselves trailing far behind the volumes of hate speech on social media platforms. "
In her opening statement, European Commissioner Věra Jourová said:
"Racism and Antisemitism have no space in Europe. We stand firm to protect the Jewish communities, together with our Member States, international organisations and partners, particularly Israel. Our ultimate aim must be normality of Jewish life in Europe. Faster reaction and higher rate of removing illegal hate speech proves that through close cooperation with IT companies and civil society, Europe made substantial progress."
Both sides noted with satisfaction the passage of the first ever European Parliament resolution on antisemitism adopted 1 June 2017. The resolution calls for enforcing legislation against hate speech and hate crime, improving data collection, appointing national contact points for antisemitism, and using tools such as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition on Antisemitism for better training of law enforcement and government.
For further information, please contact:
Ran Yaakoby, Director, Department for Combating Antisemitism, MFA
Sharon Offenberger, Press officer, EU Delegation to Israel