Elan Carr, the U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Countering anti-Semitism says social media and the internet are significantly contributing to the rise in global antisemitism, in an interview with The Foreign Desk’s Lisa Daftari.
“Anti-Semitism has been increasing, and it’s been increasing globally over the past decade plus, largely because of its propagation online,” said Carr.
Carr cited a European study that showed radicalization that leads to violence can be accomplished online in a fraction of the time it takes to radicalize someone in person.
Three primary ideological groups including ethnic supremacist neo-Nazis, the radical left that focuses on anti-Zionism and hatred of Israel, and militant Islamism are all utilizing the internet to further their antisemitic ideologies, according to Carr.
“You would think that those three ideological caps wouldn’t agree on anything,” said Carr. “They’re united and they find common cause in Jew hatred.”
“All three are using the internet and social media to incredible effect because they now have global reach like they’ve never had before. They can drive their hate-filled ideologies with unprecedented speed and recruit and radicalize to a much more effective extent,” Carr explained.
In a response to the rise in global antisemitism, last week the Trump Administration and the U.S. State Department broadcasted a U.S. government-sponsored conference aimed at fighting internet antisemitism.
This was the first U.S. government-sponsored conference of its kind.
President Trump also issued an Executive Order last December to protect the civil rights of Jewish students on college campuses and to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism for all federal government agencies.
In another historic step toward combating antisemitism, last week Albania adopted the IHRA antisemitism definition. It is the first ever Muslim-majority country to do so.
“There is more potential in the Arab world today than ever before and that’s for a number of reasons but a large reason is the leadership and the focus of President Trump to stand unequivocally and unabashedly with the state of Israel and to contain, to roll-back, and to weaken the enemies of peace and freedom, and that is in the Middle East the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Carr.
Carr describes antisemitism as “despicable” and “un-American,” but “despite rising anti-Semitism here at home which is heartbreaking and unacceptable, we are still the most philo-Semitic country in the history of the world.”