The streets of countries spanning the globe are witnessing a surge of unrest, and antisemitic incidents are rapidly escalating. Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, there has been a five-fold increase in global antisemitic incidents, according to the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. A significant proportion, about one-third of these incidents, have taken place in the United States, as well as countries including the UK, Germany and France. Violent antisemitic acts have seen a 330% surge since the war began. These include defacing of synagogues and cemeteries, as well as harassment and threats.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli told the Knesset Tuesday about the surveillance of inflammatory online discourse. "Starting this Thursday, a collaborative operations center with the intelligence community will begin operating. We are rapidly advancing our technological capabilities."
Regarding the issue of Diaspora Jewry and the incitement taking place on college campuses, the Diaspora minister said that his office "maintains direct contact with Jewish communities. The primary issue on global campuses is the institutions' failure to adopt a decisive stance. In my view, the most effective strategy is the one adopted by American Jewry, which involves a firm approach – disinvestment and legal action."
On the subject of civilian initiatives in information dissemination and combating antisemitism, Chikli said that his office has allocated 10 million shekels for civilian organizations, and an additional 3 million shekels to 80 small civil enterprises. Furthermore, the minister discussed allocating an 8 million shekel budget for strengthening Diaspora Jewish communities.
"A reinforced door at a synagogue in Germany thwarted a massacre when a terrorist attempted an attack," he said, referring to the 2019 attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany. "This is a prudent investment that should not be underestimated," he said.
Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum, expressed concern about the rising antisemitism on college campuses. "It's disheartening to acknowledge, but in today's esteemed American universities, a pseudo-academic rationale is being developed to advocate for the eradication of the state of Israel. This is taking place within the social sciences and humanities departments. While it's not all faculty members, the sentiment is being driven by a segment of them. The students are latching on to this narrative, and we need to exert substantial effort to counter it. Yad Vashem will rise to the challenge of combating hatred toward Israel. It won't be an easy task, but it's not too late for us to intervene," he said.
Liron Rifman, TikTok's representative in Israel, said the platform has removed hundreds of thousands of videos about the atrocities committed in Gaza.
"From October 7 to the end of the month, we eliminated over 925,000 videos from the conflict zone for breaching our policies on violence, hate content, misinformation, and terrorism, which includes content endorsing Hamas. We strictly prohibit gruesome images and graphic content on our platform and will promptly remove such material. As for the letter attributed to Bin Laden that was uploaded to TikTok, the content has been expunged and we are currently investigating how it was uploaded in the first place," she said.
Chikli praised TikTok for its efforts in moderating offensive content. "We have our differences with TikTok, but our communication with TikTok Israel is continuous – we've managed to get certain hashtags removed, and they take action when there is incitement."
Liat Glazer, a representative from Google, added: "On YouTube, we've removed more than 50,000 videos and shut down hundreds of channels. Our policy strictly forbids the support and promotion of terrorism. There are no channels belonging to terrorist organizations or any content related to this field."