MP’s alarmed by rising anti-semitism have proposed that online ‘trolls’ who use social media to spread racial hatred should have their internet access restricted in the same way that sex offenders are restrained.
The all party Parliamentary inquiry said prosecutors should review whether “determined” perpetrators of hate speech online should be served with “internet asbos” and banned from social media.
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RT reports: MPs warned incidents of anti-Semitism online had increased tenfold over the past three years, observing that far-right critics increasingly use anti-Zionist language as a cover for racism.
Other recommendations made in the report include the creation of a government fund to cover the cost of protecting synagogues and a national review of interfaith dialogue.
Anti-Semitic incidents reached an all-time high last year, according to a report by Community Security Trust (CST), an organization which seeks to protect British Jews.
Of the 1,168 recorded incidents, over half took place last July and August, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
The parliamentary inquiry interviewed members of the Jewish community in the UK, believing that Jews are in the best position to determine what constitutes anti-Semitism.
Of those interviewed by the parliamentary panel, most believed social media is a greater cause for concern than traditional media.
One tweet highlighted in the report read: “The Jews now are worse than they were in Hitler’s time no wonder he wanted to get rid, right idea!!”
Keyword analysis of Twitter found that the top 35 keywords relating to Jews included “Nazi,” “Hitler,” and “Holocaust.”
The panel also heard from Dr Ben Gidley, an associate professor of Sociology at Oxford University, who said far-right anti-Semitic movements “borrow the language of anti-Zionism as a cover for their racism.”
MPs acknowledged the need for a sophisticated understanding of anti-Semitism, saying that any definition must take into account a number of factors, including the effect of the language.
David Cameron described the report as “hugely important, adding that “Tackling anti-Semitism goes right to the heart of what we stand for as a country.”