CIDI research: Online criticism of Israel often covers Jewish hatred

Kantar analysed approximately 750 Dutch antisemitic tweets and 300 websites from 2019. Classic antisemitic conspiracy theories are also common. CIDI, the antisemitism watchdog of the Netherlands, thinks it is time for social media companies and web hosts to really take their responsibility and remove antisemitic and otherwise hateful content. If they refuse to do so, the government must intervene and arrange this by law.

Explosive increase in antisemitism

The number of cases of anti-Jewish discrimination is increasing explosively, as the Antisemitic Incidents Monitor already showed in February . In 2019, CIDI registered 182 antisemitic incidents, the highest number in the more than 30 years that CIDI has published the report. A further 127 incidents were reported on the internet. However, most incidents are still not reported. This is especially true for antisemitism on the internet, while research shows that 80% of Dutch Jews experience antisemitism on the internet. For this reason, CIDI Kantar (formerly TNS NIPO) has commissioned research into the scope and nature of antisemitism on the Dutch-language internet.

This research revealed 747 Dutch-language tweets that can be classified as antisemitic according to the working definition. These range from "9/11 was a Zionist-inspired plot" to "Timmermans is a traitor whose Jewish master still wants us in the gulag." Of the antisemitic Twitter posts, 68% are related to Israel and 52% are classic antisemitism. These two categories regularly overlap. Another 11% of the tweets found contain antisemitic references to the Holocaust.

Kantar also found 286 Dutch websites, blogs and forums that contain antisemitism. The most common category of antisemitism on websites is classic Jew-hatred (79%), followed by anti-Zionist antisemitism (65%). Again, these two often overlap: conspiracy theories about Israel or the "Jewish lobby" contain classic antisemitic elements on the assembly line. Websites that stand out and contain structural antisemitism are for example the forums and .

Approach needed more than ever

Due to technical limitations, platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram could not be included in this study, nor could images and videos. CIDI receives many reports about this. Expressions of Dutch in other languages ​​were also left out of reach. The scale of the problem is probably much larger.

CIDI is therefore pleased that Minister Grapperhaus (Justice and Security) is working on a plan to tackle internet companies if they do not remove antisemitic or otherwise hateful messages within 24 hours. This is an important step, and CIDI's research shows that it is needed more than ever. Much of the most disgusting antisemitic content we found is still on the internet.

In addition, reports of (online) antisemitism must now really be dealt with, so that perpetrators can be punished. CIDI hopes that the National Coordinator for Antisemitism, which was created last week by the House of Representatives , will work on this in collaboration with CIDI and the judiciary.

Source: CIDI