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Conference Outlines "Ottawa Protocol" for Combating Anti-Semitism

Document focuses on tackling anti-Jewish hate online and on campuses.

By: Dan Verbin
Published: November 11th, 2010 in News » World
2010 Conference on Combating AntisemitismPic: 2010 Conference on Combating Antisemitism

The 2010 Conference on Combating Antisemitism, held in Ottawa this week, is following in the footsteps of the first conference, held in 2009 in London, by releasing a document referred to as the “Ottawa Protocol” on combating anti-Semitism.

The Ottawa Protocol is a series of steps aimed at tackling anti-Jewish hate, especially online and on university campuses.

The protocol was created at the two-day conference that featured over 40 parliamentarians from multiple countries from all corners of the world. The event was hosted by the federal government and the chair of Canada’s Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.

While the protocol states that criticism of Israel or Israeli government policy is not inherently anti-Semitic on its own, one of the aims of the document is to stem the tide of anti-Semitism that it says is increasingly dressed up in anti-Israel rhetoric or criticism.

“Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is wrong. But singling out Israel for selective condemnation and opprobrium is discriminatory and hateful.”

The protocol states that its authors are concerned that since the London Conference in February 2009, “there continues to be a dramatic increase in recorded anti-Semitic hate crimes and attacks targeting Jewish persons and property, and Jewish religious, educational and communal institutions.”

It adds, that they are also alarmed by state-sanctioned genocidal anti-Semitism and are “appalled by the resurgence of the classic anti-Jewish libels.”

The document urges universities to "combat anti-Semitism with the same seriousness with which they confront other forms of hate."

It also explains that online hate is the newest form of anti-Semitism that must be combated. "We are alarmed by the explosion of anti-Semitism and hate on the Internet, a medium crucial for the promotion and protection of freedom of expression, freedom of information, and the participation of civil society.”

The coalition is renewing their “call for national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civil leaders, NGOs, and civil society to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.”

The third meeting of the coalition will take place in 2011 in the United States.

Related articles: 2010 Conference on Combating Antisemitism, Ottawa Protocol, London Protocol, Irwin Colter
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