published : 2023-11-26

Soaring antisemitism in US started with UN bashing Israel, envoy says

Michal Cotler-Wunsh says 'UN bears tremendous responsibility' for what's happening today

An image depicting the United Nations building in New York City, taken with a Nikon D850.

Israel's Special Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism, Michal Cotler-Wunsh, reveals that the rise of antisemitism in the United States can be traced back to a United Nations resolution from 1975.

According to Cotler-Wunsh, hate crimes against American Jews have been fueled by an anti-Israel sentiment that originated from a UN resolution equating Zionism with racism.

She emphasizes that the growth of antisemitism is not limited to the horrifying events of October 7th but is part of a larger trend that has been developing for decades.

The resolution in question, which referred to Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination, was finally revoked in 1991.

Cotler-Wunsh argues that the strain of antisemitism that is anti-Zionism began with this resolution and has since become widespread across North American campuses, masquerading as progressive ideology.

A photograph capturing a gathering of diverse students on a North American campus, advocating for peace and tolerance, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

She criticizes the United Nations for its failure to condemn the atrocities committed by Hamas, such as rape, mutilation, and abduction, thereby undermining its own mandate.

In the fight against antisemitism, Cotler-Wunsh advocates for the use of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition as a starting point for identifying and combatting antisemitic acts.

The IHRA definition identifies dehumanization, delegitimization, and double standards applied to Israel as key indicators of antisemitism.

Cotler-Wunsh also highlights the responsibility of social media platforms in combating antisemitism, emphasizing that they should enforce transparent policies that address all forms of hate speech, including antisemitic content.

She cites instances where social media platforms have failed to take action against antisemitic rhetoric, particularly when it comes to the vilification of Zionists and calls for violence against Jews.

A thought-provoking image showcasing social media apps on a smartphone screen, symbolizing the power they hold in shaping public discourse, taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III.

The Israeli envoy stresses the need for traditional media to create platforms that expose and address antisemitism, as it poses a threat to the fabric of democratic societies.

She urges lawmakers and the public to hold social media platforms accountable and calls for the adoption of the IHRA definition as a tool for creating more transparent policies.

Cotler-Wunsh points out that online antisemitism often translates into real-world harm and violence, as seen in incidents like the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh.

She concludes by underscoring the importance of combating antisemitism, not just for the sake of Jews and Israel, but for the preservation of life and liberty in society as a whole.

Through her insights and analysis, Cotler-Wunsh shines a light on the deep-rooted causes and dangerous consequences of the growing wave of antisemitism.