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Between Legitimate Critique and Anti-Semitism: Mediating Israel in European Countries

The Boris Mints Institute, in collaboration with the Herzog Institute, presents an exceptional webinar addressing the complexities of European media coverage of Israel and its impact on the Jewish community in a variety of areas

In the past two decades, the lines have become increasingly blurred between legitimate criticism of Israel and hate speech toward Jews in European democracies. While anti-Zionism claims to bypass the taboo of anti-Semitism, laws, and policies seem inefficient to combat, let alone prevent, the recent outburst of anti-Semitic sentiment in public discourse. Fed by rumors and fake news, anti-Semitic speech is spreading across borders at a rapid pace, most notably through social networks, thereby making the need for mainstream media to play their watchdog role increasingly urgent.

On July 29, at 6 p.m. Israel time (11 a.m. EST, and 4 p.m. UK time), the Boris Mints Institute, in collaboration with the Herzog Institute at Tel Aviv University, will present a special webinar, “Between legitimate critique and anti-Semitism: Mediating Israel in European countries,” featuring experts and practitioners in the fields of politics, journalism, and academia.

Dina Porat, chief historian of Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, at the museum on May 29, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Can we agree on criteria for distinguishing acceptable from unacceptable speech, or is it unavoidably a dialogue of the deaf? Can we fight anti-Semitism without infringing on free speech? Can concrete cases inform us on good practices that would encourage free debates in society while, at the same time, helping to confront and combat anti-Semitic expressions? These are some of the questions to be discussed at this thought-provoking event.

The webinar will present an exclusive group of speakers, including Prof. Alan Johnson, British political theorist and activist; Vivane Teitelbaum, member of the Belgium Parliament; Prof. Dina Porat, head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University; and Marc Neugröschel, journalist and researcher specializing in new forms on anti-Semitism, notably in social media. The speakers will discuss anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist, and anti-Semitic speech in the media, defined in the broader sense to include social media.

President Isaac Herzog speaks at a ceremony in central Israel on July 14, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The event will be attended by the newly elected president of Israel, Hon. Isaac Herzog; Prof. Itai Sened, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tel Aviv University; and Mrs. Andrea Wine, a member of the board of governors at Tel Aviv University, who will contribute to the discussion.

For more information about the webinar and to register, please click here.

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