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MP Marty Morantz

 
Winnipeg MP Marty Morantz is part of a newly formed Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism

by Rhonda Spivak October 6, 2020

Marty Morantz, Conservative MP for Winnipeg's Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingly riding is part of a newly formed  Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, which  includes legislators from Canada, Australia, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As social media posts do not stop at international borders, legislators from these countries have come together across party lines to launch this new task force. (Note: Anthony Housefather, Liberal Member of Parliament is the other Canadian Parliamentarian that is on the task force.)


When asked why he became part of this newly formed task force, Morantz told the Winnipeg Jewish Review, "With antisemitic attacks on the rise, including online, something needs to be done. As a Member of Parliament, I knew I had the responsibility to take action."


Morantz added, "Hate against one group online should really be a concern to all groups. We need to emphasize that if we can't protect one minority we can't protect any of them, and this will continue to be my focus as I work with my Canadian and international colleagues on this important initiative."


The Task Force has several goals, including:
 

  • Establishing consistent messaging and policy from Parliaments and legislatures around the world in order to hold social media platforms, including Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Google, accountable.

  • The adoption and publication of transparent policies related to hate speech.

  • Raising awareness about antisemitism on social media platforms and its consequences in order to acknowledge the tremendous responsibility that comes with the power the platforms hold.


When asked if it is his hope that the task force will create international definitions and recommendations for regulating social media platforms that can  be reviewed and  implemented by each individual country, Morantz responded to the Winnipeg Jewish Review, " The task force has already discussed a desire to conduct our work within the context of one set definition of antisemitism, such as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition. It is my hope this is the definition we work toward using as a standard across social media platforms. This is a globally accepted definition of antisemitism which the House of Commons has adopted, as well as other Canadian municipalities and legislatures/parliaments across the world."


It is to be noted that according to the IHRA definition of antisemitism, denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination  (e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor) is an example  of antisemitism.  However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. (For the complete IHRA definition of antisemitism, go to https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/working-definitions-charters/working-definition-antisemitism).


In regard to the Task Force, Morantz also said in a statement that “Online hate is an abhorrent reality on social media platforms. I am honoured to work on a bipartisan basis with my Canadian colleagues, as well as international colleagues, to find solutions that keep all those safe who might suffer from online hate, antisemitism and discrimination.”


Morantz also told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that "Certainly during the global pandemic people have been using online platforms more and more to connect with loved ones and their communities, which has created more opportunities for those wishing to spread hate and attack others because of who they are. In this increasingly globalized and connected world, we must remain vigilant in rooting out hate that is spread on platforms which should be utilized to connect our world in a positive way."



Members of the Task Force include: Member of Knesset Michal Cotler-Wunsh (Blue and White, Israel), Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Democrat, United States), Congressman Ted Deutch (Democrat, United States), Congressman Chris Smith (Republican, United States), Member of Parliament Josh Burns (Labour, Australia), Member of Parliament Dave Sharma (Liberal, Australia), Member of Parliament Andrew Percy (Conservative, United Kingdom), and Member of Parliament Alex Sobel (Labour and Cooperative, United Kingdom). 

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.