- Publication date
- 11 July 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
Antisemitism is an old phenomenon and seemingly ever present throughout history. Many conspiracy narratives, old and new, are antisemitic. These narratives are often present in extremist ideologies. In previous RAN events it has been observed that conspiracy narratives are flexible and adaptive.
The COVID pandemic has seen the rise of new conspiracy narratives, but also the adaptation of old ones, some of which target Jewish communities. But why are Jews the target of these narratives that emerge in times of crisis? The RAN Communication and Narratives (C&N) Working Group meeting that took place on 29 and 30 March explored why and how antisemitic elements can be found in the narratives of different extremist ideologies.
This meeting is part of the broader EU strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030), and preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) practitioners, experts and researchers were joined by several practitioners from Jewish (non-governmental) organisations to discuss this topic.
The key outcomes of the meeting are:
- The meeting was exploratory, having a broad approach and exploring different angles of the topic of antisemitism in extremist ideologies. It was broadly recognised amongst the participants that the topic needs to be addressed more in depth in the future, because some participants (who were already more familiar with the topic) felt there is much more to be discussed on this topic.
- The broad approach meant that the meeting gave a good overview of the topic at hand, and also proved the sensitivity of the topic. The first discussion on day 1 made clear that terms and definitions are still contested.
- One of the most valuable outcomes of the meeting was connecting Jewish NGOs and P/CVE practitioners. It became apparent that there is a clear need to have this conversation between these different networks.
- The insights and recommendations that came out of the meeting are in line with what was also identified in previous RAN meetings, for example, the RAN C&N meeting on conspiracy narratives (November 2021):
- Media literacy is key, there is a need for more attention and resources for this.
- Dialogue is important, for example, by bringing Jewish and non-Jewish communities in contact with each other.
- There is a lack of judiciary ground on which to tackle (antisemitic) hate speech.
- The role of media and different languages should be considered more.