Anti-Semitism and censorship make headlines in Europe, Pakistan, Tanzania

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was forced to defend his stance on anti-Semitism, a question that also attracted headlines in France and Germany this week. While in Pakistan and Tanzania, there were concerns about censorship and Internet freedom. A Facebook comment posted a few years ago by Corbyn in which he backed an artist that graffitied a wall with Jewish bankers counting their money, is what has reignited the debate on anti-Semitism within the British Labour party.The Labour leader who had initially supported the mural in the name of free speech, conceded he was wrong to support an "offensive" work.Labour MP Luciana Berger said last month she was unsatisfied with his response and told lawmakers that under Corbyn anti-Semitism had become "more common place (...) and more corrosive.”The media was fast to react. Too fast perhaps according to Eline Jeanne, who works with the Media Diversity Institute in the UK.“I think an issue like this can be sensationalized quite easily, which I think was definitely for some publications what they did," she told RFI."One of the things that was kind of forgotten was the broader issue of anti-Semitism in the UK, which I think was kind of a letdown,” she added.Anti-Semitism as a political weaponSome of Corbyn's critics, who consider him too left-wing, also accuse him of complacency towards anti-Semitism, in some cases linking the charge to his support for the Palestinian cause. A charge he strongly denies.His supporters however argue that anti-Semitism is being used as a weapon to discredit him ahead of next month's local elections.The fact that few outlets mentioned the political context was another oversight, comments Jeanne.“Definitely the comment Corbyn made should have been brought to light," she says, but questions why the issue is being raised now, when the Facebook comment was posted in 2012. For her, more investigative pieces were needed to identify "the intentions of the person [Luciana Berger] besides wanting to highlight the potential anti-Semitism in the Labour party.”Wrong language on anti-SemitismElsewhere, an anti-Semitic incident grabbed headlines in Germany.An Israeli wearing a kippa was recently attacked by a Syrian refugee in a trendy neighbourhood of Berlin, with the attacker yelling ‘Jew’ in Arabic. The video went viral.The attack prompted a strong show of solidarity, but did little to dampen fears among Germany’s Jewish community, who connect hatred of Jews today to that of Europe's past.Yet covering anti-Semitism isn’t always easy, particularly when ...
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