Lib Dem leader backs international antisemitism definition for online harms bill

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Lib Dem leader backs international antisemitism definition for online harms bill

Sir Ed Davey made his remarks at a party conference fringe event where he also reflected on a trip to Auschwitz and the suspension of former candidate Geeta Sidhu Robb

Sir Ed Davey speaking on the Board-LDFI's event with Gavin Stollar and Lord Palmer
Sir Ed Davey speaking on the Board-LDFI's event with Gavin Stollar and Lord Palmer

The international definition of antisemitism should be included in proposed online harms legislation, the new leader of the Liberal Democrats has said.

Sir Ed Davey made his remarks during a virtual conference fringe event hosted by the Board of Deputies and his party’s Friends of Israel (LDFI) group.

This comes after the UK Government became the first country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in 2016. More than 30 countries have agreed to it, in addition to local councils, MPs and trade unions.

Davey, who was elected leader in August, told the meeting: “We have long argued that Online Harms legislation should include clear definitions, and if you’re taking clear definitions, to make sure people know what is acceptable and what isn’t, it makes sense for the IHRA definition to be part of that”.

The government is considering an On Line Harms Bill, which is not expected to be in front of Parliament for final approval until 2021.  This comes as communal groups have been meeting social media executives to flag the issue of online hate, in wake of grime artist Wiley’s antisemitic diatribe in July.

In discussion with Gavin Stollar, Honorary Chair of LDFI, Davey also spoke about a trip to Auschwitz, and how he was “furious” over antisemitic comments made by Geeta Sidhu Robb, a now-suspended and dropped potential Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London.

“I am determined we don’t make that mistake again” he said. “it should never had got that far”.

President of the Board of Deputies, Marie van der Zyl, heralded its “first-ever” event at the party’s conference, saying “we were pleased to hear Ed back our call for social media companies to be compelled to use the IHRA definition of antisemitism as a basis for tackling hate on their platforms.”

Stollar said it was  a “fascinating and wide ranging discussion on antisemitism, Holocaust education, the meaning of Zionism and wider Middle East peace.”

Meet the Liberal Democrat leader: A conversation with Sir Ed Davey

Join the Board of Deputies and Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel at the Liberal Democrat Conference 2020 for a discussion with new leader Sir Ed Davey about key issues of concern to the Jewish community.Sir Ed will be in conversation with LDFI Hon. Chair Gavin Stollar, with a vote of thanks from Lord Monroe Palmer. Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl will introduce the event.

פורסם על ידי ‏‎The Board of Deputies of British Jews‎‏ ב- יום ראשון, 27 בספטמבר 2020

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