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Anti-Semitism

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in implementing the Final Declaration of the London conference on combating anti-Semitism, with particular reference to (a) establishing an international taskforce of internet specialists to measure anti-Semitism online and propose international responses and (b) exposing and isolating (i) governments and (ii) politicians engaging in anti-Semitism; and if he will make a statement. (305397)

The Government are committed to tackling anti-Semitism. We condemn all instances of persecution and discrimination against individuals and groups wherever they occur.

The recommendations of the London Declaration has informed activity both within cross-Government hate crime programmes and in our international work, particularly within the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister became the first world leader to sign the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism on 25 February 2009 and on signing the declaration he said

“So many of the principles it enshrines are already things we are doing here in Britain and while I’m proud of the bold action Britain has taken to combat anti-Semitism such as improved reporting, prosecutions for anti-Semitic internet hate and the funding of Holocaust Education in schools, there is no room for complacency.”

The Cross-Government Hate Crime Action Plan includes activity in support of the declaration and was launched on 14 September. It can be viewed at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/hate-crime-action-plan

More recently in December the OSCE Ministerial Council agreed a Decision on Combating Hate Crimes. It contains helpful UK-inspired language on addressing “the increasing use of the Internet to advocate views constituting an incitement to bias-motivated violence including hate crimes”. It also encourages OSCE participating states to seek opportunities to co-operate and tasks the OSCE's Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to undertake some exploratory work.