A recent study conducted by the Anti Defamation League and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation revealed that 81% of young Israelis have experienced Antisemitism online. Racist content and cyberbullying can be devastating for youth, especially those of minority and marginalized groups who are often a target for bullying and exclusion.
Similarly, in an ADL report documenting the American experience with online hate and harassment, 72% of marginalized youth reported being harassed because of an aspect of their identity, compared to 46% of non-marginalized youth. Jewish respondents were more likely than non-Jewish respondents to attribute harassment to their religion.
These figures are especially troubling with the rise in Antisemitic incidents both on- and off- line. What makes this even more concerning is the increase in distress markers we have seen due to the pandemic. Specifically, ELEM youth indicated an increase in violence online.
Social media can be a wonderful place to create connections and bonds. It can be a place to find community, refuge, information and assistance. However, we cannot allow such violence and Antisemitism to go unchecked. We need to ensure people’s safety, especially of children and youth. That’s why ELEM is constantly working online, offering youth a safe place online to be heard and get assistance.