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Influencers and antisemitism

By Gadi Luzzatto Voghera*

Recent episodes of communication on social media, characterized by decidedly anti-Israeli messages and containing evident antisemitic implications, force us to look with great concern at a growing dynamic of hate speech. One cannot but severely contest both Michela Murgia’s claims in support of Hamas (a fascist and fundamentalist regime that does not provide freedom to women) and the fake-silly and actually shocking short films of the young Roman influencer Tasmin Ali who tramples on a star of David then indicating it as if it were excrement.

Beyond the hatefulness of the messages by these two women who on several occasions have openly spoken out in defense of gender dignity and freedom, then contradicting themselves with these miserable utterances, I think that precisely the communicative dynamics underlying these messages must elicit a reflection.

Whether it is on Twitter or Tik Tok, the influencer trade is based on finding the right formula to collect the greatest number of sympathies and therefore likes and followers. If to do this we resort to openly antisemitic declarations, evidently there is now a widespread awareness that by doing it we are meeting the favor of a very large audience.

The polls tell us just this, and we will never get tired of repeating it: There are millions of people in Italy who are openly antisemitic without veils, and millions more are those who still express critical judgments, but in a more selective way, either against the Jewish religion or against Israel.

Against these currents, the strategies are clear and must be pursued with conviction: an active vigilance on the universe of communication, a constant work of education especially aimed at younger generations, and a cultural activity that induces apparently distant communities to experiencing meeting and dialogue. It is hard work, often frustrating, but it is the only path that can be taken to envisage a future of coexistence and solidarity.

* Director of the CDEC Foundation