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Jewish advocates on Wednesday called on social media companies and Congress to take more steps to regulate online anti-Semitic speech after the number of anti-Semitic incidents has increased in the past year.
Jewish representatives spoke during a congressional hearing to highlight the efforts the federal government can take to combat anti-Semitism and domestic terrorism in the wake of several attacks against the Jewish community, from the shooting in Pittsburgh last year to the stabbing in Monsey, N.Y. last month.
“This is not the time for thoughts and prayers,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said. “We need resources and actions.”
Several representatives, including Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), brought up concerns that online anti-Semitic posts have inspired attacks in the U.S.
“The distinction between the real world and the virtual world is blurry. Anti-Semitic rhetoric on the internet can and does inspire actual deadly attacks,” Clarke said before asking the advocates how social media companies have done so far and what Congress can do.