The urgency of a response to the anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. since December has taken a back seat to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the midst of the virus outbreak, however, anti-Semitic hate has not diminished. In fact, a diverse selection of anti-Semites worldwide are using the pandemic to retool their prejudices with a new and innovative war chest full of digital means, according to those who monitor hate crimes.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has joined with The Breman Museum in presenting “Digital Anti-Semitism and Hate During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a live Zoom webinar noon Eastern time May 14.
The featured speaker is Rick Eaton, a senior researcher with the Simon Wiesenthal Center and co-director of the Center’s Digital Terrorism and Hate Project. In his over 34 years with SWC, Eaton has become a leading expert on both domestic and international extremist groups and online hate and terrorism. Over the years he has shared his knowledge by conducting training sessions with the FBI, ATF, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S military and dozens of local law enforcement agencies and private groups.
Eaton is a certified instructor with California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and teaches in both their Terrorism for Investigators and Hate Crimes for Investigators courses. He has been an advisor on 11 terrorism-related tele-courses produced by POST and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In 1995, Eaton testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime regarding the “Nature and threat of violent anti-government groups in America” and has conducted many other briefings on Capitol Hill. In an undercover role, he has met leading white supremacists, militia figures and domestic and international terrorists. In conjunction with SWC’s associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Eaton has produced all 22 volumes of the Center’s interactive Digital Terrorism and Hate Report.
Eaton told the AJT, “Even in the midst of a global pandemic hate and terrorism flourish online. Our current situation has proven the perfect environment to either lay blame on Jews or target them for abuse along with other minorities.” The upcoming webinar “will address these and other trending topics as outlined in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2020 Digital Terrorism and Hate interactive report.”
Alison Pure-Slovin, regional director of SWC, said “it is natural” for the SWC to partner with The Breman Museum on this free webinar. SWC is a global Jewish human rights organization that confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism; promotes human rights and dignity; stands with Israel and defends the safety of Jews worldwide, she said.
Similarly, The Breman Museum is dedicated to Jewish history “with special emphasis on the Holocaust. Our mutual goal is to bring extended programming to Georgia, whether online or at the museum. This webinar, the first in a series, is the perfect way to share resources and engage our global communities, as we aspire to engage diverse audiences with critical dialogue and information.”
The webinar is free, but RSVPs are required, https://bit.ly/35GwAP4