The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and ISD Germany will coordinate the coalition to provide space for the participating stakeholders to exchange ideas. Additionally, the think- and do-tank will contribute its innovative research on the threat landscape of online antisemitism. This will create space for the coalition to discuss and develop measures to respond to current developments as they occur.
Antisemitism continues to threaten Jewish life, culture and safety with attacks at record high levels in many countries. Between 2002 and 2021, violent antisemitic incidents in Germany alone had more than doubled. Research suggests that this surge in offline attacks is closely linked to antisemitic narratives that proliferate online with the true scale and nature of this threat often underestimated. Commissioned by the European Commission, one ISD study found an alarming seven-fold and 13-fold increase of antisemitic content across French and German Twitter, Facebook and Telegram, respectively when comparing the first two months of 2020 and 2021. This development appears to have been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hindered by a lack of platform access, data on this issue can be fragmented and efforts to provide an assessment of the antisemitic threat landscape can be further compounded by a lack of funding in country contexts where the antisemitic threat may be more explicit.
The Coalition to Counter Online Antisemitism (CCOA) was created to get ahead of the rising tide and contribute to a consistent and strong European answer to online antisemitism. To do this, we bring together a range of curate stakeholders combating antisemitism, including CSOs, cities, businesses, practitioners and citizen initiatives, to create new partnerships to counter online antisemitism at scale, We want to amplify existing best practice and build bridges between research, educational measures and policy changes. The pilot phase of this project will focus on five countries: Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Sweden.
The CCOA is an independent pilot project, funded by Google.org through 2025.
News & Events
CCOA compendium: The Fragility of Freedom – Online Holocaust Denial and Distortion
This report, published in advance of Holocaust Memorial Day 2024, themed around the Fragility of Freedom, investigates the contemporary challenges of online Holocaust denial and distortion. It features five articles from members of ISD’s Coalition to Counter Online Antisemitism, who each bring unique perspective and expertise to the issue: Alina Bricman, Günther Jikeli, Ada Baumkötter, Linus Kebba Pook, Grischa Stanjek, Karolina Placzynta, Yfat Barak-Cheney, and Hannah Maman. Find the full report here.
ISD Germany: The German Far Right – Online A Longitudinal Study
In the period from 1 January 2021 until 31 March 2023, this study examined how members of the German far-right capitalised on developments like the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on their communication and distribution strategies on social media. Conducting a content analysis, the study seeks to understand which themes were particularly widespread in mostly unmoderated spaces, addressing, among others, antisemitism (chaper 2.5.2 Antisemitism). Find the full report here.
POLIN Museum: Who do Poles see when they see a Jew? – Research project report
In 2022, a three-stage research project was conducted on commission of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. It aimed to map the most important cultural codes that shape the images of Jews in contemporary Polish culture, as well as to analyze the risks associated with them.
The full report has now been published: POLIN_RAPORT_FULL_ENG_digital
How does CCOA work?
Antisemitism needs to be addressed through a whole-of-society approach, bringing together different experts and stakeholders from various fields and industries and across different geographies.
The exchange of best practices and ideas within the coalition will be facilitated by three working groups in the areas of research, education and policy with results being shared across the coalition. Research data will inform the development of educational material as well as the design of a joint policy roadmap. A final report will outline CCOA’s key findings including: research data, recommendations to policymakers and an overview of effective educational interventions.
Connecting the dots: Strengthening the understanding of the threat landscape of online antisemitism
The research working group will establish and coordinate a pipeline of advanced international analysis, allowing for comparisons between the different country contexts. Research will bridge the gap between the on- and offline threat landscape with a particular focus on how platform systems may contribute to amplifying risks in the digital antisemitism space.
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How does CCOA understand antisemitism?
Nowadays, antisemitism may appear in many different shapes and sizes. It has become increasingly mainstream across all parts of society, and often polarises communities, undermines human rights and affects democratic processes.
There is no one-size-fits-all definition of antisemitism that suits every context. Several organisations use different definitions, depending on their experience and understanding of the term and the context in which it is used. It is not the role of CCOA to decide which definition is “the best” or should be used by other organisations globally. The work of the CCOA centres around the perspectives of those affected.
In accordance with ISD research, policy and intervention programs, and for the purpose of assessing different manifestations of antisemitism, the CCOA is using the non-legally binding working definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The IHRA defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” In addition to this general definition, IHRA has provided a list of 11 non-exhaustive examples of contemporary antisemitism.
The European Commission together with the IHRA published several resources that explain how to use the IHRA definition:
- The handbook for the practical use of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. The handbook provides an overview of good practices by international organisations, national administrations, civil society and Jewish communities from across Europe.
- The Fact Sheet on the Working Definition of Antisemitism which outlines the background of the working definition or the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
CCOA aims at a whole-of-society approach. We invite organisations working on antisemitism, journalists, lawyers, researchers, football clubs and more who may have an interest in the work of the CCOA to join us.
The CCOA provides a space for organisations and practitioners to build capacities and an intersectional understanding of online antisemitism, aiming at equipping members with the tools and knowledge needed to face an increasingly complex online threat landscape.
The working groups will come together once a month to exchange new findings in their respective fields. These meetings will take one or two hours and are not mandatory. Working outputs are continuously shared via internal channels so you can stay up to date even if your schedule does not allow you to take part in meetings.
Members will be connected to change-makers and experts across sectors on a Pan-European level. Communication through internal channels will foster the connection with experts and fellow coalition members. The coalition will benefit the exchange of knowledge, research and best practices.
ISD has long-standing dedicated digital policy expertise across online harms and the wider digital landscape, research expertise and digital analysis tools to provide unique insights on online antisemitism and the overall threat landscape. ISD also has extensive experience in developing intervention programs shaped by their evidence-based research and analysis.