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Hate speech and incitement on the internet must be curbed, German minister tells WJC delegation

WJC, World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer was in Berlin this week for talks for senior German government officials and others.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas (r) with WJC CEO Robert SingerGerman Justice Minister Heiko Maas (r) with WJC CEO Robert SingerSinger met with German Justice Minister Heiko Maas and his deputy Christian Lange to discuss measures to curb the spread of hate speech, Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic incitement on the internet. Maas indicated that he was prepared to act through legislation if the problem was not contained effectively.

The WJC delegation, which included WJC Deputy CEO for Diplomacy Maram Stern, also met with representatives of Facebook to learn about the company's efforts in fighting fake news, hate speech and incitement on its social media platform.

A meeting with Germany's former President Christian Wulff on Wednesday focused on the rise of far-right parties in Germany and Europe, the fight against anti-Semitism and other forms of hate, the integration of refugees and migrants, and the fight against incitement and hate speech. Both Wulff and Singer stressed the positive aspects of diversity.

On Monday, the WJC delegation met with Berlin's Governing Mayor, Michael Müller, and his State Secretary Sawsan Chebli, who is in charge of integration.

Meetings were also held with members of the Bundestag, Germany's legislature, with journalists and with the heads of major foundations in Germany.
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WJC CEO meets Scandinavian Jewish and political leaders to discuss security situation

World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer paid a visit to Finland, Norway and Denmark to discuss the situation of the Jewish communities in Scandinavia in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, which came as a shock to Scandinavian Jews.

Meeting with the Jewish community of FinlandMeeting with the Jewish community of FinlandSinger met with community leaders in Helsinki, Oslo and Copenhagen, as well as with government officials and lawmakers of these three countries, to analyze the security situation. The heads of all three Jewish communities told him that Jews were feeling increasingly uncomfortable and that anti-Semitism was clearly on the rise. However, they also emphasized that cooperation with the authorities in their respective countries was good.

Singer's visit included meetings with Danish Justice Minister Mette Frederiksen, at which he and Denmark's Jewish Community head Dan Asmussen discussed the responsibility of the Danish government for the physical security of Jews in the country. Frederiksen guaranteed that the protection of the community was not dependent on finances and that the Danish government would maintain a strong police presence at Jewish sites until a long-term plan to the security is elaborated by the police.

In Oslo, the WJC delegation also met with the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affiars Bård Glad Pedersen and the ministry's Director-General Wegger Strømmen, as well as with the initiators of the peace-ring in Oslo in order to thank them and to discuss joint action for further similar initiatives.

In a meeting with MP Özlem Cekic from the Danish Socialist People's Party, it was agreed that in the current political climate it was important to build bridges between the Jewish and Muslim minorities in European countries.
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