Published on 20 March 2024

Crif - Crif participates in the side event of the World Jewish Congress at the UN Human Rights Council

On March 19, 2024, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) organized a side event on the sidelines of the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was the guest of honor on this panel. Crif was also invited to participate.
For this side event, the WJC focused on the spread of antisemitism online, beyond social networks, particularly important since October 7 and the Hamas terrorist attacks.

The panel was moderated by Leon Saltiel, WJC Director of Diplomacy and WJC Representative to UN Geneva and UNESCO. A dozen Member States co-sponsored the event and many Ambassadors were present at the side event.


The Crif Executive Director Robert Ejnes introduced the remarks and introduced Manuel Valls, guest of honor of this panel.
“We must act now, together, and ensure our unwavering support for Israel,” said Manuel Valls in his opening speech. The former French Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to Israel's sovereignty and its right to defend itself, and once again condemned the massacres of October 7.
The side event then focused on a report established by the WJC on the biases present on Wikipedia. The report reveals that the English version of the site contains an anti-Israel bias that accentuates misinformation and promotes negative stereotypes.
This bias takes many forms, appearing in terminology, angle, lack of context, one-sided sources and critical omissions, among other things, notably present in articles on the war between Israel and Hamas.
The WJC report recommends corrective measures to restore platform neutrality, such as developing editorial practices that would ensure neutral curation of content, and regular publication of transparency reports to maintain neutrality and accountability. This was explained by Dr. Shlomit Aharoni Lir, Ph.D., a researcher at Bar Ilan University and the University of Haifa.
The recording of the side event is available HERE.
During its trip to Geneva, Crif also visited the Intercommunity Coordination against Antisemitism and Defamation - CICAD and had a meeting with Johanne Gurfinkiel, Secretary General of the organization.
After the WJC side event, Robert Ejnes and Marie-Sarah Seeberger, Head of International Affairs at Crif, spoke with the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Office in Geneva, His Excellency Jérôme Bonnafont.