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Study lays bare the scale of online ‘venom’ Jewish female MPs face

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Source: The JC

Jewish women in parliament face a disproportionate amount of antisemitic abuse online, a landmark study has found.

The research showed MPs such as Luciana Berger and Dame Margaret Hodge were 15 percent more likely to be subjected to abuse oby users of notorious far-right website Stormfront than Jewish male MPs.

It found that “Luciana Berger Jew” was a more common internet search term than “Luciana Berger policy”.

The research, comissioned by the Community Security Trust and the Antisemitism Policy Trust, comes ahead of a conference on rising misogyny and antisemitism which takes place on Monday in parliament.

Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt said the “venom” Jewish women in parliament face is “something else” compared with the abuse other MPs receive.

“All of us have faced misogyny and abuse, and many also have faced danger. But I think the venom that my Jewish female colleagues are having to endure is something else,” she said.

Sara Khan, the commissioner for countering extremism, said: “This research reveals how Jews, in particular, Jewish women in public life, are being named, targeted and dehumanised on far-right extremist websites.

 “This is taking place at a time of rising recorded antisemitic incidents and when female Jewish politicians in our own country have publicly highlighted the threats of violence they continue to receive.”

On Monday, MPs and NGOs will gather in parliament for the inaugural Sara Conference.

Danny Stone, the chief executive of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, called it “an important beginning to our understanding of the problem, and efforts to address it”.

He added: “It is unacceptable that far-right websites are able to propagate wholesale extremist propaganda and hatred.”

“We are pleased to be able to give such prominence to an important issue. The level of antisemitic abuse, gendered threats and other invectives directed against women, particularly online, is frightening and unacceptable…

“We will do everything we can at the Trust to ensure women facing antisemitism know that we are pushing for urgent change and that they are not alone in the struggle they face.”

The Labour Party has been criticised for failing to inform its Jewish MPs of online threats against them by party members.