New York, NY – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) joined, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (R), a pioneer in digital hate and terror, and Mark Weitzman (L), the Center’s Director of Government Affairs for the release of the 2010 Digital Terror & Hate Report ‘The Global Reach’
The following are Congresswomen Maloney’s remarks:
‘I want to congratulate the Simon Wiesenthal Tolerance Center for putting together an extraordinary report again this year.
For more than a decade, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has been tracking the growth of hate on the internet.
And while children are taught that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you – it’s not always true. Terrorism and intolerance start with words, but they grow into actions.
An anti-semitic website spreads hatred and acts as a recruiting tool. Social networking is all about enabling like-minded people to find one another. As Simon Wiesenthal once said: The combination of hatred and technology is the greatest danger threatening mankind.
And Wiesenthal also recognize that Jews are not the only targets of hatred: Victims from more than 20 nations were killed by the Nazis.
Too many Americans are ignorant of the Holocaust and do not know that an enlightened society decided to eliminate Jews from the face of the world. They do not understand how easy it is to demonize a particular ethnic group, and persuade people to destroy them. And we have many lessons to learn from the Holocaust. I have introduced legislation in Congress, the Simon Wiesenthal Holocaust Education Assistance Act, that will teach new generations about the devastation and death that stem from intolerance.
And that is why I admire what the Simon Wiesenthal Center does, and salute you for issuing this report.
The internet joins together billions of people. Ideas can spread like wildfire. And a call to action can be released on twitter or facebook, setting seemingly unrelated people in action. YouTube allows a terrorist’s lonely rant to be seen by thousands.
It can be used to enhance freedom in dictatorships – but it can also be used by advocates of hatred and intolerance.
The Simon Wiesenthal Tolerance Center’s report and educational workshops help law enforcement understand these tools, how they are being used by terrorists and extremists, and how we can beat them at that game.
Jihad Jane – accused of plotting to kill the Swedish cartoonist who caused riots by his depiction of Mohammed – was known for posting increasingly hate-filled screeds on YouTube or elsewhere on the internet – that’s how she came to the attention of law enforcement.
YouTube is this generation’s printing press. Hitler had Mein Kampf. Osama bin Laden has YouTube and the internet.
And these new ways of reaching potential followers have a worldwide reach.
I applaud the Simon Wiesenthal Center for all that it is doing to promote tolerance, and to help law enforcement identify those who are moving beyond speech and are planning attacks.
New tools require new techniques and new skills. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to the idea that you can prevent attacks by teaching tolerance and training law enforcement to use the new techniques of tracking the bad guys.
Thank you for all you do.’