Holocaust Remembrance Event on Zoom Hijacked by Protesters Showing Hitler and Porn Images While Yelling Anti-Semitic Chants

An online event organized by the Embassy of Israel in Berlin was scheduled on the eve of Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, but was cut short after the Zoom video hosting platform was virtually invaded by protesters shouting anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian slogans, and posting Nazi iconography.

The open event meant any member of the public could join the video call to hear words from holocaust survivor Zvi Herschel. Instead, hijackers projected pictures of Hitler, shouted anti-Semitic abuse and pro-Palestinian slogans, and shared lewd imagery.

Shortly after the interruption, the event was taken off the air, but later went live again and was conducted properly without abusive interference.

"To dishonour the memory of the #Holocaust and the dignity of the survivor is beyond shame and disgrace and shows the blatant antisemitic nature of the activists," said Israel's ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff on Twitter.

Issacharoff told Haaretz, "I feel very sad, but I also feel this is a day we have to be strong. This is what 'Never Again' means; it is a call for everyday action standing against Nazi thinking and Nazi phraseology."

"This is unacceptable #antisemitic behavior online and offline," Tweeted Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). "Despicable #zoombombing of #HolocaustRemembrance Day ceremony hosted by @IsraelinGermany"

This isn't the first time Zoom meetings held by Jewish groups have been "Zoombombed" by racists during the coronavirus pandemic. The ADL has seen an increase in reports of threatening and obscene messages and actions, "often including those that contain hate speech or pornographic content," the organization wrote on its website.

There are reports of anti-Semites and white nationalists crashing Jewish webinars, school board meetings and Torah lessons, among other events.

"While some of these reported Zoombombing incidents can be attributed to Internet trolls without particularly malicious intentions, there is concern that extremists could exploit the increasing reliance on video conferencing technology to target certain groups or advance their hateful messages," stated ADL.

Zoom online video platform
The website of Zoom Video Communications. Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

In a bid to help fight antisemitism and hate, the ADL has published extensive advice on how groups can limit the unwanted effects of Zoombombing, including selecting meeting co-hosts and muting all those who join public meetings, then locking the entire meeting if everyone expected to join is present.

It also recommends disabling certain features of the video-calling platform before the call. These include turning off the auto-saving chats function, the file-sharing chat function, the annotations function, and the screen sharing for non-hosts.

Zoom recently added increased security functions, including one that allows the host to request registration from participants before a call or zoom event. There will also be a "report a user" function rolled out this week as part of the Zoom 5.0 launch. Update your platform via zoom.com/download.

Correction 4/23/20, 3 p.m. ET: This article and its headline were updated to reflect that it is not confirmed the protesters were Nazis, and were showing Nazi images and shouting pro-Palestinian slogans.

Holocaust Remembrance Event on Zoom Hijacked by Protesters Showing Hitler and Porn Images While Yelling Anti-Semitic Chants | News