Digital World: What creeps under the Internet rocks

The Web's ugly anti-Semitic underbelly.

internet finally 88 (photo credit: )
internet finally 88
(photo credit: )
You know how during the spring, when you start working in your garden again, you have to get rid of the detritus - the leaves, rocks, etc. - that have piled up in the winter? And you know how sometimes when you move a rock or a pile of old leaves, you uncover a community of very strange and icky looking bugs? And you know how gross you feel when you see those bugs? That's how I felt when I prepared this column. I've been turning over rocks around the Internet, trying to dig up dirt on some of the most prolific anti-Israel and anti-Jewish writers out there. You may not be aware of it, but there's a burgeoning mini-industry on the Internet, consisting of blogs that truck in the most despicable anti-Jewish lies out there. Of course, the authors of these sites take great pains to point out that they're merely "anti-Zionist," or that "it's a minority of the Jews who are responsible." But their writings are straight out of the Dark Ages, with references to Jewish mass murder, well-poisoning ("Jews poison wells in the West Bank with the condoning of the Israeli government," says one blog written by a well-known American anti-Semite), and worse - with even the medieval blood libel charge being revived. Well-meaning, rational people - both Jewish and otherwise - sometimes attempt to argue back or present facts in the talkback forums on these blogs, only to be shot down or censored, so the only point of view permitted on the site is the one that confirms the sick views of the blog author. The best way to fight them, I believe, is to discredit them - to show them up for the liars and hypocrites they really are. So, what I've done is gather information - freely available on the Internet - on several of the more prominent Internet anti-Semitic "personalities." I've brought as many examples as space allows, and I have many others. But in the vast majority of cases, these Internet Jew-haters are living hypocritical lifestyles, often guilty of exactly the same thing they accuse "the Zionists" of doing! For example, one of the premier internet anti-Semites runs his site (and home business) from the suburbs of Honolulu, Hawaii. This blogger, who claims to know "what really is happening" in the world, is a radical leftist/liberal type, whose site gets a fair amount of traffic, and seems to be a source of material for many other anti-Semitic blogs. Most of his content consists of links to "legitimate" news sites, with his commentary. Of course, one of his favorite targets is "the Occupation" by Israel of Judea and Samaria/the West Bank (I put both terms in to ensure that the focus is on the subject, not the politics). "The settlers" are this, the settlers are that, the settlers are worse than Nazis - anyone whose perused any of these sites will get the idea. But reading his site, I've never seen this fellow address his own sins of occupation - the one where he is part of the horde of mainland Americans who have occupied Hawaii, breaking treaties signed with the sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii ( Now, that may sound a bit far-fetched, especially to those of us who grew up in the US - but apparently, there are a fair number of Hawaiians who don't think so. The main point, however, is that it would appear that someone who is guilty of occupying someone else's land (both the blogger and his wife are definitely not of Polynesian or other South Pacific stock) is the last person who should be wagging his finger at Israelis! Note, incidentally, that I haven't mentioned this person's name, or site; the reason is that Wikipedia recently banned a biography page on this guy, because he's famous only among conspiracy theory nuts. He hasn't been mentioned in the real media enough, and I don't intend to help him (if you want details, drop me an e-mail). Then there's the blogger who, apparently operating from an apartment in French Hill, Jerusalem, supplies his readers with up to the minute news - from Gaza! Of course, all the "news" is about how evil the IDF is, how Gazans suffer, etc. Again, I am not making a political call here; Israeli policy in Gaza is certainly something that should - must - be discussed and analyzed. But not here, not by this guy, who purports to promote "peace in the desert." He's just the wrong man for the job! While he may have e-mail contacts in Gaza, it would seem to me to be a bit condescending for him to be speaking for native Gazans, who are probably capable of portraying their own situation at least as effectively as he does, from dozens of kilometers away. What, he's got some special insight they don't? But even more - the writer of this blog is himself apparently Jewish, an immigrant from New York, and a resident of the State of Israel for over two decades! And while we would defend the right of any member of any ethnic group or religion to take any side he or she wishes in a political dispute, it again seems a bit much for a total outsider to portray a culture and lifestyle that he has no part in. And the fact that he, too, "occupies" an apartment on land (in Jerusalem) that the Palestinians see as their own - while he purports to be helping them out - is mind-boggling, to say the least.