I Executive Summary
II Summer 1999: A Season of Hate
III The Findings
IV Anti-Semitism and the Internet
V Harassment, Threats and Assaults
VI Vandalism Incidents
VII Campus Incidents
VIII

Regional Breakdown

IX Arrests
X Conclusion
XI President Clinton on ADL & Hate Crime
XII Federal Hate Crime Response Initiatives
XIII A Note on Evaluating Anti-Semitic Incidents
 
Charts and Graphs
  Audit Data Charts
 

Listing of Reported
Campus Incidents

  Related Link(s):
  ADL Model Hate
Crimes Legislation

  States with Penalty-Enhancement Hate Crimes Laws
  State Hate Crimes Statutory Provisions
  ADL Resources

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Anti-Semitism and the Internet

While some bigots mail anti-Semitic letters to or shout hateful slurs at their victims, others transmit their hate electronically. Anti-Semitic propaganda or threats directed to a specific person and received by E-mail, in a chat room, or sent via an instant-messaging program are considered anti-Semitic harassment by the Audit. These messages are deliberately directed to a particular person in an effort to intimidate.

E-mail messages are essentially electronic letters. Nearly anyone with access to the Internet can send and receive E-mail messages anonymously and free of charge. A mailing list can easily be compiled from public sources such as online E-mail address directories.

Enterprising bigots have E-mailed hate materials to hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Targets of such messages open their E-mail mailboxes and find hate mail just as surprised recipients of anti-Semitic leaflets find printed hate material on their doorsteps. Bigots can easily create numerous E-mail accounts, so even if an E-mail account is deleted because of the hate messages sent using it, another can quickly be opened. In 1999, one or more bigots used a variety of different E-mail addresses to send two anti-Semitic messages by a Serbian propagandist to hundreds of innocent recipients. As with mass mailings of printed hate literature, anti-Semitic electronic messages such as these are each classified by the Audit as one incident, regardless of the number of people they are sent to.

In a chat room, an Internet user can communicate in real time with one or many other users. The text that the user types into his computer almost immediately appears on the screens of the other users in the room. Haters enter chat rooms, sometimes those specifically devoted to Jewish interests, and aim anti-Semitic comments at other users. Their victims resemble friends conversing on a street corner who are hassled by bigots shouting hateful comments.

Instant-messaging software enables Internet users to create a private chat room with another individual. Functionally, an instant messaging session is similar to a telephone call. Haters can use directories of instant-messaging users to find targets for their attacks, just as they might find Jews to target with harassing telephone calls by looking in the telephone book. An unsuspecting victim might receive a disturbing instant message just as he or she might pick up the telephone and hear a hateful voice on the other end of the

Hate-filled World Wide Web sites and online bulletin board messages are not included as anti-Semitic incidents in the Audit. While readers may be offended by such material, it generally does not target them specifically. In addition, Internet users are often not passive recipients of this material, unlike the unsuspecting addressees of E-mail messages.

Examples of Internet threats
and harassment incidents

The following is a representative sampling of anti-Semitic incidents of harassment on the Internet.

  • Florida - 2/8/99 - In a chat room, a Jewish woman was told by another Internet user, "you belong in a gas chamber" and "your people are the product of Satan having sex with Eve."
  • Michigan - 2/9/99 - A man received an E-mail threat, which read, "I'm gonna find you and rape you you f-ing Jew bitch."
  • New Jersey - 6/13/99 -Just hours after returning from her Bat Mitzvah, a Jewish teen-ager received an instant message that stated, "I f---ing hate Jews and what they did to us Germans ...how they will f- over anyone for money and power."
  • California - 7/99 - Anti-Semitic E-mail messages read, "Suck it you Jewish mother f-----g faggot from hell ...Hail Hitler!!! Nazis forever!!!"
  • Illinois - 9/5/99 - An E-mail message from The World Church of the Creator, a racist, anti-Semitic organization, in a user's Web-based E-mail account opened by saying, "If you are black, Jew, or f-------g stupid delete this. Only white people are allowed to see our site because everyone else is not worthy. Buy the White Bible today!!"
  • Ohio - 11/27/99 - An E-mail message in the form of an anti-Semitic poem referred to "slimy insidious Jews."
  • Louisiana - 11 /28/99 - An E-mail message addressed to "motherf----in' Jewish Niggers" promised, "the day will come (and trust me, it will be sooner than you think) when we will kill each and every one of you bitches for causing the downfall of America."

 



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