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
- 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
- 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."