2009 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents
Posted: July 27, 2010
One of the major developments in 2009 was the significant increase in the amount of anti-Semitism found on online social networking sites (like Facebook and MySpace) and user-generated content sites (like YouTube). Even though these incidents cannot be credibly tabulated, they are an essential part of any review of anti-Semitic incidents in America.
Anti-Semitism by Anti-Israel Groups
As anti-Semitism flourishes on a variety of social networking sites, Facebook, in particular, has become a widely-used platform for users seeking to link their anti-Semitic views to discussions of Israel. This was abundantly clear during Israel's brief military operations against Hamas in Gaza in early 2009. Numerous Facebook groups were created in support of the Palestinians. Some of these groups also contained vile anti-Semitism, including such comments as:
• "for me i think Jewish = Zionist. there both killers." -- Omar S., January 3, 2009
• "All you stinkin child-murdering Jews make me sick!!" -- Christopher James C., January 4, 2009
• "who made muslims image into terrorist these f---in Jews and Usa…May ALLAH wipe out both of them from the world's map..ameen…" -- Sonya A., January 9, 2009
• "Israel will die soon, one day the people of America will wake up and realize their government, illegal central bank, media is controlled by the Israeli Zionists and they will reclaim their land. When that happens US aid to Israel will be completely cut. Then I hope the Middle East slaughters f---ing Israel for the crimes they have committed." -- Nirav B., January 10, 2009
• "I wanna a tell u one thing.........Evry1 hates pathetic Jews.....They were hated in the BC.... AC.......till now........Peace will come if there is no Jewish ass in this world." -- Navid Hasan K., January 11, 2009
• "why couldnt hitler exterminate theese jews..now were stuck with them and look what they are doing to our muslim brothers" -- Waleed R., January 13, 2009
• "F--- JEWS TO HELL….GOD BLESS GREAT HITLER." --King S., January 24, 2009
Even after the Gaza hostilities ended, anti-Semitism continued to appear in anti-Israel groups. The main page of a Facebook group called "I hate Israel," with more than 1,000 members in 2009, claimed "We don't hate Jews or the citizens of Israel," but its wall included posts that were clearly anti-Semitic, with comments like, "F--- the Jews," "Hail Hitler," and "Btw most of the Jews seems to be brainwashed and not have any morals!"
Other anti-Semitic posts included:
• "If you were conditioned from birth that you were racially, culturally, and religiously superior and the only ones with a biblical right to inherit Jerusalem, if you were taught that you were simply the victim throughout the atrocities of history and learned nothing from them then perhaps you too would respond …with audacity, arrogance, and a marked disdain for non-jewish human life." - Viva Palestina, April 1, 2009
• "Any human that can find fault in the resisters of the occupation is clearly under the spell of the Jewish Media Machine which… also controls government and can impede free speech but not stop it." -- Viva Palestina, April 1, 2009
• "Zionism did not come from nowhere. It finds its roots in Judaism. Judaism teaches that Jews are the chosen race. Zionists are acting accordingly. Read their Torah and their Talmud. Guys, we know you are bunch of liars and deceivers. Only fools would believe your manipulative statements. Wolves in sheep clothing, that's what you are." -- International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, August 6, 2009
Anti-Semitism in "Truther" Groups
Social networking sites have also become a haven for people promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (so-called "truthers"). These conspiracy theories, which began appearing in publications and the Internet just days after the attacks, continue to proliferate online. Although specialized communities for 9/11 "truthers" exist, Facebook appears to be the most popular mainstream social networking venue for individuals promoting these theories. Thousands of users joined explicitly anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy groups. Others created or participated in anti-Semitic discussion topics, posted explicitly anti-Semitic material to the groups of popular purveyors of 9/11 conspiracy theories, or posted anti-Semitic comments on the pages of mainstream media outlets.
The Facebook page for "Loose Change," a movie that argues that the 9/11 attacks were staged by the U.S. government (but does not blame Jews or Israel), which had more than 17,600 members in 2009, included a discussion topic on the "9/11 Zionist connection." It also provided a link to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an infamous anti-Semitic tract charging Jews with plotting to control the world. Participants started the "9/11 Zionist Connection" topic in November 2007, and have since posted comments that promote anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracies about Jewish power, thus exposing other members to this bigotry. One person wrote, "That's when I realised that Zionism controls many aspect [sic] of our lives, including our governments." Another claimed, "MSM [mainstream media] is controlled (currently and formerly) by Zionists."
At least six Facebook groups with names like "Jews did 9/11" or "expose the CIA role in 9/11 fake Zionist terror attack" were also on the site, with more than 2,200 members among them. Creators of two of the groups describe them as a place "for people who knows [sic] the 9/11 was a pure inside jewish-zionist criminal network job made by the Mossad" or as dedicated to "getting the truth out" about the "worst kind of creatures."
A member of one of the groups wrote, "Jews run the world in Israel and America" and other group members posted links to some of the Internet's most virulent anti-Semitic Web sites. These include RealJewNews, (also known as RealZionistNews), a Web site run by Milton Kapner, a self-proclaimed street preacher who calls himself Brother Nathanael, and the Web sites of Christopher Bollyn and Eric Hufschmid, two leading online purveyors of anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theories. There were also links to Prothink, a Web site that has defined its mission as "defending America against racist kiddie porn Rabbis." The person behind the latter Web site, Mike Delaney, has produced a film "9/11 Missing Links," which claims that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks.
In addition, participants on CNN's Facebook page created a discussion topic entitled "Jews did 9/11 attacks!" in May 2009. While some users objected to the anti-Semitic nature of the discussion, others asserted that 9/11 was "planned and orchestrated by Jews, not Muslims or Al-Qaeda" and extolled and posted links to the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
MySpace contained several anonymous profiles dedicated to promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories that featured anti-Semitic content and links to anti-Semitic Web sites. Eric Hufschmid also had a MySpace profile where he promoted his material on 9/11, and another profile was dedicated to promoting Christopher Bollyn's work on 9/11. Hundreds of people were "friends" of these various profiles.
The MySpace profile for "Research 9/11 and Other Pertinent Topics" declared to visitors that "9/11 Was A Zionist Job" and that "the official version of what Zionists call 'the Holocaust' is a gross exaggeration." It also linked to Rense, an anti-Semitic Web site, and the Web site for the Institute for Historical Review, a Holocaust denial group. In addition, some of the profile's more than 300 friends posted anti-Semitic content, including an August 2009 post by "Blackcountry" that said, "These ppl [sic] are not jews [sic] they are the Devil that is spoken about in the book of revelations." Another post that same month from "911 Poet" connected the 9/11 attacks to those on the USS Liberty, saying both were instances of the deliberate murder of Americans by Israel.
The profile of another of "Research 9/11's" MySpace friends, "Honest John," also promoted the idea that Israel knowingly killed American servicemen on the USS Liberty, and noted that the page was created "to alert people about an extreme evil that I became aware of during research and some personal investigation into the crime of 9/11." Honest John's profile included links to the anti-Semitic Web site ProMoreover, Twitter, the "micro-blogging" Web site, and had at least one account, "Wide Eye Cinema," that promoted anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theories. At least two "tweets" on the account linked to videos on the Wide Eye Cinema Web site, designed to promote the view that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Anti-Semitism on Mainstream News Sites
In the past, newspapers would never have published obviously anti-Semitic letters to the editor; but in 2009 it was possible to find anti-Semitic comments posted on the comments sections of mainstream media Web sites, especially in connection with news stories on the Middle East. To be sure, there can be legitimate criticism of Israeli policies, but expressions of "the new anti-Semitism," which applies age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes to Israel and Zionism – including the contention that the US is controlled by an "Israel lobby" or that Zionism is racism – are common during periods of turmoil in the Middle East. In some cases, sentiment boils over into outright expressions of easily recognizable "classic" anti-Semitism.
The most noteworthy recent instance of the latter took place in connection with the U.S. economic crisis.
Anti-Semitic comments continued and received new life in 2009 with the revelation of the multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme masterminded by Jewish businessman Bernard Madoff.
Anti-Semitic reaction to the Madoff scandal was prevalent on some of the most popular newspaper sites, blogs and message boards on the Internet. Most of the anti-Semitic comments tended to focus on alleged Jewish greed and thievery, as well as conspiracy theories linking financial losses to Israel.
A few examples of these comments include:
• On The Washington Post Web site, "brob329" stated, "The Jewish people have got to ask themselves, now or later, how come people detest them so often. I do not. But, this is why. They are all about money, greed, selfishness, egocenrism, showing off, being in the limelight, making more money, scratching the back of fellow Jews and on. MONEY MONEY MONEY = Jewish culture."
• On The New York Times Web site, "Jud" wrote, "Wah wah wah. So a bunch of rich people who are more loyal to Israel than to America lost money as a result of their greed. Who cares? I say we deport him to his brothers in Israel."
• On the Web site of the Palm Beach Post, "THE MAN" wrote, "Just another sneaky jew money changer who steals every chance they get. They've been doing it for 3,000 years."
• On The Huffington Post, "JrNorman" posted a comment on an article about Madoff from March 2009, writing that "Madoff stole $60 billion dollars and shipped it to Israel. Jewish Talmudic law states that a Jew can steal from the sub-human (goyim) and it"s legal to do."