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Internet anti-Semitism ...No shit, Sherlock

Deutsche Welle reports today on a new study (PDF) from the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency finding "widespread" anti-Semitism across the EU, with one fifth of 5,800 Jewish respondents in a survey saying they'd experienced harassment in the past year—and three-quarters saying they'd experienced it over the past five years. This prominently includes anti-Semitism on "websites or social media." Comments FRA director Morten Kjaerum with mind-boggling naivete: "It is particularly distressing to see that the Internet, which should be a tool for communication and dialogue, is being used as an instrument of anti-Semitic harassment." Clearly we do not have the same Facebook friends.

OK, we have acknowledged the tricks used by the Anti-Defamation League to inflate their anti-Semitism stats by lumping in all anti-Zionism or criticism of Israel. We have no knowledge that demonstrates that similar subterfuge was (or wasn't) used by the FRA. But—sorry, folks—the phenomenon of online Jew-hatred could hardly be clearer. The high Google ranking of my Metapedia entry speaks for itself. And we have noted that the barrage of hate brought forth by a search for the word "Jew" has actually prompted Google to issue a disclaimer that appears above the search results. Nearly any time I touch on any Jewish-related issue on my own websites, it is practically guaranteed to elicit an ugly anti-Semitic reaction. I have also blogged about the epithets and abuse I routinely experience on Facebook. I recently had to post this note to my FB page:

New standard for getting unfriended by Bill Weinberg

I have been spending WAY too much time arguing with fools on Facebook, and realize I have been too promiscuous in accepting friend requests. I joined FB in 2008, I have accrued 748 "friends," and up till now, I haven't unfriended anyone, and only blocked one. In my commitment to free speech, my standard has been to only block or unfriend in the case of actual threats or clear hate speech. The one guy I blocked crossed that line. 
Well, now the standard just got a little more stringent. If you are a "friend" of mine and one of your "friends" directs hate speech at me (or anyone else), and you fail to take any responsibility for this after being alerted to it, it now counts as if you had engaged in the hate speech yourself. I wouldn't be seeing the offensive comments if it weren't for your "friendship." You don't have to unfriend or block the perpetrator; a simple reprimand will do. E.g. "Yo, that's not kosher, dude. Chill out." I don't think that's asking too much.
I also emphasize that hate speech does not mean mere insult. Calling someone a "jerk" isn't hate speech. Ethnic slurs, in contrast, are. To cite but the most recent example, which has prompted me to write this: Yesterday, a "friend" of a particularly tiresome "friend" said (repeatedly) that I was lying (about Bashar Assad's war crimes, natch) because I am a "Hebrew." The term "Hebrew lies" was directed at me repeatedly. 
I alerted my "friend" via a private message to this ugliness on the part of his "friend." He did not respond. Hence, he is about to get unfriended.
I have been far too tolerant, and I think this new standard is still extremely forgiving.
So adios, trolls. 

I hope maybe this will provide a little clarity on how to deal with this stuff. Unfortunately, debate on how to deal with online (and meat-world) hate is increasingly polarized between those who think that "free speech" lets them off the hook for providing a forum for Jew-haters (an ethic almost always applied with a blatant double standard) and those who more courageously if more dangerously actually oppose free speech. Or, more cynically, pay lip service to it but oppose it in practice.

The FRA report is timed to the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, and Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, observed: "To this day synagogues, community centers or schools have to be put under police protection." As we noted when the Dresden synagogue was defaced with giant swastikas on the Kristallnacht anniversary four years ago.

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