It's been a while since I have posted a diary, but I feel this is important enough to warrant taking some time out from a busy Friday night to ask for the help of other Kossacks.
Warning: the following site is graphic and may be disturbing to click on if you do not want to see the dead bodies of Jewish children laid out and also mocked and slurred.
Facebook has been actively enabling an anti-Jewish hate site called JEWISH RITUAL MURDER. Whatever your views are about the dustups between Israel and Palestine, or whatever your views may be about the sewer that Facebook can be, I guarantee you, the story behind Facebook's peculiar series of choices with this particular site warrant immediate action from everyone on the Daily Kos.
You may or may not be familiar with the concept of Jewish Ritual Murder; it's often addressed as "Blood libel," or, in more contemporary forms, it's sometimes cast as the conspiracy that some shadowy organization of Jewish people control the media and the government, and are secretly operating to kill off all non-Jews. Right-o! I'll get further into this in a bit, and why it's not only non compos mentis but also really bad for society.
Before explaining the extent to which Facebook has chosen to enable the glorious work of Jewish Ritual Murder, I want to speak to our entire community about who we are and why we make a difference: if there is one thing I know about this site, it's that when we mobilize, we can make waves. We can alter the course of things when we simply do things en masse together. We can bring things to the attention of the media more quickly than other conduits, which is why we have such impact with liveblogging important issues. So I would kindly ask you to take just a quick minute to help remove this crazy, crackpot, hate-fueled, and frankly, scary site from the public dialogue; it is offensive and wrong, and it promotes anti-semitism toward innocent Jewish people by perpetuating old myths about us that are horrific and dehumanizing. Our site has talked a lot about the events in Ferguson, MO lately and why these are wrong, focusing in no small part on why it is wrong to profile people based on their race. Likewise, it is wrong to profile people based on their ethnicity. And that is what is happening here.
But it gets worse underneath the two orange SS's that suddenly seem to take a rather menacing turn for the worse where I will explain why this, of all sites, is particularly reprehensible, and moreover, why Facebook's actions have specifically and incontrovertibly enabled the existence of this group to spew hateful and provocative lies toward one ethnic group based solely on their status AS an ethnic group.
About a year ago, someone brought this small site to my attention. Many people reported it to Facebook as "offensive," which is easy enough to do. All you have to do is to click the three dots on the right side of the page, while logged in to Facebook, and report the site as offensive. The specific language here is "It is harassing me or someone I know." You are also given the option to report "Something else." After this, you click "Submit to Facebook for review."
h/t to Gwennedd who reported it and adds that: "You can use the "I don't think this should be on Facebook" button. It takes you to a list including "It's hate speech", which then takes you to "Is this hate speech against a race or ethnicity. You can then send the report to FB."
Despite the fact that I initially reported it as "Something else," and then detailed the anti-semitic nature of the site, Facebook denied that it was a hate site and refused to remove it. I then tried complaining that it was harassing me, since as a Jewish person, I felt highly uncomfortable with the content. While tensions are high between Israel and Palestine at the moment, that is not the target of this hate site, nor is it the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that of the defamation of the Jewish diaspora, a defamation that has been ongoing since prior to the Middle Ages, when this lead to not permitting Jews to live in many parts of Europe, save under curfew or in "ghettos" (which is where the term originated).
Contact with the ADL (anti-defamation league) disclosed that they have less teeth than one would think. They were, in short, unresponsive.
Finally, Facebook acknowledged that this was, in fact, a hate site unfit for viewing, and they removed the site from view entirely as of earlier today. A reviewer reviewed the content there and said, "Yes, that violates Facebook's policies for 'offensive content'."
Except a few hours later, Facebook whiffed, pulled a one-eighty, and put this offensive shit stain of a site right back up.
No really. I'm serious.
(this is not my personal image, but I do have permission to use it)
Okay, so y'all know what blood libel and Jewish Ritual Murder allegations are, right? These are various smear tactics used against Jews that, again, began in the Middle Ages when claims were made that Jewish people stole Christian babies for their blood to mix with Jewish matzo meal since everyone knows that if anything needs more flavor, it's matzo ball soup, and what better to flavor it with than human blood?
Because of this "extremely legitimate claim," Jews were basically herded up, driven out of England completely, and let to live in select other parts of European jewrys or ghettos.
The Jewish Holocaust Museum explains that:
The term "ghetto" originated from the name of the Jewish quarter in Venice, established in 1516, in which the Venetian authorities compelled the city's Jews to live.Okay, whatever. That was 1516. We've all read or seen Merchant of Venice, I'm sure.
It gets a little stickier during the Holocaust:
During World War II, ghettos were city districts (often enclosed) in which the Germans concentrated the municipal and sometimes regional Jewish population and forced them to live under miserable conditions. Ghettos isolated Jews by separating Jewish communities from the non-Jewish population and from other Jewish communities. The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos in German-occupied and annexed Poland and the Soviet Union alone.At this point, anti-Semitic hysteria had obviously peaked with WWII. Do what you will with the history of Hitler and all of that. But the roots of Jewish persecution, outside of Israel, found niches to cling to across time and across geographic space, taking particular root in certain spots today such as the lunatic fringes of Eastern Europe, Germany, Scandinavia, America, and Facebook.
An August 1, 2014 NYT article lays out some of the increasing anti-semitism in Europe:
BERLIN — Across Europe, the conflict in Gaza is generating a broader backlash against Jews, as threats, hate speech and even violent attacks proliferate in several countries.It's gotten bad enough that ONE THIRD of European Jews are currently considering emigrating elsewhere (according to the NYT, 11/09 2013 article "Jews in Europe Report a Surge in Anti-Semitism.)
Most surprising perhaps, a wave of incidents has washed over Germany, where atonement for the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes is a bedrock of the modern society.
That's probably nearing the number of folks over in Ferguson, MO. who are considering getting the fuck out of Dodge. And for good reason. When Anti-Semitism, or any form of xenophobia for that matter, become socially codified as "acceptable," and the power structures that be refuse to take issue with the matter, VIOLENCE ensues.
Well, I wouldn't recommend they emigrate to the U.S. because we, too, have a healthy problem with anti-Semitism too, especially with people all too willing to confuse the actions of the COMPLETELY UNRELATED Israeli Government with Jewish people like Natalie Portman, Joan Rivers, and Corey Feldman, all of whom are aching -- according to some really smart smarty-pantses on Facebook -- to get their hands, and teeth, on your priceless Gerber-looking Christian baby to improve their Passover meals in between dropping coins from one hand to another while contemplating whether or not to phone the Jewish Media Hotline that controls everything from Wallstreet to the New York Times.
Because that's not offensive or anything.
So, I am going to ask you to do whatever you can to spread the word that this website needs to come down.
If you can contact Facebook about it by clicking on the page and reporting it, good!
If you can contact media outlets about this, good!
If you can tweet about this to raise awareness of this, good!
Perhaps you blog elsewhere or have a friend in the media? Good! Eyes are needed.
Maybe Anonymous would like to know about this? I don't know!
And maybe you would like to contact any of our Jewish congressional persons to let them know that Facebook has purposefully enabled hate speech that accuses them of conspiratorial baby killing, good!
Whatever you can think of to do to try to win this one small victory WILL be a victory against ALL BIGOTRY for ALL PEOPLE, Jews and non-Jews alike. I think considering the topsy-turvey historic times that we live in, we are up for that. I appreciate your being an allied front on this. Just not "that kind." Again, while this may seem small, it's the same crap that enables idiots like Sarah Palin to talk about the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords with such false rhetoric, saying she was a victim of blood libel. What a gaffe. Let's stop the real blood libel claims and also, stop permitting hate speech to go unchequed, particularly considering the rising tide of very real, highly turbulent anti-semitic hatred and violence in Europe right now and the seething underbelly of it in the United States as well.
Minor update: I've changed the title to reflect that the problem is NOT confined to Facebook so much as to society at large since hate sites can appear on any venue. That it's Facebook in this case is just incidental and not worth focusing on, per se, especially since you definitely do not have to be on Facebook to care anymore than you need to live in Ferguson, MO to care what is going on there. The fact is this, "It's going on."
Time to win small civil rights victories and human dignities to win yet bigger ones.