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article imageOp-Ed: ADL attempts to censor the Internet

By Alexander Baron     Jul 29, 2012 in Politics
New York - How would you like your government to tell you what you can read, hear and see? Better still, how would you like an apologist for the Gaza Massacre to make that decision?
If you've never heard of the ADL, it's time you did, because the misnamed Anti-Defamation League wants to shut down three hundred websites that peddle "hate". You might not think that is such a bad idea because you don't visit hate sites, and who needs hate anyway? There are two problems with this: one is that if and when these three hundred are shut down, who will be targeted next? The other is, who decides what is hate and who is a hater anyway?
The picture below was mailed to a number of parties by someone concerned at this attempt to shut down websites. It is a scan of part of a form letter sent by the ADL to a hosting company. If you have a website, even a free one, then you use a host. The company that received this letter, Endurance International, claims currently to provide "domain, web hosting and online services to more than 2 million small and medium-sized busineses across 40 brands". (Their spelling mistake).
A form letter sent out by the ADL in its ongoing attempts to censor America and the world.
A form letter sent out by the ADL in its ongoing attempts to censor America and the world.
Now imagine if that company were to submit to the ADL's apparently reasonable request. Imagine if all other big Internet companies did too. There would be no more hate on the Internet. Right? Wrong! What there would be is an Internet in the hands of madmen and fanatics who find hate everywhere, with good reason, because most of the time they are the cause of this hate.
The man at the top of the ADL's pyramid is Abraham Foxman; here he is whining about anti-Semitism in America.
Yes, you got it, 15% of Americans are infected with serious anti-Semitism, as though anti-Semitism is a disease - sadly the prevailing view. And what does serious mean? Foxman and his gang have produced a spurious survey, so let's ask a couple of questions of our own:
How many synagogues have been burned to the ground in America recently? None, although there was an attempt to bomb one in New York earlier this year, but the headline in the New York Times read Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I. Hmm.
How about lynchings, when was the last time a Jew was lynched in the United States? Last year? 2001? Try 1915! And Leo Frank wasn't lynched because he was a Jew, but because he was a convicted child killer.
Abraham Foxman and his gang of paranoids would like to apply that standard of 15% "infected" to the Internet. In practice this would mean shutting down sites that:
1) Endorse conspiracy theories that claim 9/11 was an inside job, especially those who claim there was a Mossad, Israeli, or Jewish connection. As the mystics, cranks and loonies believe "the Jews" were behind 9/11, what effect will a Jewish organisation censoring them have?
2) Voice any criticism of the policies of the Israeli Government. The ADL has supported Israeli Government policies more or less uncritically for decades, and continues to do so. And to them, anyone who doesn't can only be what?
3) Preach racial separatism, including the Nation of Islam - which according to Abraham Foxman, is a hate group.
This list could be extended, but look at the ADL's letter again and ask yourself how many of the terms therein are or could be interpreted as subjective. What does publishing or disseminating slanderous, libellous or defamatory material mean?
Here is one more example of the ADL's and Foxman's technique.
Awhile ago, there were various claims that Palestinians were having their organs harvested, some after being murdered. The ADL called these claims false and malicious, comparing them with the so-called blood libel of yore. But, when the Israeli authorities arrested a suspect earlier this year, there was not a whimper from the ADL.
Censorship under any pretext is a slippery slope because the paranoids, fanatics and just plain jobsworths can always find more and more things at which to take offence, and eventually to ban first by bribery and intimidation, then by law. In Britain, we have seen such hysteria generated over racism that now people can even be dragged into court for, in effect, miming racial epithets, or investigated by the police for calling someone a choc ice. Did anyone ever hear of such lunacy?
Eventually, the censors begin censoring the truth, and when that truth is unpleasant, or shows the government in a bad light, then the real tyranny begins. So what is the solution?
There is no solution, because there is no problem. The anti-Semites Abraham Foxman and his ilk find under every bed will not go away, if two thousand years of experience is anything to go by. If people want to hate Jews, blacks, or, perish the thought, homosexuals, they will, and nothing will stop them. By persecuting them you simply increase their paranoia and make them hate the target group even more.
If you don't like what they are saying, and can refute it, then go ahead and do so. Always bear in mind though that however crazy they sound, they may be right. Even the 9/11 Truth crowd.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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