This afternoon we got a clearly anti-Semitic comment on our post about Jewish refugees fleeing the fighting in Georgia. The commenter was responding not so much to the post, as to another comment that asserted (somewhat hysterically in my opinion) that a cataclysm of even greater proportions is awaiting the Jewish community in America.
I deleted the comment because I don’t think that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have a place on this blog. However, after hiting the delete button, I had a moment of doubt. Had I done the right thing? Should I have let the comment stand and responded? What kind of meaningful response was really possible with someone who hoped that Israel would be drawn into the Georgian-Russian War and that Putin would then, “fulfill Irans [sic] dream and most of the rest of the worlds[sic]” ?
Still, I do want this to be an open forum– I wouldn’t delete the comment of someone who had a legitimate gripe with the Washington DCJCC. But I’m uncomfortable giving bandwidth to someone with such a hateful worldview. I wouldn’t have thought twice about deleting the comment if it had been racist towards blacks or another minority. So why should I second-guess this decision?
The reality is, if you want to find anti-Semitic canards on the web, you don’t have to look very far. Just type “Jew” into Google and see what you get. Of course, there is an argument to be made for confronting the hate-mongers head-on. I can see the logic there, and it may feel good in the moment to call a whackadoo a whackadoo. But what does it really accomplish?
What do you think?