Our First anti-Semitic Comment

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?

6 Responses

  1. I think giving a voice to hate speech is no more helpful than allowing spammers to take over your blog. It’s your space–your home so to speak. And guests should behave accordingly. They can have a conversation with you or your other guests. But hate speech steps over the line.

    I’m actually also curious to hear how other bloggers–especially Jewish bloggers–deal with antisemitic comments on their blog.

  2. bs”d

    I leave a certain amount of antisemitic comments on my blog. It’s so easy and so fun to refute their “whackado” thinking. (Like that word!) They’re usually strident and unreasonable, tending to discredit themselves.

    It’s true, it only takes 3 letters and one click to find all kinds of antisemitic canards on the web. I think antisemites are over-represented on the net…it’s like an electronic KKK mask or keffiyah, allowing them to say whatever they want without paying with social stigma.

    I found visiting their sites to be an exercise in futility. Refuting them on their turf doesn’t work. It should be no surprise that they’re not normally fair-minded.These sorts of people twist what I say, add things that I never did say. For example, on “stephiblog.wordpress.com” she added “Abusive rant deleted” in bold parentheses, when in fact, I never wrote any abusive rants. I don’t respond with abusive rants on my own site, where I could do so with impunity. If anyone thinks differently, they can say so, and I will seriously consider the criticism. Being abusive doesn’t accomplish anything. Angry, abusive writing ramps up the emotions, “all heat, no light” as the cliche goes.

    However, I only allow limited amounts of antisemtic comments. I also warn them right away, to look over my “10 Blog Laws” and abide by them or they’ll be blocked. Typically, they can’t, so I do. At some point, I may delete any given antisemitic comment if I felt it no longer served a good purpose.

    Elya Katz of elyakatz.wordpress.com

  3. screw the antisemites get off this blog a– –holes

  4. I love how Google has an “explanation” for the offensive search results based on “math” and “algorithms”. Yeah, right, Jew-haters.

    You won’t get THAT argument past, well, us Jews.

  5. […] public links >> reality Our First anti-Semitic Comment Saved by mhile on Sun 28-9-2008 From Idea to Reality Saved by papaj48 on Thu 25-9-2008 Another […]

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