Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


The Internet and Anti-Semitism

The other night my friend, Jewish media guru Steven I. Weiss, asked me to go with him to hear Bernard Henri Levy’s State of World Jewry lecture at the 92nd street Y in Manhattan. Levy can be very entertaining and so I decided to join him for the lecture. Perhaps the most comical part of an otherwise serious presentation came when the French philosopher went on a rant about the transforming face of anti-Semitism. In the medieval period, Christians accused Jews of killing their God, then in the modern period enlightenment thinkers accused Jews of creating the God they wished to kill, then when race came in style, Jews were accused of originating from a deformed race. You get the point. Whatever was the idiom of the day, it eventually became a weapon to use against the Jews.


So it should not come as a surprise in this age of the Internet that anti-Semitism has found a new home to reside in. Recently, the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, announced that Jews should use the Internet to combat anti-Semitism. But Peres’ plea for more Jewish presence on the Internet sounds more like an 88-year-old shooting in the dark than the sharp statesman he is. Just because some medium is “hot” does not mean it’s the most effective way to accomplish one’s goals. As Andre Oblor writing in the Jerusalem Post argues, “It is not enough to tell students and young people to go and “do something technological. Resources need to be dedicated, research needs to be done, and policies need to be developed.”
Peres should be commended for reminding us about the increasing presence of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism on the internet, but he needs to have his ideas more well developed on what exactly it would mean to fight these new demons on the “Internet.”



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Dave

posted March 11, 2008 at 7:41 pm


I would like to congratulate Rabbi Stern for finding a way to not talk about what every Jew and Gentile in New York (and elsewhere) is talking about(even though the subject has a serious moral aspect). Way to go in protecting your favorite Democrat politicians!
Yes anti-semitism on the internet, zzzzz, must talk about it, zzzzz. Can do a lot about it, zzzzzz.



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Chaim

posted March 12, 2008 at 12:58 pm


I for one believe Rabbi Stern is absolutely correct. Anti-semites all over the world are using the internet to promote the hatred of Jews!
We should fight fire with fire. The internet is a very powerful educational source of information. If properly used it can be a formidable weapon in the battle against Anti-semitism.
Hitler,ym”sh and his cohorts knew that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. That’s why the internet can be used to reach the vast majority of peoplewho know that discrimination of any kind is aborrhent and not to be tolerated.



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Scott R.

posted March 12, 2008 at 6:34 pm


Of course the internet promotes hatred for Jews. Every time Dave types something, in fact…



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Dave

posted March 12, 2008 at 11:08 pm


As if you’re not talking about U No Hoo, too.



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laura mushkat

posted March 13, 2008 at 2:06 pm


How silly! If you have a medium where anybody can actually be or make believe that they are anyone at all and nobody can retaliate except in words you are going to have things written where people who hate anyone or anything can write freely. The trick is to only pay attention to those things you want to, and ignore the rest. Some people who are Jewish and want to make trouble could even, if they wished, pretend they were anti-semitic to find out where these people are, etc. The internet can be useful for those who believe-know thine enemy and-keep your friends close but your enemies closer.
How anyone could expect only nice people to do nice things on the internet is very foolish indeed.



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Felecia

posted March 13, 2008 at 8:38 pm


I don’t get Dave.



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Dave

posted March 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm


Rabbi Stern is pretending that Jews at the 92nd St Y are busy listening to a lecture about hate on the internet. In fact like Jews and Gentiles around the country they are talking about the Spitzer situation, trading in the old 50 year old shiksa for a few new rental ones. But here at Virtual Talmud the Democrat-protectors have to pretend otherwise no matter how obviously wrong they are.
Me, I’m hoping she takes him for as much as she can and goes back to North Carolina with her kids and tries to make a new life for the four of them. Or if Hillary wins the nomination and the Presidency then she can run for Senator. Apparently that’s how NY politics works.
I was just responding to a personal attack. I believe personal atacks are banned on this website at least. Whatever.



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Chaim

posted March 14, 2008 at 11:33 am


Eliot Spitzer may or may not be forgiven by his family for his sexual transgressions.
What is unforgivable is he has given Anti-semites ammunition. All politicians, but especially Jewish should make every attempt to remain above the fray.



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laura mushkat

posted March 15, 2008 at 1:44 pm


Re Eliot Spitzer comment by Chiam-from what I understand ES is Jewish by birth only so I would not worry about that.
ES is now ancient history and I am beginning to think NYS is better because of it. But again, as far as the internet and the Jews are concerned-at least people who hate us can go somewhere and vent and exhaust themselves in their little world and actually leave humans alone.



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Scott R.

posted March 16, 2008 at 7:21 pm


The whole comment about the “50 year old shiksa” was lashon hara.
For shame.



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