Posts Tagged “anti-defamation league”

Israel Parade N.Y.Normally this is the sort of offense I’d chalk up to the juvenile vandalism impulse and not assign it any metaphysical motive. But the nature of a recent cyberattack strongly suggests it was just such an event. The New Jersey Jewish News reports on the takeover of some Jewish Web sites (WebCite cached article):

Anti-Semitic hackers invaded the websites of 50 Reform synagogues before Shabbat on Nov. 23 with an hour-long video that argued that the Holocaust did not occur. …

The hackers appear to be a group calling itself “Moroccan Ghosts,” according to Jeffrey Salkin, New Jersey community director of the Anti-Defamation League.

According to the group’s Facebook page, the Moroccan Ghosts targeted synagogues belonging to the Union for Reform Judaism because they consider the organization, said Salkin, quoting the website, “one of the most significant and very extreme Zionist assemblies that supports Israel in America.”

These sites were all hosted by the Union for Reform Judaism. As the NJJN explains, this is not the first time the group has hacked into sites in order to promote their Holocaust denials. They appear to subscribe to a view common in the Arab world, that the Holocaust was fabricated by the Jews in order to evoke sympathy for them and justify granting them their own state in the Levant.

The folly of this view is clear when one realizes that Jews had been living in the Levant for many centuries; by World War I the British, who then controlled the region, had expressed the goal of establishing a Jewish state there. For Jews to have gone to the elaborate machinations required to “stage” the Holocaust, merely to justify something that a lot of folks (in the occidental world at least) already supported for decades by the 1940s, seems more than a little excessive.

The irrationality of this claim, however — as with just about every elaborate conspiracy theory that’s ever been cooked up — escapes those who hold it. Telling them there’s no evidence for their conspiracy doesn’t work, because they view the lack of evidence ironically as evidence in favor of it (“See how effective the Jewish cabal was? They successfully cleaned up all traces of what they did! What better proof could there be?”).

Photo credit: Johnk85, via Flickr.

Hat tip: HartfordFAVS.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Holocaust Deniers Hack 50 Jewish Congregations’ Web Sites

No sooner do I post a blog entry on a juvenile stunt by some cowardly anti-Semites in Fairfield, CT, than I see another story of a similar nature within the same town. The Stamford Advocate reports on this second incident:

Anti-semitic letter shocks, angers Fairfield teacher

Shortly after taking part in a workshop in November designed to help provide teachers with lesson plans about the Holocaust, Fairfield Woods Middle School teacher Tina Rembish got her own first hand lesson in prejudice.

Rembish was one of several teachers quoted in a Connecticut Post story about “Echoes and Reflections,” the training session developed by the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Shoah Foundation.

Four days later, she received an anonymous, anti-Semitic letter in her mailbox at the middle school. The letter, according to the police report, contained several quotes from the Bible regarding Jewish people.

There are any number of Bible quotations that have been used against Jews over the last two millennia, unfortunately. Among these are the so-called “Woes of the Pharisees” found in the gospels — but other passages have also been used for this purpose. Like a lot of other anti-Semitic literature, this letter presents itself as “news material,” even though it’s not:

She said the letter was titled “Bible Predicts Worldwide Persecution of Jews-2009!” and was postmarked in Stamford. It contained quotes like “Many nations around the world will turn against the Jewish people in the last days (today) — especially those Jewish people living in the city of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel!”

This letter, and the marred menorah-lighting I just blogged about, are not the only recent anti-Semitic acts in Fairfield:

Rembish hasn’t gotten any other notes like this, but it is one of three anti-Semitic incidents reported in town over the last two months. Rembish received her note Nov. 12. On Dec. 11, a transport van from the Jewish Home for the Elderly’s adult daycare program was vandalized; two of its tires slashed and what appeared to be swastikas scratched into the side of the bus. The latest incident was the menorah lighting Sunday at the green, which police continue to investigate.

I wonder what’s going on in Fairfield that caused this. I took a look at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Groups Map” for Connecticut. 5 are listed, two based in Bridgeport (which is the next city over from Fairfield); one of these is called “White Revolution,” and listed as a Neo-Nazi group. I have no idea if they’re responsible or someone else is.

At any rate, I have to wonder how foolish it is for this to have been mailed to a teacher in a public school, of all places. Such a thing was bound to be noticed by more people than just the person it was sent to; and the authorities will be more inclined to investigate it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments 1 Comment »