Anti-Semitism and ‘cognitive infiltrators’

The lefty Common Dreams website claims to have conducted an investigation revealing that "more than a thousand" anti-Semitic comments posted to the site over the past two years "were written with a deceptive purpose by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the website's discussion of issues involving Israel." In an "intricate campaign"—which he supposedly admitted to Common Dreams, although his name was not revealed—the busy crypto-scribe posted comments under the screen name "JewishProgressive," whose purpose was to draw attention to the anti-Semitic comments that he had written under various other screen names. If it all really was one guy, he certainly has a sharp ear. In response to JewishProgressive's complaints, his alter-egos responded with such gems as: "Oy vey! Cry me a river, you Talmudic parasite. Direct your criticism at your sociopathic tribe of money-grubbers, warmongers, and land thieves." And: "There are reasons beyond mere 'anti-Semitism' why these people were kicked out of 109 countries. You don't elicit that degree of anger and hostility from host populations without significantly contributing to the problem through your antisocial, predatory behavior." And, apparently fearing that readers might be getting wise, he had one of his own characters speculate that the Jew-hating posts were an "elaborate Hasbara setup." The deceitful trolling is said to have cost Common Dreams much money in donations. The ruse was uncovered by comparing the IP addresses of posters.

If Common Dreams is telling us the truth and the claim isn't itself a part of some "intricate campaign" (we certainly don't want to believe that, but when things get this "intricately" cynical, who knows?), an actual "cognitive infiltrator" seems to have been outed. Whether he was an actual paid Israel agent (as we suspect the cruder propagandists for the Eritrean dictatorship who have posted endlessly to this website are in fact paid agents) or a strictly freelance hasbara operative makes little difference. It is certainly profoundly counter-productive from the standpoint of Jewish enlightened self-interest. Even assuming Israel has an army of paid crypto-scribes out there littering the Internet with such pollution, it must account for but an infinitesimal fraction of all the authentic Jew-hatred that is evidenced every day in the headlines—and on my Facebook feed. Was it paid Israeli agents who vandalized synagogues and painted swastikas on Jewish-owned shops in Rome and Paris last month? Is it Israeli agents who run websites like the hateful Metapedia? Was it Israeli agents who left the innumerable anti-Semitic comments on this website? Zero reason to believe that, but now every anti-Semite can make the accusation more plausibly. The proverbial boy who cried wolf.

Way to go, hasbara troll.

  1. FBI busts Internet troll

    A prefect illustration of the utter dystopia that is the Internet. Joshua Goldberg of Florida was busted by the FBI after he apprently provided a "confidential human source" (informant) bomb-making instructions, which he apparently thought was intended for a 9-11 anniversary attack in Kansas City, Mo. It was then revealed that Goldberg had been trolling mutliple websites under multiple identities—neo-Nazi, jihadist, radical feminist, all spewing ugly anti-Semitic verbiage. (Is he the same guy referenced above by Common Dreams, or just a like-minded sicko?) One of his tweets was apparenty re-tweeted by one of the attackers of the Texas cartoon contest. Was this guy intending to spur fears of anti-Semitism, and ironically ended up spurring anti-Semitism? Oy vey… (BBC Trending, Sept. 21; Crikey, Sept. 18; Daily Beast, Sept. 15; Daily Caller, Sept. 14)