Anti-Semites’ New Online Strategy: Impersonating Jews to Sow Division

Aug. 26 2019

Turning on her phone after a trans-Atlantic flight, Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt found that several friends had alerted her to a Twitter account purportedly belonging to a David Goldberg and filled with anti-Israel propaganda. As a profile picture, the account’s owner had used a photograph of Chizhik-Goldschmidt’s husband—a Jerusalem-born rabbi. This case of photographic identity theft appears to be part of a larger pattern, possibly organized on the online forum 4chan, which attracts neo-Nazis, pornographers, and cybercriminals:

“We must create a massive movement of fake Jewish profiles on Facebook, Twitter, etc.,” an anonymous [4chan] user posted. “Since Jews shapeshift into whites anytime they want, we can do the same to them.” A slew of profiles began to appear on social media, most posing as Orthodox Jews promoting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content. In other words, these [accounts] with fringe views were created with the express purpose of stoking ferocious fighting within the Jewish community by highlighting its most sensitive topics: Israel, Donald Trump, and anti-Zionist Jews.

The 4chan user behind the movement made this entirely clear: the intention, he wrote, was to “subvert Jews themselves.” His goal was to “create infighting as righty Jews will accuse lefty Jews of being fake profiles. This creates more division.” The post advised readers how best to stir the pot: “You also have the benefit of labeling anyone an anti-Semite who disagrees with you. Use this to your advantage.”

Those who seek to exploit this tension seek to turn the American Jewish community against itself. They threaten to damage, permanently, the communal consensus that fostered the emerging state of Israel in 1948, as Jews worldwide rallied for the right to a homeland in the wake of the Holocaust. . . . It is on us not to give them the pleasure.

Read more at New York Times

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Internet

Why President Biden Needs Prime Minister Netanyahu as Much as Netanyahu Needs Biden

Sept. 28 2023

Last Wednesday, Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu met for the first time since the former’s inauguration. Since then, Haim Katz, Israel’s tourism minister, became the first Israeli cabinet member to visit Saudi Arabia publicly, and Washington announced that it will include the Jewish state in its visa-waiver program. Richard Kemp, writing shortly after last week’s meeting, comments:

Finally, a full nine months into Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest government, President Joe Biden deigned to allow him into his presence. Historically, American presidents have invited newly installed Israeli prime ministers to the White House shortly after taking office. Even this meeting on Wednesday, however, was not in Washington but in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Such pointed lack of respect is not the way to treat one of America’s most valuable allies, and perhaps the staunchest of them all. It is all about petty political point-scoring and interfering in Israel’s internal democratic processes. But despite his short-sighted rebuke to the state of Israel and its prime minister, Biden actually needs at least as much from Netanyahu as Netanyahu needs from him. With the 2024 election looming, Biden is desperate for a foreign-policy success among a sea of abject failures.

In his meeting with Netanyahu, Biden no doubt played the Palestinian issue up as some kind of Saudi red line and the White House has probably been pushing [Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman] in that direction. But while the Saudis would no doubt want some kind of pro-forma undertaking by Israel for the sake of appearances, [a nuclear program and military support] are what they really want. The Saudis’ under-the-table backing for the original Abraham Accords in the face of stiff Palestinian rejection shows us where its priorities lie.

Israel remains alone in countering Iran’s nuclear threat, albeit with Saudi and other Arab countries cheering behind the scenes. This meeting won’t have changed that. We must hope, however, that Netanyahu has been able to persuade Biden of the electoral benefit to him of settling for a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia rather than holding out for the unobtainable jackpot of a two-state solution.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship