Eight years ago this spring, at the height of the suicide bombings of Yasser Arafat’s terror war known as the second intifada, I started blogging about Jewish and Israeli issues. This, of course, brought out the anti-Israel crazies. I came up with a corollary to Godwin’s Law to describe these trolls: “In any internet discussion area concerning Israel, politics, or religion, the probability of anti-Semitic comments approaches one.” (In fact, I’ve seen comments threads that have absolutely nothing to do with Israel, politics, or religion still devolve into anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing, but that’s a post for another time.)
And so, based on the thousands of comments and emails I’ve read over the years, both here and on other blogs and media sites, I present The Blogger’s Guide to Anti-Semitic Comments Trolls. Below are the some of the types of anti-Israel commenters I’ve identified over the years, but the list is by no means complete.
The garden-variety neo-Nazi Jew-hater: Yadda yadda Jews die, yadda yadda Jews suck, yadda yadda Jews control the world, yadda yadda bankers, kikes, money, world media, ZOG, yadda yadda, yadda yadda. These are the Stormfront community Jew-haters who have never been able to figure out why their life sucks so bad, so they blame the Jews. (Here’s a tip: Look in the mirror. It’s all your fault, bubelahs. There is no vast Jewish conspiracy that made you stupid and talentless; you did that all by yourself. Oh, and God doesn’t love you, either. He told me so himself at the last ZOG meeting.)
The Faux Jew: This one is usually fairly easy to spot. The Faux Jew is often a neo-Nazi fresh from a stint at Stormfront, where he and his buddies have just discussed what they think Jews really think. He comes to my blog to pretend to be a Jew so he can trap me with his wily Faux Jew comment. He adds “stein” to a last name that generally doesn’t sound Jewish at all. He will use “Moshe” or “Hesh” or “Abe” or another name that he thinks is typically Jewish. (For some reason, these creeps never use Murray or Harry or Josh. Oh, wait. The reason is they’re effing morons and don’t really know anything about Jews.)
The Faux Jew likes to pretend to be a bloodthirsty, bigoted asshat who puts up gleeful comments about the death of Palestinians. He uses the word “goyim” a lot (because he thinks that all Jews, when talking among ourselves, use the word “goyim” a lot, always in a derogatory fashion). Over the years, I’ve come to realize that what they want me to do is publish their comment and then say, “Right on, Fellow Jew!” Because, you know, that’s what we do. A quick test to see if your Faux Jew is Stormfront material: If you substitute the word “Jew” for “goyim” in his comment, the true (and ugly) face of the Faux Jew will appear.
Sometimes, the Faux Jew uses faux quotes by real Jews. A quick check on Google will show you that the quote is fabricated, taken completely out of context, or originates on a neo-Nazi website, and is referenced only by neo-Nazi websites. That’s your clue that the commenter is probably a regular at the Stormfront Annual Picnic in East Podunk, Idaho. (I hear the fifty spots for next year’s picnic are filling up fast; reserve now.) The Faux Jew will also use Yiddish words, misspelled and misused. If your commenter sounds like he picked up Yiddish by watching Mike Myers on Saturday Night Live, he’s a Faux Jew. Ban him.
The last strain of Faux Jew is a little harder to detect. I had one that took me a while figure out, but something about the troll kept sitting wrong with me from the get-go. The Faux Jews that work really hard at it will use Hebrew words and throw in Torah quotes. The dead giveaway there is that Christians will almost always apply the principles of the religion that they learned growing up—Christianity. Believe me when I tell you that to a Jew who is even semi-observant, it’s really noticeable. This type of Faux Jew uses Christian dogma without realizing it. Also, it’s really hard to fake being an observant Jew. The dead giveaway: Posting on Shabbat. That happens more often than you’d think, because most anti-Semitic comments trolls are not all that bright.
The Mikey Rivero Wannabes: Mikey Rivero runs the execrable and anti-Semitic “What Really Happened” website. The man is positively obsessed with bashing Jews and Israel, and he writes (and runs) long-winded, boring articles that purport to prove just how evil, vicious, and inhuman Jews and Israelis really are. The Mikey Rivero Wannabe will post long-winded, boring articles that s/he finds on various anti-Semitic websites. S/he is especially fond of reposting articles by Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky. The Wannabes have never yet gotten past my moderation policy; their comments are deleted as soon as I see the comment page scrolling off the screen.
The Intolerant Atheist: This comments troll likes to pretend that s/he hates all religions equally, but after the opening salvo, s/he goes on and on about the evil Jews who think that Israel should be a Jews-only country. That’s the tic that gives them away: They never seem to notice that there are large populations of Israeli Arabs and Christians right there in that Jews-only state. Nor do they seem overly upset about the Islamic-only nations in the world. No, the only religion that bothers them seems to be Judaism. I wonder why that is? (Not really. See title.)
The “I’m an Anti-Zionist, Not An Anti-Semite” Troll: This one insists, over and over again, that s/he has nothing against Jews, it’s just Israel that s/he can’t stand. While defending this stand, however, the anti-Jewish remarks always seem to just slip out. These are also the trolls who make it a point to preface all of their remarks with “Of course you’re going to call me an anti-Semite for criticizing Israel.” This sort of troll spreads out into the mainstream (cf: Walt, Mearsheimer, Carter).
The David Duke/Pat Buchanan/Ron Paul Defenders: It is absolutely astonishing how fast the defenders of these three stooges come out of the woodwork. It’s zero to Jew-hate in no time at all. The mere fact that I posted their names here will bring out their supporters in droves, and as soon as they get a quick look at this post, they will leave their vile remarks for me to moderate (and add to my troll file for future use; I never approve these idiots’ comments).
The “Just The Facts, Ma’am” Irritant: This troll thinks that civilian vs. soldier casualty counts are more important than, say, the number of Israelis killed and wounded by kassam rockets. The word “genocide” gets thrown around a lot in relation to the Palestinians, even though if Israel is conducting genocide against them, it’s the worst genocide ever, what with there being only a few thousand deaths since 1948 (even including the War of Independence) and the growth of the Palestinian population since then. Comparisons with actual genocides, such as the destruction of two-thirds of Europe’s Jewry, fall upon deaf ears with this troll.
The Really Annoying Moron Who Think This Blog Is A Democracy Troll: They’re not really anti-Semitic, they’re just effing annoying. They blather on and on about how the author refuses to allow dissenting opinions, when what they really mean is that I don’t write what they want me to write. And when directed to my No Israel-Bashing Zone post, they melt down into fits of incoherent rage. I suspect they all have control issues. I suspect that I really don’t care.
That’s about all I can think of for now. I know I’ve missed a few troll types, but I can revisit this theme at a later date. In closing, I would like to direct all the anti-Semitic trolls reading this post to the Yourish.com mantra: Anti-Semites of the world, just die already. Preferably soon.