The Jerusalem Post is the media sponsor of the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards. I’ve written in the past about the overload (90-95%) of right-wing pro-Israel blogs nominated in JIBA’s political categories. I’ve also written critically of the Jerusalem Post’s involvement in the program. Today, I’d like to ask why the Jerusalem Post tacitly endorses racist speech by featuring, in the JIB Awards, blogs redolent with anti-Arab hate?
I recently read a critique of Pajamas Media’s failure to create a successful advertising program. One point raised was that many advertisers are leery of associating themselves with blogs which feature (even in the comments section) abuse, insult, invective, racism and verbal threats. I presume that JP has considered this issue and feels it is not important. But I think it is.
Let’s look at one of the megablogs: Little Green Footballs. Here’s what a generally positive (undeservedly so in my opinion) review of the site at Wikipedia said on this subject:
…Critics have interpreted Johnson’s selective posting and retitling of news items related to Islam (e.g., “AP Reveals: Arabs Hate America, Israel”) as a form of hate speech .
Others point to the hyperbolic language…and dehumanizing slurs employed by some commenters (e.g., “Paleosimians,” “Oil Ticks,” “koranimals,” “ragheads”) and charge the webmaster with encouraging groupthink, jingoism, and Islamophobia.
And to bring Wikipedia up to date, here are a few recent headlines at LGF:
Muslim Gang Runs UK Prison
Palestinians Choose Terror (about Hamas’ election victory)
Palestinian Civil War Watch (about friction between Hamas and Fatah)
Hamas Will Keep on Killin’ (about Hamas’ refusal to renounce violence)
Flying Pig Moment of the Day (a demeaning reference to the Muslim custom of not eating pork)
345 Killed in Annual Sacrifice (“It’s time for the annual human sacrifice at the Hajj pilgrimage, as this year’s Hajj stampede kills hundreds during the “Stoning the Devil” ritual…”)
Jihadis Increasing the Kill Rate (“The global jihad’s latest tactic deliberately plays on the West’s worst fears: HIV Bombers.”)
Killed Because He Wouldn’t Convert to Islam
Interview with the Murder Mom (about an interview with a Palestinian mother whose sons became suicide bombers)
But let’s not stop with LGF. Let’s talk about the JIB Awards-nominated Atlas Shrugs, which features a B-52 bomber with the caption: “Take back Jerusalem. Bring on the B-52s” (a ‘jocular’ call for the extermination of Jerusalem’s Arab population).
Here’s some “wisdom” from the JIBA-nominated, Protein Wisdom:
…Exploding Arabs absolutely cannot be good for the environment — what with all that heat and those burning chemicals and what not.
Which means the Jews are to blame for the CO2 blanket, as well — which in turn is responsible for killing furry forest dwellers of all stripes.
A banner spotted at yesterday’s “peace march” in D.C.: “Jews: killers of all things cuddly!”
(Okay, so I made that up. But mark my words: it’s coming…)
And how about Only in Israel’s ‘fabulous’ Rachel Corrie pancake jokes (about the International Solidarity Movement activist murdered by an Israeli bulldozer driver).
So what gives, Jerusalem Post? Derek Fattal, the Post’s director of internet services provided this disclaimer to me:
Inclusion in the competition does not suggest any support for the content – whatever its political viewpoint or religious persausion – by The Jerusalem Post.
Thus the claim is that the blogs’ content has nothing to do with the Post, even though the JIB Awards highlight and promote the very same blogs? The links to these blogs at the Post’s website send new readers their way and advance their hate-filled agenda. If the Post promotes them then how far are we from saying you endorse them? And what does that say about the editorial slant of this newspaper? Derek also wrote to me that the Post holds pretty much to a straight down the center political line. Would you mind explaining to me how promoting these blogs through the JIB Awards gibes with a “centrist” editorial outlook? Perhaps a slight contradiction?
If there was some ideological balance within the political categories I might buy the Post’s disclaimer that it doesn’t endorse the views of any individual blog. But with almost universal right-wing blogs (in the political categories) it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that these blogs promote a vision of pro-Israel advocacy and anti-Arab hysteria in accord with the Post’s.
I’ll be writing to Derek to ask if he wishes to response to this post on behalf of the Post.
Finally, I wonder what the Post makes of its partner and founder of the JIB Awards, Aussie Dave, when he calls critics like this one “dickhead.” Well, actually he didn’t quite come out and say it but we’ll let him speak for himself below and you can be the judge. In a feeble attempt at mockery, he often calls me “Dick” or “Silverstein” to which I replied that those were not names of address I find acceptable. This was his ‘charming’ response:
“Dick and Silverstein are your names. I do not see the need to refer to you by your first name…So deal with it. Just be thankful I don’t give you the middle name “head.”
And while we’re at it, why not mention this little taunt:
That’s nice DICK
So I’d ask the Post, don’t you feel such juvenile behavior reflects poorly not only on the sadsack himself, but on the JIB Awards and by extension the Post?