In order to maximize exposure of this blog in the Jewish blogosphere, I’ve registered with a number of Jewish blog aggregators including Jblogosphere.com, JewishBlogging and Jrants. Each of them has been gracious enough to include my feed in their directory of Jewish blogs. I don’t get a huge amount of traffic from them but I get enough to find them a useful tool to disseminate my work and I appreciate the service they provide.
I also registered at a fourth aggregator, JBlogCentral, which is sponsored by IsraelForum. Oddly enough, I noted that after submitting my blog and seeing my posts display there they stopped appearing. So I submitted again and they resumed displaying on the site. And then they stopped again. When I searched the site for my posts using Google I could find them using Cache, but I got an error using the regular Google site link saying the page was no longer available.
When you’ve dealt with Jewish right-wingers as long as I have you can smell a rat a mile off and I sure smelled one. I did some research and discovered that IsraelForum is one of those right-wing pro-Israel sites. It tried to host a Jewish blogging award this year and got into such controversy with the original founder of the award that he withdrew approval for them to use the original name of the competition.
So I had a pretty good suspicion that I’d been blackballed for not being sufficiently “pro-Israel” enough for inclusion in the blog directory (the site does note in several places that it is “pro-Israel” by which they really mean they support a hard-right political agenda). Just for the hell of it, I thought I’d check the site rules to see which one I’d “violated.” Here’s all they say on the matter:
How do we decide which blogs to include in our service?
We have no particular policy, other than trying to avoid blogs that promote hate, illegal activities, adult content, etc. But we cannot guarantee that we will be 100% successful at our attempts to avoid such content. We rely on our readers to report content that is clearly inappropriate.
So either I “promote hate, illegal activities or adult content.” We can safely ditch the last item. I think we can safely ditch the second one as well. But “promoting hate”…not that’s an interesting one. Does a progressive Zionist blogger “promote hate” of Israel? Hmmm. Hard to wrap my mind around that one. And just what is it about my blog that merits exclusion from a site which purports in its name “JBlog Central” to be a central repository of Jewish blogging. Maybe they should change their name to “JBlog Not-So-Central?”
So what does that tell you about the ideological orientation of JBlogCentral and Israel Forum? I’ve written to the site each time I discovered my exclusion including most recently yesterday. Never got a response the first time. Let’s see what they have to say if anything this time.
And just in case they rewrite their rules to reflect my criticism, we’ll keep a copy of the cached page so we can remind them of the arbitrariness of their own rules.