Yesterday, I wrote about the strange case of Joseph Weissman, who writes the Seismic Shock blog, whose virtually sole purpose seems to be to politically cyberstalk Anglican vicar, Stephen Sizer, for his allegedly anti-Semitic, pro-Iranian, anti-Israel views. Wiseman developed almost a personal vendetta against Sizer, infiltrating his parish’s Facebook profile to send personal messages to members denouncing him and sending letters to groups sponsoring Sizer’s lectures demanding that they cancel his appearances.
Understandably, the cleric becamse annoyed and frustrated by this anonymous attack (Weissman took the identity of Mordechai Ben Emet as his pseudonym). After discovering Weissman was using Leeds University computer facilities for his online escapades, Sizer complained to authorities. He also complained to the local police who visited Weissman. According to Weissman, the police asked him to take down one of his blogs and he reluctantly did so.
That’s when all hell broke loose among the idiot wind British blogging right. Charges of violation of free speech, rampaging police state, “the knock at the door” phenomenon, etc. flew across the internet reaching as far as Melanie Phillips in the Spectator. He’s become the right-wing poster boy and cause celebre of the moment (lasting about 5 minutes in media time).
Turns out thought that good master Weissman is even more strange and complicated than I gave him credit for. Turns out that besides the two blogs he used to attack Sizer he has at least one other along with an entirely different fictional identity. What’s more, he outed himself today in a rather feeble attempt to diminish the sting of my post attacking him yesterday.
Several months ago, someone calling himself Yeze Yezekiel, approached me with information that an Israeli settler group, Honenu, was lobbying for amnesty for settler murderers like Yigal Amir and providing legal representation to settler terrorists like Jack Teitel. I get these kinds of messages regularly and this one was quite useful and interesting. I followed up with research of my own and wrote a post in which I linked to this fellow’s blog, The Rosh Pina Project.
Turns out I should’ve smelled a rat when Yeze told me that he’d published about Honenu at Harry’s Place, a vociferously pro-Israel blog which takes a shine to exposes of alleged anti-Semites and anti-Israelists like yours truly, who’s been pilloried there. I should’ve asked myself, what is this guy doing publishing there? I considered the matter and decided he sounded like he was trustworthy enough despite his unsavory affiliation.
Now, what I’d like to know is why Harry’s Place allows contributors to blog using multiple identities. There’s just something weird about that unless the owner of that blog himself was fooled. I somehow doubt this, since Weissman has published multiple times there under his Seismic Shock identity. The idea that HP wouldn’t have known Yeze’s real identity seems far-fetched.
Another catch for me was that Yeze allowed me to believe he was a Messianic Jew who was compelled to act by Jack Teitel’s bombing of the apartment of an Israeli Messianic Jew, which wounded the man’s teenage child. Here is what his blog says about its religious affiliation:
The Rosh Pina Project is an online meeting place for Messianic Jews and all those who believe that Messianic Jews deserve fair treatment in Israel and the Diaspora, and protection as a religious minority in Israel. Yeze and Gever, both affiliated with Messianic Jewish fellowships, are currently the main contributors to this site. The Rosh Pina Project will be highlighting the persecution of Messianic Jews in Israel, unfair treatment of Messianic Jews in the mainstream media, and post cultural and political reviews.
I replied to Yeze that I had absolutely no interest in Messianic Judaism, but that he sounded like a reasonable person and as long as he kept his religious beliefs out of any interaction we might have I didn’t see any problem.
That was the end of it till Yeze outed himself today and revealed that he is none other than Joseph Weissman himself. At this point, I’m really scratching my head and wondering what’s going on with this person. Who is he? Which is his real identity? Is he Joseph Weissman, a Jew? Is that his current name, birth name? Is he a Messianic Jew? Is he something else altogether that no one besides him knows? What are his motives for doing this? What is wrong with this person?
Clearly he craves the notoriety, as his blog is now littered with links to all the other blogs and newspapers that have featured his little imbroglio. There’s more than a little of the youthful, confused, passionate college student testing of identities and modes of discourse here. But there comes a time when this wears thin and it has.
Everyone who considers writing about this person from any sort of sympathetic angle–beware! We don’t know who he is or what he stands for. We don’t know how many identities he might have. We don’t know his motives or his real beliefs or agenda are. You owe it to yourself to do a lot of due diligence before you attempt to write anything definitive about this fellow. If not, you could end up with a lot of egg on your face. Buyer beware!
I want to add an addendum here: I do not know Stephen Sizer. I do not necessarily agree with every position he may take regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To me, that is not the point. The point is that Joseph Weissman does not have the right to engage in acts that may be illegal against anyone including Stephen Sizer. And Joseph Wiseman does not have the right to exploit and manipulate the blogging world for whatever strange personal agenda he may have.
UPDATE: Weissman also outs himself here revealing that he was born a Jew, but is now a Messianic Jew and Christian, and comes from a family which for three generations has accepted Jesus Christ. No wonder he has a case of multiple blogging personalities/identities. Now that we’ve cleared all that up I think the man is perfectly transparent!
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Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.