60 thoughts on “Aussie Dave, Anonymous No Longer – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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      1. For Lange this is a major story, one of the peaks for his blogs. Dealing with him for you is degrading. IMHO.
        You are helping him thrive by writing whole articles about this issue. We, posters, help him thrive by posting comments that don’t support his cause on his blog.
        So that’s my point- ignoring him is the best strategy, Richard’s work is great on it’s own, without the necessity to expose amateur bloggers.

        1. You and my wife think alike and have a point. All I can say is that when you blog as long as I have, there are things that to you feel intense and you feel you must address, when others less involved don’t understand your motivation for doing so. I am not by any means discounting your point of view. It is certainly valid. People just do things sometimes for very personal motives that may be hard to appreciate.

          What’s interesting to me is that I doubt a single commenter at his blog is saying any of this to him. Which may mean the quality of my readers is higher than his. Or it may mean that those on the pro-Israel right aren’t troubled as much by moral or ethical niceties as those on the left.

          1. It means that the readers of his blog are (likely) not generally as intelligent as those here.

            It’s a tabloid blog, whereas yours is a broadsheet. If his writing was more carefully researched, then I have no doubt that his readership would be very different… but still right-wing.

            Either way, like your wife, Trouble-Free, Quebecer and I have all been saying, you really should move on. This is a silly affair, a spat. No real conclusions can be drawn, and to outsiders (most people!) it appears a complete waste of time.

      2. David Lange
        Kiss my arse David Lange! You are what we call in the home country… a douche bag!

        *** We are unable to post your comment because you have been blocked by Israellycool. ***

        I’m long banned from making comment there because they are too useless to mount an argument of substance.

  1. The most troubling aspect of this is that whilst accusing Richard of being ‘anti Israel’ Mr Lange is involved in these deceptive techniques to discredit Palestinians on Facebook.

    The mind boggles. If the Palestinian cause is full of the genocidal maniacs they claim it is and whose sole aim is to annihilate Israel, then there would be no need for these actions.

    They can rebut any Palestinian lies openly, why the need for subterfuge and shutting down free speech? If any of the activists on the Palestinian groups do support anything that is unacceptable, or if they spread lies they will discredit themselves too, there is no need for Mr Lange and Mr Brotsky to decieve facebook groups into thinking they are Palestinian extremists.

    Besides why shouldn’t Israel be criticised for the occupation which is illegal?

    The fact that there are elements within the Palestinian groups that espouse violence or the destruction of Israel does not mean that pandering to them, and pretending they represent the entire Palestinian people is not at all conducive to Israel’s long term security, even if they only care about Israel and not the Palestinians they should realise this. Pandering to extremists is something the extremists on both sides do.

    The problem is within Israel the right wing is gaining prominence, and as it does, so the wrath of the international community including the USA grows.

    1. No, actually my first attempt to expose Lange proves that I trusted a source I shouldn’t have. You have to make decisions about sources. Sometimes you’re right, sometimes you’re wrong. When someone tries to deceive you you may be fooled. It’s part of the risk you take in doing what I do.

  2. I care. I think that David’s behavior is despicable and, if you’re going to preach hatred, you should at least have the guts to attach your name to it. If he was just some guy using the internet for accessing news articles or occasionally commenting on stuff he sees, I don’t think it would be all that important whether he uses his real name. However, his behavior has become threatening and when ANYONE’S views cross over into that zone, finding out their real name isn’t just getting even or nursing a grudge. The people in Dave’s life need to know just what kind of person he is. If he could behave that unethically online, there’s a very good chance that he could be a danger to those around him, too.

    Richard, I don’t comment often, but I do read your blog fairly regularly. I’ve been following this saga with David Lange and I’m glad you’ve shared this information with those of us who found his actions deplorable.

    1. I disagree. Ideas should stand or fall on their own, not according to the identity of the person who advanced them.

  3. “…I’m holding information in abeyance to tame their passions”

    Thats what is known in the trade as holding information in “button-down mode” Take your finger off the button, and “boom”. Kol HaKavod. What is it these bastards like to say all the time? “Yasher Koach”. They called down the thunder, now they should see the lightening.

  4. So why coulnd’t you have done this before and thus indicating that your investigatuive journalism is less-than-professional?

    1. As I’ve written here a number of times, I make mistakes usually when someone is deliberately trying to deceive me & I make the mistake of trusting them, which is what happened here. If you’ve never made any mistakes then you’re a saint, perfect, or a very boring blogger.

      1. Richard,

        You present yourself as some kind of I F Stone of the workings of contemporary spy agencies, with all sorts of people apparently whispering in your ear.

        So the admission that ” I make mistakes usually when someone is deliberately trying to deceive me” totally discredits all this work – totally wipes it out – since there is nobody better at, or more motivated to decieve people than the sources you claim. You are just a tool of your sources – someone who ” make[s] mistakes usually when someone is deliberately trying to deceive [him]” is the definition of a tool.

        Israelycool whatever his name is just a regular uncritical Zionist blogger hack of little note – your perusal of him is another massive mistake and really dreary and petty.

        But what you have to watch for most in my view is that your disgust for Israel does not lead you to whitewash its enemies in any way…please reflect on this since you have much to say, and you have on occasions been pretty careless, and certainly if you think youself some sort of principled pacifist to any degree, disgust at Israel should not lead to you write apologia for its mortal enemies, on the contrary.

        1. Re-reading my post – it seems to have a more aggressive tone than I intended it to have.

          Just to be clear I have read your blog for a long time and will continue to do so, though never thought to comment before, I think you have a lot to offer in terms of your views of the conflict, but you must get less shrill and try to take a broader perspective – you are often not being honest with your self I think.

          1. My earlier reply to you was based on what you wrote, which was quite hostile. I appreciate your follow up. If it’s true that you have read the blog and done so with an open mind, and not the mind of a closed ideologue like Lange, then I adjust my own comments & criticism accordingly.

            As for being honest with myself, that again is an unfair comment. I’m being far more honest with myself and what I do than Lange or any of those I criticize. Do you think Lange has ever admitted a serious mistake in his blog?

        2. Your claims are patently ridiculous. I do not present myself as I.F. Stone, though he was an admirable, heroic individual. The admission that I have made a few mistakes does not invalidate anything except those posts in which I’ve admitted such mistakes. Only hack partisan ideologues like you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

          What’s so interesting about commenters like you is the common style & rhetoric you use. You profess not to know Lange or his blog. You profess not to share his politics or at least to be neutral or moderate. You profess to read this blog, nay even admire some things I write. Yet somehow it’s always the same thing. I’m embarrssing myself, yada yada. I wish you’d go back to whichever hasbara workshop you came from and tell them to refresh the arguments offered. They’re getting transparent.

          You give yrself away completely when you claim I have “disgust” for Israel, refusing to recognize my disgust is for the policies of Israel, not the country and its people as a whole.

          Nor am I a pacifist. Are you embarrassed at how sloppy you’ve been in mischaracterizing my views? I doubt it.

          1. Richard,

            Look if have mischaracterized your positions on pacifism and Israel – I apologize. I am not embarrassed about it – I am just giving you my honest opinion of my impression of what you views are having read your blog for a long time, disgust with Israel and some sort of vague pacifism. You say these aren’t your views, I accept that, no problem.

            As for my views I am post-Zionist and would accept the Arab Peace Initiative, I don’t present myself as neutral or moderate, and I can’t see what I said that makes you think I have been to hasbara seminars.

            As for Isrealycool, I care nothing about him either way and have never followed his blog. I don’t compare you to him at all, and according to you, comparing yourself favorably to him is setting a pretty low bar, and there no need to. There is no embarrassment in making mistakes.

            Please – the only point that I really want to make is that your work is valuable – however – you need to take a step back.

            The temptation is, when you hate the Israeli government, or Israelycool, or whatever, to set them up as an enemy against who all means are legitimate, and that can lead in you into a moral abyss – this has happened to you on both counts – with the Israelcool fiasco really a microcosm of where I think you go wrong on ME issues.

            With Israelcool you made a mistake when you published the fake info falling into a trap of his making, but you fell into a moral trap of your own making when you published the real info. All bloggers etc have enemies and opponents, in my mind – and I think all reasonable people would agree – outing opponents who with to remain private is not legitimate – any information he posted seems to have already been in public records – he just facilitated its availability, this doesn’t justify what you did, he was merely an anonymous gadfly, and you should have dealt with him on that basis – he surely isn’t hard to debate, and his real identity adds nothing to the debate at all – it is not like it turns out he is a settler or was misrepresenting who he was, claiming to be a professor or something. His real name adds nothing, except to settle scores, (my guess is Richard that you will reap a whirlwind on this in the long term – read about Daniel Brandt and his outing campaign against wikipedia editors who he disliked.)

            Likewise with ME issues you fall into a trap of the Israeli right – who actively try to polarize the debate, by not acknowledging the Israeli mindset and ignoring without consideration the Jewish/Zionist narrative – this cannot be a useful way to proceed – it is fine to oppose, as I do, but peace required some sort of meeting of narratives, you merely respond to polarization with more polarization. This leads you into the much greater moral trap – of perhaps unconsciously aligning yourself with Israel’s foes Hezbollah Hamas and Iran and minimizing their problematic natures – perhaps only to facilitate some cognitive dissonance on your part.

            You need to be much clearer. Why not set out your vision for the ME explicitly – how do you see an equitable solution coming about and on what terms. Then you can judge your own words by whether they are consistent or not.

            Perhaps you view yourself as a counterweight to the multiple right wing blogs, but that leads you to lose your balance and fall over. When you find something to praise in Israel (you oppose the government not the state – so that shouldn’t be hard) slip that in from time to time. Likewise – if you find something deplorable about Hamas for example, write about that too.

            If you only write about Israel’s failings and only write to sanitize those of its enemies, you clearly are not presenting a realists view of the world, and people will legitimately ask “what would Richard Silverstein like the ME to look like?”. This is the moral trap, and you are stuck in it – you are goaded by the right into presenting an attack blog against one side of the conflict – which is extremely complex and has guilt on both sides, and you write to score points against the right, but because you are stuck in the trap it comes over as “against Israel” and you are pushing peace further away by causing polarization in your own small way.

            Why not fight for peace? Battle extremists on both sides and argue for moderation and compromise from all. In the end this conflict can only end in Apocalypse or compromise – fight for compromise, and don’t compromise your own own voice by falling into these traps.

  5. You make me sick. You are part of the problem in the world, not the solution. Putting a picture of a man’s children online because of some vendetta again him. You should be ashamed. Absolutely disgusting. You have lots to repent for this year.

    1. No actually there is no picture of David Lange’s children on this site. In fact I cropped them from his photo because I didn’t want to invade their privacy. It was Lange in actuality who displayed the uncropped picture of himself and his children. So I presume you’ll take yr righteous indignation & spew it on him for displaying his own children online.

      And while you’re at it you can add David Abitbol who displayed a picture of my children at his blog. When you’ve expended all that indignation in the proper places would you report back here on what you did & how they responded to you?

      And as for making you sick. Sorry for yr indigestion, but imagine how sick I must feel when I have to read misdirected poison like yours.

      1. Well you have indeed cropped the kids’ out of the picture, but don’t you think that by revealing the guy’s name and address you may have put those kids in danger? Aussie Dave sought to protect them from the wackos by remaining anonymous, and you deliberately stripped away that protection. Nice going, man.

        1. No more than David Lange’s good friend David Abitbol did by featuring an insulting picture of my children on Jewlicious until I forced his host to take it down with a DMCA notice which he actually filed a notice of appeal. Others have done similar things to my children online. I’m familiar with one’s childrens’ privacy being invaded. It’s a very nasty thing, but if you blog & some people don’t like you it’s the unfortunate price you have to pay.

          I have to weigh the nastiness of his behavior in the online world, the amount of deception he’s engaged in against others, against potential hypothetical harm that could come to him or his family. If he behaved according to the rules of sites like Facebook, if he hadn’t publicly bragged about his so-called humiliation of me, if he hadn’t devised his scheme to deceive me, he could still be anonymous. But you reap what you sow.

          1. So the reason you deliberately stripped his children’s anonymity away was because other people have done it to you?

            Tikkun Olam indeed.

          2. Dick

            So the reason you deliberately stripped his children’s anonymity away was because other people have done it to you?

            It appears to me that you are using David Lange’s children as an excuse to make Richard feel guilty. He didn’t publish any pictures of children. Besides, any journalist, blogger or writer who publishes becomes ‘public property’ and can be sued for libel or slander or any other unlawful conduct. In fact nobody online is anonymous. Nobody.

            If you write controversial material or do anything underhanded, illegal or unethical, then you do so with the knowledge that you are or could become public property. That includes you. If you write controversial comments or blogs or articles even anonymously, someone will out you sooner or later, and it will be sufficient to plead that it was done ‘for the public good’. The public have a right to know who or what they’re dealing with.

            That nobody can remain anonymous could be said to be the beauty of ‘free speech’ 🙂

      2. I remember that incident. The photo Abitbol used had your children completely cropped out. You did to Lange exactly what Abitbol did to you. Or, did you completely forget that fact? All the photo had was a little green football bouncing off your head. Does that help refresh your memory?

        1. So, are you admitting that what you did to Lange is exactly what Abitbol did to you, namely use a picture of you and your children, with your children cropped out?

          1. No, it’s not the same. Abitbol used my picture with the logo of Little Green Footballs, a green football bouncing off my head. I have never doctored any pictures I displayed of either of them to gloat or insult them.

          2. I would greatly object to anyone throwing up photos of my kids outside of documenting a social occasion, etc. Whether they add little graphics to the picture would, for me, be secondary. Others may differ, but I am not sure it is fair to rely on the distinction that you have drawn.

        2. Sorry, I hit submit too early.
          As a follow up to my first question, why is it OK for you to do that to Lange but not OK for Abitbol to do that to you?
          As for the cookie making photo, didn’t you admit that Abitbol had nothing to do with it and that it did not appear on his site?

  6. Well “Tikkun Olam”, roughly translated would mean “fixing the world”. Now I don’t if Richard fixed the world with this last exchange, but he certainly “fixed” something.

    1. Are you publishing comments at Israellycool asking Lange how his behavior online & in Facebook groups is making the world a better place? When you’ve taken him to task would you return here & post those comments so we can see whether you are fair or whether you’re critizing me purely because you disagree with my politics.

  7. Richard,
    I have to admit. I have been reading your website for about 2 months now. I do not agree with many of your political views, but have appreciated many of your articles. I have been enlightened to an extent by seeing things from a different perspective.
    But this spat? It really turns me off to your site. Spending so much time on this guy, caring dearly about the Facebook TOS? Come on.
    You recently got quoted by major news publications, now are letting a personal attack get under your skin like this? You are losing credibility and respect by making this a personal vendetta.

    1. Put yourself in the shoes of the Palestinian admins of Facebook groups he’s infiltrated causing all sorts of nastiness. If you were an admin & found out he was systematically sabotaging you & your work would you feel the same as you do now toward what I did?

  8. “He omits the fact that my address, phone, wife’s employer and work phone are published explicitly at his site.”

    Interesting. I have been unable to find that. I have found a couple places where they are linked to by commenters, one of which he condemned but did not delete, the other link to something that you yourself posted that he did not delete, and a link to your wife’s Linkn profile that he did post, but since I have no Linkn account I do not know what information may be contained therein. That squares with what he has consistently claimed, but it looks remarkably like you are shading the truth somewhat.

    Neither of you seems to be wholly innocent, but he has the advantage of 1) having strictly told the truth in this matter, as far as I can tell, which you have not, and 2) you are making no effort to remain anonymous, whereas he obviously was. Therefore, it is difficult to equate your actions in this regard.

    1. I have just sent you the documentary evidence you requested by e mail. They’re not linked. They’re published explicitly on the site. He knows that & refuses to take it down. I expect you to apologize for your claim that I am “shading the truth.” I am not. I expect you to also acknowledge that he has not “strictly told the truth.”

      And his underhanded attempt to use subterfuge & deception to provoke comments at Palestinian Facebook group sites…that’s “strictly honest?” Why should someone who misbehaves in this way continue to have the privilege of anonymity?

      I am not anonymous, but I absolutely object to dragging my wife or children into my blog activity when it involves political combat or debate on these issues.

      1. Thank you for your email, which I will certainly keep private. I understood your phrase “published explicitly at his site” to mean that he himself had posted these things, when apparently you meant that they were posted in the comments and he allowed it to remain. I think that it is a distinction worth making, but I will withdraw my suggestion that you were being disengenuous as the fault appears to be my interpretation, not your intention. I apologize.

        As for Dave’s truthfulness, IN THIS MATTER at least he has been scrupulously accurate:

        “I reiterate that I have never myself posted his contact details. Commenters have linked to places on the web where he has, and at least one commenter (like in the previous post) has posted the details. I see no need to delete these comments since Silverstein is not anonymous and has posted these details himself. Furthermore, the commenters have not expressed any desire to harm him, which I would utterly condemn.
        Nor have I published his wife’s employer’s phone number. I have linked to her LinkedIn profile.”

        Personally, I think that he is splitting hairs here. While he is technically correct that you yourself published the information, the fact that you did so on another forum devoted to technical support means that he should not treat it as if you had published it here, which is how he treats it. I think that linking to your wife’s information was uncalled for, as well. So, he is hardly innocent in this affair, and it appears that you were sorely provoked. Still, I might venture to suggest that your use of your real name, your location, and your political leanings (If I understand them correctly) compared to his much greater desire for anonymity, combined with his location and political leanings, means that publishing his information was a more serious affair then his actions – one is unlikely to face violence by criticizing Israel from the US, while, as the last decade has demonstrated, arousing the ire of Muslims can be pretty dangerous.

        As for his actions on other boards, I have not investigated those, so I can make no judgements. Depending on how he did it and how he uses the evidence afterwards, it could be quite legitimate, as a variation on a “sting” operation, or very dishonest indeed. In any case, his actions there are irrelevent to whether he actually posted your address online, which was the point under discussion.

        In parting I might point out that prior to yesterday I had read neither your nor his websites -indeed, I had never heard of you at all and had only seen Dave mentioned a couple of times on the Jawa Report – so apart from the fact that I probably sympathize more with him politically, I really have nothing at stake here. I am not even Jewish. however, it bothered me that you seemed reluctant to post evidence to back up your assertions, despite the fact that your information could be easily found anyway, and hoped to goad you into providing evidence.

        1. I don’t think there is a distinction to be made between Lange publishing a post with my contact info and a reader doing so in a comment. I see every comment published here. Ones that offend me or violate my comment rules don’t get published. I control publication of comments as does he. So if something appears here or there, even if neither of us wrote it ourselves, the fact that we publish it means we have some responsibility for its public display. It doesn’t mean we agree with everything in every published comment. But if a comment is morally offensive or threatens someone or invades their personal privacy, we’re responsible.

          You are wrong about the danger or threat faced by Lange as opposed to me. No one is going to harm him for what I have done. The Israeli left does not physically harm its opponents. I wish I could say the same about Lange’s friends in the Israeli right. As for my safety, crazy individuals threaten my life virtually every week, not to mention what they write about my children. If you think I don’t worry about this almost every day of my life you’re mistaken. I think I’m safe because the bullies who boast of such threats are blowhards, but I never know for sure.

        2. The money shot is right here, Richard :
          “…as the last decade has demonstrated, arousing the ire of Muslims can be pretty dangerous.”

          This is standard Internet fare, to give oneself credibility by couching one’s argument in polite, respectable language, feigning objectivity; this obfuscates any possible weakness or bigotry in the argument – don’t fall for it.

          Three things :
          1 ) It seems that you both have linked to publicly available information, and therefore, technically, there is no real breach of privacy, as anyone with a little time on his hands could come across this information himself with some searching. The real question is what motives one would have for linking to this information in the first place (infor on family members, etc.) – what is the point? The obvious answer is : to intimidate.
          2 ) If you are suggesting some kind of parallel between the actions of the two people here, this is highly disingenuous. Posting disinformation, inciting violence (on a Palestinian forum), and creating several fake FB accounts in order to spread propaganda is highly dishonest, manipulative, and should not be compared to what Richard has done – even though I think that one’s anonymity on the Internet should protected at all costs, if possible, and “doxing”, or outing one’s identity should only be done in extreme cases (again, which is not really what was done here, as all the information was publicly available).
          3 ) One’s “political leanings” are not relevant concepts by which to gage these actions, as they really have little bearing on what is factual and what is invented, or fantasy. There is only the truth, to be uncovered, and this cannot be explained away by any political agendas. If this person is indeed worried for his personal safety, this is unfortunate, but he is risking little by expressing these views if he indeed lives inside Israel, where Richard says he does, and he should probably stop vigorously supporting a movement which puts many people in Israel directly in harm’s way, both Palestinians and Israelis, by wrongly appropriating territory and treating non-European descendants as less than human.

          The online hasbara campaign has really become quite laughable, like a cornered animal lashing out in any way possible, which is too bad because it sometimes forces what are otherwise good people into intellectual contortions by defending the indefensible. People would do better to use their energies in more productive ways.

  9. Aye – I’m not usually keen on name & shame, but it’s merited for David Lange, and any other cyberbullies of his ilk.

    I’ve never understood why right-wing activists behave that way, really: surely when they have to resort to trollery, and trying to trick pro-peace activists into saying something regrettable, they must know they themselves have no case?

    I hope you’re well Richard.

  10. I have unfriended you on facebook over this.

    I think you crossed a line in publishing the private details of someone with whom you disagree. I absolutely do not agree with Aussie Dave regarding his politics, or his tactics. But I cannot be associated with such poor behavior as yours.

    I have followed you blog for some time, and I find it interesting to get another perspective. Although I have grown weary of the sensationalism. And ultimately I think your message is divisive.

    I hope that you take the blog post of Aussie Dave down.

    1. Sounds to me like you’re a liberal Zionist slummin’ through the demimonde. Though I’m happy to have readers of all ideological stripes, ultimately what I do here isn’t tame enough for people like you. Sorry, but the world out there (esp. in Israel) isn’t tame, isn’t pretty. There are lots of nasty things going on & nasty people like David Lange. I believe people should reap what they sow & Lange has sown nothing but vicious smears for years against me and many others.

      BTW, did you know he published a post based on a personal briefing with the IDF in which he claimed a Palestinian girl who’d actually died by IDF teargas overdose had died instead from cancer & that she wasn’t even at the protest where she was killed? Did you know he uses common Islamophobic terms like “Pallywood” to refer to Palestinians? This doesn’t bother you I suppose? And if someone like Lange exposed the identity of your husband because he wanted to get revenge against you, I suppose you’d turn the other cheek & take the high road?

      I think your comment reeks of fake self-righeousness. I agree that this may not be the place for you. But if you change your mind & free yrself of some of yr liberal Zionist limitations, you’re always welcome to return.

  11. For the record I don’t agree with that EEF woman, who promotes the anonymity of bloggers.

    If any blogger, writer or journalist is anonymous, and I feel he or she needs to be exposed to the public, I would do so.

    There should be a group that actualy campaigns for and fights against what her group does.

    The bottom line is, when you write about anyone else, that person and anyone else interested has a right to know who or what you are.

    1. … what? Why, exactly, do they have a right to know? There are reasons for anonymity, and I don’t see why knowing who the person is is important. You get the right to respond, which is really what’s important.

  12. I’m not sure why Aussie Dave even wants anonymity. It’s not as if he’s living in the middle of a den on hostility to Jews or Israel (at leastI presume that Beit Shemesh isn’t like that). And I don’t see that he’d be any more of a target than many other Israelis who share his views.

    Having said that, given the ease with which his ID was tracked down, it is amazing that anyone could have been so easily misled about it.

    In any case, surely the big debate is about his views not his name and address.

  13. Benjamin,

    Because the motivations have to be made clear to fully understand.

    Of course one should respond to the argument itself, that goes without saying.

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