The Wiesenthal Center advertises its impotence, self-importance and moral confusion
Take a look at this press release from the confused, impotent Simon Wiesenthal Center:
A quick responding Canadian Internet Service Provider (ISP) has closed down an Internet site promoting anti-Semitic hate after being alerted by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC).
When FSWC reported "realjewnews.com" to its Canadian ISP, its content was reviewed and determined to violate the master service agreement as well as Canadian values. Although the Canadian ISP swiftly and decisively removed the offending site, within days, it reappeared on another server, this time in another country.
The Internet has become a prime tool for extremist and terrorist activity worldwide. Nevertheless, Canadian legislation and its provision for dealing with Internet offenders is a model for international governance.
Comments Leo Adler, director of National Affairs, FSWC, "Our Canadian system strikes the perfect balance between two intrinsically Canadian ideals, namely, freedom of speech and abhorrence for hate and intolerance."
FSWC is calling for the formation of an international accord and subsequent monitoring to effectively and proactively deal with the growing viral phenomenon of global Internet hate.
It takes a lot of skill to cram so many bad ideas into a press release. Let's look at a few of them.
Let's start with the obvious: realjewnews.com is still on the Internet. So the first question is: besides putting them to the hassle -- oh, about ten minutes worth of pointing and clicking -- of switching ISPs, what has Leo Adler achieved? Besides another front-page item for his next fundraising letter, that is?
I know the answer: Adler has helped make realjewnews.com famous, by sending out a massive press release, drawing attention to an otherwise fringe website. I'll bet that realjewnews.com will get more Internet traffic today than it ever has before. In effect, Adler is the press agent for realjewnews.com, giving it more PR attention, and certainly more mainstream attention, than they've ever had. It's just what the Official Jews did for nobodies like Jim Keegstra, Ernst Zundel, David Ahenakew, et cetera. Take a look at the kook who runs realjewnews.com, photo at left. I'm no doctor, but he looks like he's got some mental issues. If he's a danger to anyone, it's probably to himself. Who -- other than Adler -- thinks this nut is a threat? And who is willing to destroy the freedom of the Internet as collateral damage to take on this kook?
The laughable realjewnews.com now has a sense of glamour and danger associated with it. Instead of being a laughable page written by laughable cranks, they've been granted a seriousness and gravitas by Adler that they never would have had on their own. I believe that's part of the psychological motivation of conspiracy theorists in the first place: they come up with bizarre, contrarian theories to explain the world -- Jews; 9/11; Masons; etc. -- to seem smarter than everybody else. By knowing how the world really works, they feel powerful and dangerous, feelings they lack in their usually marginal lives. It's self-deception, of course. They're just cranks. But Adler has just given these nuts tangible confirmation that their conspiracy theories must really be on to something, if those theories must be censored.
There is a certain intellectual dishonesty to Adler's own comments. He says Canadian law strikes a "balance" between freedom of speech and "abhorrence for hate".
The first element of dishonesty is that Canadian law had nothing to do with Adler's "victory" here. Realjewnews.com has never been charged or tried, either in a real court or the kangaroo court of a human rights commission. What happened had nothing to do with the law: Adler merely bullied a Canadian Internet Service Provider to terminate a contract with a customer. Why did Adler's release not mention the name of that ISP? Is it because he doesn't want his strong-arm tactics revealed, through an interview with them? What did he do -- threaten them with a press release denouncing them? I'd like to find out how he induced them to breach their contract.
But look at Adler's weak grasp of the concept of freedom. Freedom of speech means speech that's free from other competing values -- including other values that may well be important, such as "abhorrence of hate". But either speech is free from those other values or it's not; you can't "balance" it. It's a yes/no, on/off, free/unfree dichotomy. Adler believes in freedom of speech -- except for when he doesn't. Well, then it's not freedom, is it?
Apropos of nothing, Adler calls for an international treaty of some sort to "monitor" and "deal with" Internet sites he doesn't like. This means several things. Right now, Adler can "monitor" all the websites he likes -- he doen't need the government to help him. What he really means, of course, is government funding. He's a grantrepreneur; he doesn't just seek private donations from Jews (fools and their money are soon parted); he seeks gifts from the government. He's a rent-seeker, as economists would say; a looter and moocher, as Ayn Rand would say.
But what does he mean by "deal with"? Why won't he come out and say it? He means censorship of website -- a high tech version of Adolf Hitler's physical book burnings of the 1930s and '40s. That's a pretty weird thing for the head of a Holocaust remembrance charity to call for. Which is why he doesn't quite come out and say it.
I met Adler in June, when he came to my speech to a group of Toronto Jewish civil rights lawyers, where I was arguing that "hate speech" laws are immoral and un-Jewish. I pointed out that Judaism and censorship were incompatible, and pointed out the flaws of the human rights commissions. I challenged Adler to a debate, when he wouldn't shut up or sit down during the question and answer session after my speech. He later huffed "I don't debate liars". He was referring to me, of course. But it applies to his whole life: instead of fighting anti-Semitism or Holocaust revision the hard way -- the only way that works -- through more and better ideas, facts, logic, arguments and effort, he'd rather just gag his critics.
It doesn't work -- realjewnews.com just moved to a different ISP.
Which raises the question: what is Leo Adler's true goal?
When he came to my speech, he pointed out that Internet "hate" sites have increased from a handful in number ten years ago to 8,000. I'm sure he's not counting Arabic or Persian-language websites -- he doesn't seem to care as much about stopping the next Holocaust as he does about the last Holocaust. But let's accept his figure of 8,000. Isn't that proof that his approach of censorship has failed?
And so, dear reader, let me close with a question. Are Leo Adler and the rest of the Official Jews achieving their goals?
If their goals are to stop Internet hate, the answer is clearly "no". There are more hate sites than ever, and realjewnews.com itself is still flourishing.
But if their goals are to continue their cushy gigs as professional grievance-mongers, preening about their moral righteousness, enjoying their cossetted status as wards of the state, and sending out alarmist fundraising letters, well then they're achieving their goals quite nicely.