Financial Crisis Sparks Wave of Internet Anti-Semitism
In the wake of the collapse of major investment banks and the government's proposed bailout, anti-Semites are posting hundreds of anti-Jewish statements on financial Internet discussion groups.
These posts promote anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories that allege Jewish control of the U.S. economy, banking and the government and blame Jews for the country's financial turmoil. Some posts have gone so far as to resurrect Nazi-era propaganda with threads such as, "The Jewish Problem...They need to be stopped.." or comments such as, "The Final Solution 2??"
Anti-Semitic posts regarding Lehman Brothers, American International Group (AIG) and other companies began appearing in mid-September 2008, on the Yahoo! Finance group and other financial message boards as these companies' financial difficulties received increasing media attention.
Some Web sites hosting finance boards have been quick to remove offensive statements. In addition, numerous members of the finance groups themselves have spoken out against the anti-Semitism and bigotry.
On the Yahoo! Finance group posters have asserted the stereotype of Jewish greed to blame Jews for the collapse of the financial market and for harming the country.
In these posts, Jews are depicted as purposely allowing the financial market to crash so they could benefit financially while non-Jews suffer.
"Uswarcriminals" commented, "It's difficult, if not impossible, for one honest investor to neutralize the efforts of thousands of Jewish swindlers." Following the same theme, "Zimmyzee" wrote, "They've infiltrated Wall Street and Government and have ruined our country." "Hoghedge25" commented, "What is a GS Jew? Goldman Sachs? Jews are greedy, rotten slimeballs." "Liffaga" added, "They run Wall Street so they should be to blame. There is at my count roughly 1500 of them that should be in the penitentiary. Not a single one will suffer." "Horizon_blue" commented about Jews, "They love money nothing else, no faith or religion can be so heartless to their victims."
A series of statements that are part of the YouTube video, "We the People" blamed Jews for "enslaving" non-Jews to serve their own interests and greed. The video stated, "… the same Jewish bankers have been robbing us in this same manner for nearly an entire century now. And we continue to allow them to. Like the willing and loyal slaves that we all are."
Despite these efforts, the anti-Semitic remarks keep appearing at an alarming rate. Most of the anti-Semitic comments have been posted on Yahoo! Finance groups but similar messages have also appeared on other sites that deal with finance.
In addition, anti-Semites have begun to post videos on Web sites like YouTube, which claim that the Jews are exploiting the current economic crisis as part of greater conspiracy to control the country and to harm non-Jews.
Numerous posts have scapegoated the Jews for causing the economic crisis and have claimed that Jews purposely cause crises in order to benefit themselves.
These posts, as well as videos on YouTube, depict Jews as evil plotters whose only goal is to harm others by lying, cheating, and manipulating others.
Some examples include:
In a thread on Yahoo! Finance group that blames the Jews for the current financial crisis as well as the financial market's problems after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, "Richlynchjunior" wrote, "Jews are behind the bubbles which started from the creation of all these new speculative hybrid financial instruments".
In another thread on Yahoo!, "Farmerangels" commented, "jews [sic] do not pay for their sins. they [sic] only glorify their sins as they bask in their keen ability to lie, get others to kill and maim for them, and partner with the psychopath gentiles...."
On AOL Money and Finance pages, "Youngmike11" pitted Jews against the rest of the population by saying, "jews helping jews when do we Amaricans [sic] stand up?
On Raging Bull, a financial blog, "jacknorthernest" commented, "Alas there is nothing we can do. It is the Jews, the Jews I tell you...."
A video on YouTube entitled "The Court Jewsters" displayed articles and pictures of failing banks and companies while repeatedly depicting Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, as well as other Jews with the implication that they have led America into this crisis.
Internet Hate describes the rapidly expanding practice utilized by racists and extremists to place anti-Semitic, racist, and other hateful material on the World Wide Web. The growth of the Internet has enabled bigoted and sometimes violent messages to reach a much wider and broader audience than ever before. Consequently, these messages of hate have become widely accessible online - in homes, offices, schools, and libraries.
For years extremists have used printing of every kind -- books, pamphlets, posters, newspapers, magazines -- to get their message out. They have also tried to use modern inventions such as movies. radio, television, recorded audio and video tape and even telephone messages to spread their beliefs. So it is not surprising that they have decided to take their hate to the Internet. The Internet lets them reach millions with a click of a mouse.
Haters use the World Wide Web with its colorful web pages, sounds, and images to push propaganda attacking their enemies. Some of these pages suggest that violent action is needed. Old lies are reprinted and new ones are created. Neo-Nazi Skinheads try to sell the latest CDs filled with calls for "racial holy war."
It is fairly easy to create a simple Web page. Many bigots have. They often try to create the false impression that many people are involved in their activities. This frightens their targets and encourages supporters.
The number of racists and anti-Semites is small compared to the rest of the population; in addition, they are fairly spread out. Yet, on the Internet, they can find people who think like them, which strengthens their beliefs and makes them feel less isolate.
Because extremists on the Internet can hide their real identity behind screen names and addresses (like anyone else), they feel free to attack those they hate. They realize there is no way for anyone to know who they are.
This blog was created to shine a light on who these haters are, where they hang out on the web, and the methods they employ to try and intimidate their victims.