Australian anti-Semite charged over YouTube videos
Police in Perth, Australia have charged a man in relation to the posting of anti-Semitic videos on YouTube. Footage shot by 39-year-old Brendan O’Connell sent waves of anguish throughout the city’s 9,000 strong Jewish community.
O’Connell took his viewers on a trip across the Swan River to a demonstration in South Perth being held by the Friends of Palestine, protesting outside an IGA supermarket selling Israeli Jaffa oranges. O’Connell told his “viewers” that he was hoping to find some Jews at the scene…and he did. He videoed himself harrassing two young Jewish men and creating an argumentative situation.
Keith Shilkin, President of the Jewish Community Council of Western Australia, commented to reporters: “News of the video on YouTube swept through the community causing great concern. Children at the Carmel Jewish day school have had counselling sessions…but we have had close liasons with the police who became quickly aware of the situation.”
The leader of the Friends of Palestine has distanced his group from O’Connell, breaking any association with the video-maker. Shilkin told J-Wire that whereas the Friends of Palestine had been very outspoken on their views of Israel and its politics, they had not entered into any anti-Jewish propaganda and had been of no trouble to the local community. He added: “The man has been a serial pest but the community was not overtly aware of him.”
O’Connell is only the second person to be charged under Western Australia’s anti-vilification laws. The charges relate to conduct intended to incite racial animosity or racist harrassment and carry a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.
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.