By Amy Zewe—
You may recollect that term, pogrom, as something from a history course in high school. Maybe you recollect that it is something bad and something to do with the Holocaust.
A pogrom is
…an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group, in particular that of Jewish people in Russia or eastern Europe.
While we all likely know of the Nazi’s genocide attempt against the Jews in Germany in the 20th century—the first famous pogrom in Germany being the Nazi’s Kristallnacht of 1938, which then quickly let to the rounding up of Jews (and others) for concentration camps and extermination, an ultimate pogrom. The Russian Empire and Eastern Europe engaged in pogroms in the 19th and 20th centuries. So, we see both Fascists and Communists employ the same techniques.
So what do I mean by a Social Media Pogrom? (Not to exploit a term.) I want to bring your attention to an article published in late May in Tablet Magazine by Eve Barlow.
This is her term, “Social Media Pogrom.”
During and after the 11 days of quasi-war between Gaza and Israel, Eve endured the following experience on social media sites:
I coined it the world’s first social media pogrom. The activity that Jews—Zionist Jews in particular—experienced all over the web was bizarre at best and invalidating, abusive, and dehumanizing at worst. Zionist Jews weren’t just being unfollowed for advocating for themselves and their brothers and sisters in Israel and Palestine, we were also losing access to direct message and comment abilities, having posts removed for violating community guidelines (while blatant antisemitism online almost never receives the same treatment), and having our accounts threatened with temporary suspension or closure (Barlow).
Eve is an outspoken defender of Israel. Eve is Jewish. Eve commented extensively on her social media sites, including Twitter, during and after the rocket attacks last month Israel endured and had to defend itself against. The result? She was trolled and insulted and threatened—mercilessly. And, no standards committee protected her or shut down either hateful individuals or malignant bots on their usage of the sites to hurl hostility. No community standards enforced whatsoever.
The mainstream media is skewed entirely against Israel and is disgusted by anyone who asks for sober criticism instead of a consequence-free festival of Israel hatred. I understand how their bias persists. The oldest hatred in the world was resurrected by a new ideology and the coolest cast of woke anti-Zionist pilgrims (Barlow).
Eve goes on to outline the online annihilation experience of Gal Gadot, who shared her own experiences as an IDF soldier and as one who advocated for peace. She also listed celebrities who have posted, unfiltered and unchecked, antisemitic or anti-Zionist lies or spin, or worse.
And this social media hostility—a bombardment of antisemitism, silencing voices of dissent to the current media and woke narrative against Israel…has left us with real life hostility not online but in the streets! To name a few of Eve’s highlights:
- Explosives were thrown into a crowd of Jews in New York’s Diamond District.
- Jews were attacked outside a bagel store in midtown Manhattan.
- Jews in a New York restaurant had bottles thrown at them.
- A Jewish man was hospitalized after he was beaten on the street in New York.
- Jews were brutally assaulted in Toronto.
- An Orthodox man fled from a car trying to mow him down in an LA parking lot.
- In LA Jews were beaten up outside a sushi restaurant by a mob who asked if they were Jews.
- In London, cars drove through Jewish neighborhoods as their drivers screamed “F**k the Jews! Rape their daughters!”
- Jewish synagogues in Skokie, Tucson, and Salt Lake City were vandalized.
- Delis have been destroyed.
- A demonstration in Vienna featuring people shouting “Shove your Holocaust up you’re a** was met with resounding applause.
- In the U.K., there have been 116 reported incidents of antisemitism in 10 days—a 600% increase.
What was the consequence to these attacks on Eve’s constitutional right to express herself and lend a voice to the issue of the middle eastern rocket barrage?
She lost work including two pieces to write on the theme of Jewish American Heritage month for a major publication. They didn’t want her name on a by-line.
Other publications and people she wrote for disconnected from her or unfollowed her feed.
She was disinvited from a dinner party because another guest didn’t feel comfortable in the company of a “Jewish supremacist.”
The morning after the disinvite she woke up to physical threats in her inbox from hateful strangers.
To quote Eve,
I saw the screeds of abominable venom bombarding me from every angle, and I sensed the walls closing in.
So what is Eve’s conclusion?
It’s rather logical
What will not free Palestine?
- Driving cards through Jewish neighborhoods shouting “come out Jews”
- Attacking Orthodox Jews in the street
- Asking diners if they are Jewish and then beating them up.
What does live online?
Name-calling, cancellations, doxxings, trolling hashtags, catalysts for violence, hatred,
… and desecrating Eve’s last name.
Think about what you can do:
Every individual counts. Every social media user counts. Every prayer counts.
Shavua Tov; have a great week.
Click here to read the original article, “The Social Media Pogrom” by Eve Barlow in Tablet Magazine