Inside The Jewish Internet Defense Force

On July 27th someone hacked hacked into a Facebook group called, “Israel” Is Not A Country!. Delist It From Facebook As A Country!” Responsibility was claimed by the Jewish Internet Defense Force.(JIDF) The JIDF posted the following statement on the group page:

This group was one of the most vile, antisemitic, pro-terrorist sites on the internet. Moreover, it was the most active hate group of all, heartily promoting hatred, murder, and genocide while proliferating abominable propaganda paralleled only by the fables of Goebbels. While such content clearly violates Facebook’s own Terms of Use and Code of Conduct, provisions that users agree to abide when they register on the site, Facebook refused to take action. Despite thousands of user complaints over the course of eighteen months, Facebook allowed this group and its ubiquitous antisemitic lies to flourish. Facebook’s own negligence and abdication of responsibility gave us no option but to take matters in our own hands.

We wish to be clear – we have no issues with legitimate political discourse so long as it is contextual, comparative and truthful. However, when it comes to encouraging the murder of Jews and purposefully disseminating misinformation to demonize Jews and to delegitimize Israel, there is a moral obligation to remove the platform of such repugnant hate-mongers. Unfortunately, we do not need to search too far back into history to realize that such evils have a real cost in terms of human lives.”

In addition to posting the above statement, the JIDF began deleting the names of all Forty Eight Thousand members of the group. As of last check, there were just over Twenty Thousand names still left on the list. The JIDF would not elaborate on how they have been able to accomplish this on an on-going basis. There apparently has been no response from Facebook to date.

In order to get some insight into the activities and motives of the JIDF with regards to Anti-Semitic and other types of hate speech in the social networking arena, I contacted the group responsible for the hack. A representative of the group agreed to be interviewed on the condition of anonymity.  He related that he has received multiple death threats arising out of his activities in the JIDF.

What is the origin of of the JIDF?

The JIDF started as a grassroots effort at the beginning in 2000. Many of us were in NYC during 9/11, so that had a major impact as well. It began as a mass email campaign. It eventually morphed onto Myspace during the war with Hezbollah in 2006 and protesting the disengagement from Gush Katif/Gaza. Shortly thereafter, we evolved with the technology onto Facebook. Originally it started as just to share news and information about Israel and Jewish issues with a bit of commentary here and there. As we used Facebook, we noticed many of the issues began literally to stare us in the face. Anti-semitic and pro-Jihadist groups were springing up everywhere.

Why JIDF?

The name “JIDF” is a recent development. We liked how it morphed “Jewish” with IDF – especially in light of the contrast between the religious and secular world in Israel and the Jewish world in general.

What are the short and long term goals of the JIDF?

One of our short term objectives is to expose Barack Obama and prevent him from winning the Presidential election. In the long term we hope to expose and fight antisemitism and pro-Jihadist trends on the web, including, but not limited to, the vast array of issues on Facebook, Google/Youtube, Google- Earth, and Wikipedia.

What do you hope to expose about Barack Obama?

We hope to continue to highlight the issues surrounding his terrorist connections as well as his racist and antisemitic church which has supported Hamas and The Reverend Louis Farrakhan.

What is the position of the JIDF on the “Palestinian Question” regarding disputes over occupied lands?

Palestinians should be transferred out of Israeli territories. They can live in any of the other many Arab states. We are against all land concessions to our enemies. We are against the release of terrorist prisoners from Israeli prisons. We are against the arming and funding of our enemies and the negotiation with them. We are for morals, ethics and common sense and feel Israel must truly act as a “light unto the nations” in order for the world to be safe as we feel Israel is truly on the front lines in the war in which Islam has declared upon us

What has the reaction been from the Jewish community here and abroad?

Since the Jewish people are so diverse, the reaction has been diverse from full support to full condemnation.

What about the Muslim Community?

99.9% of Muslims hate us. There have been 4 viable death threats. These threats are not just from non-Jewish Middle Eastern community, but Neo Nazis, etc.

Do you feel social networking groups have the right to question Israel’s right to exist as legitimate social discourse?

Absolutely! Where they cross the line is when they spew hatred and promote violence, murder and genocide. This is happening on Facebook despite 10′s of thousands of complaints and reports.

Do you feel Facebook and other social networking sites are doing enough to monitor groups promoting hate speech?

Facebook has been negligent in this regard. As an organization it has completely abdicated its responsibility to its users. Youtube also needs to do more. They all have rules in place. They should draw the line when people are blatantly promoting hatred, violence, murder, and genocide. (as most of their own rules state) They need to be more efficient with their systems to monitor and remove this type of user-generated content.

How do you respond to those who claim your group is engaging in the exact some rhetoric and conduct that it criticizes?

We disagree. We do not promote hatred, violence, murder or genocide. We do not promote known terrorist entities. We do not misinform. We do not lie nor make up lies. We do not call people “apes and pigs” – like many of the Muslims do. We do not advocate the destruction of countries or of people. The list goes on and on.

Did you break the law when you hacked the Facebook group?

We absolutely broke no laws doing what we did. In fact, we operate with the advice of legal counsel and within the confines of the law.

There seems little doubt that Social Media is the new battle ground for social activism. Social Media is not only the new face of social activism, it is a the new face of ethnic and religious hatred and intolerance on all sides. As social networking groups such a Facebook have sprung up and attracted substantial membership more and more groups taking extreme positions on one subject or another have become popular. Proving this point is the fact that the “Israel Is Not a Country” Facebook group had over forty thousand members at the time it was hacked. Are social networking groups such as Facebook and Youtube doing enough to monitor groups and content advocating extreme political and religous positions that attempt to encourage or incite violence and hatred towards other groups? Are they simply encouraging legitimate social discourse? Contrary to popular belief there is no right of free speech on social netowrking sites. They are for the most part private entities not covered by the First Amendment. The sites have to the right to censor and remove material they deem objectionable. Where do we draw the line between incitement of hate and legitimate debate on religious, ethnic and political issues? Should ther even be a line? Many would argue that the JIDF encourages the same hateful rhetoric that it claims it fights against. Are they attempting to squash legitimate debate? Are they also promoting hate and intolerance? No one is safe. Let the discourse begin.

22 Comments For This Post

  1. Maria Dorfner (4 comments.) Says:

    Interesting article, Brian.

  2. Justin Says:

    I joined with the JIDF earlier this year. I help in reporting facebook groups that promote hatred and genocide.

    The JIDF certainly does NOT promote hatred and genocide. We want to live in peace with Israel’s neighbours, but almost every attempt to do so has failed. Egypt currently recognizes Israel, but their school text books and media still print lies and promote hatred of Israel and Jews.

    We do not want to be at war with anyone. We want peace, but our enemies will only accept peace after our complete annihilation. That is why the JIDF exists.

  3. Hannah Senesh Says:

    While I do not agree with many of the JIDF's political perspectives (i.e. on Obama, the way to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict etc.), I am all too glad to see the group "Israel is not a country… …Delist it" destroyed.

    That group was posting the most vile Anti-Semitic rhetoric on an hourly basis. I have samples if anyone would like to see them.

  4. anon Says:

    Wow, you guys really hate muslims.

  5. Eric Says:

    I’d love to see it. Since the country was only formed by self-confirmation, the name doesn’t seem to be very objectionable. I’d love to see the content. And I can’t help but laugh my rear off when someone writes:

    “Palestinians should be transferred out of Israeli territories. They can live in any of the other many Arab states. We are against all land concessions to our enemies. We are against the release of terrorist prisoners from Israeli prisons. We are against the arming and funding of our enemies and the negotiation with them. We are for morals, ethics and common sense and feel Israel must truly act as a “light unto the nations” in order for the world to be safe as we feel Israel is truly on the front lines in the war in which Islam has declared upon us”

    And then goes on to condemn genocidal viewpoints. Heh. So please, I’d like to see if they were really promoting violence… or was it just advocating support for democratically elected “terrorist” groups? The Israeli double standard is sickening, and the distance with which this group has taken it is deplorable. You can have a site supporting apartheid and land theft, but no one can debate against the legitimacy of a state that has (including prior historical kindoms) been around for less than 200 years? I suppose manifest destiny was a great idea, too? Cultural relativity and historical perspective are found so lacking in these arguments. *sigh*

  6. Dube (4 comments.) Says:

    Facebook should have shut down the “Israel is not a country” group a long time ago. Sadly, social networking sites are hugely negligent these days in shutting down groups that spread hate like this.

  7. Shimshon Ha Gibor Says:

    Thank God the JIDF exists. The JIDF has helped bring this issue to the headlines and hopefully Facebook, Google, etc. will now start to actually do something about the vile hatred posted on their site. I have seen many of these anti-Semetic, Neo Nazi group. It is pathetic that Facebook allowed them to breed all over the Facebook servers and (basically) forced the JIDF to take action.

    And to answer “Eric Says: July 30th, 2008 at 1:28 am”, Yes, the Arabs have 22 other countries to go to. Israel has one and that country was given to the Jewish people by God. As the commentators to the Bible state: “Why did the Bible start with God creating the World? Why not just start with the Jewish laws? The answer is because when the nations of the world will demand to know how the Jewish people have the right to live in Israel when it belonged to other nations before them, the Jewish people will be able to say, ‘God created the world. When He wanted to give Israel to the other nations, He did so, and when He wanted to give Israel to the Jewish people, He did so’”
    And if you actually knew any history, you’d know that the Jewish people lived in Israel before Islam & Christianity even existed. So please stop walking around thinking that Israel has been around for 200 years. You sound like a fool.

  8. The Fonz Says:

    Ehhhhhhhh, I just gots to say I really appreciate whats youz allz are doing, keep up the good work, Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  9. mak Says:

    Its quite clear both sides are as bad as each other.
    The group was legitimate untill it was taken over by fundamentalists… however does this mean all “israel is not a country” groups should be removed… CERTAINLY NOT.

    It is just a shame that legitimate beacons for logical discussion often attract illogical closeminded people OF BOTH SIDES.

    Shimshon Ha Gibor please dont ever say that israel has a right to be there BECAUSE of god, you just sound like a tool since there are far more *legitimate* arguments you could use to justify your viewpoint. God has no place is pollitical/international discussions in the 21st century.
    To say they have 22 other countries to move to is rediculous… that would be like the world telling all the jews to move to isreal… what an ignorant thing to say.

    As for the groups being deleted i will close with voltaire
    “i dont agree with what you say but i will defend to the death your right to say it”
    and for that reason, i feel jdif has crossed the line

  10. Brian Miller (1 comments.) Says:

    Hi, my name is Brian Miller. Recently I launched a brand new Jewish networking site called JewGlue.com (Where Jewish People Shtick Together). I came across your blog, and thought our site (which offers free blogs, listings, groups, and networking) could be very beneficial to you whether your interested in writing another blog or reading additional ones. We are brand new and have been growing at a rapid pace. If you have time, I hope you can check out the site and enjoy everything we have to offer.

    Thanks,

    Brian

    JewGlue.com

  11. Boris Says:

    Eric,

    You are missing the point. The JIDF is not one of those pussyfooting liberal groups that wants to sacrifice Jewish lives for the sake of various Arab “peace” fictions. The JIDF says outright that if it’s OK for Arabs to say “let’s kill all Jews” and be applauded in the media and around the world, it is also OK for Jews to stand up to their executioners. The double standard you mention exists because of people like you, who think terrorism is OK as long as it’s an Arab doing the killing and a Jew doing the dying, but the other way around is “sickening” and “deplorable.”

    Furthermore, historical facts work against your viewpoint. Population transfers have occurred with some regularity, from the time the Romans evicted the Jews from Palestine, to the time 12 million Germans were refugees as a result of World War II, to various later conflicts.

    In all those cases, the refugees were resettled. It is only the Palestinians who remain refugees, and they remain refugees by choice- their choice, the UN’s choice, the Arab world’s choice. Nobody says a population transfer implies genocide, except for those terrorist groups who want to exterminate Israel and the Jewish people.

    The same goes for land concessions. The West Bank and Gaza were won in war, fair and square, and its Arab populations should’ve been removed long ago- as Jewish populations were removed while those territories were occupied by Jordan and Egypt, 1948-1967. What’s fair is fair, and there’s no point in whining about it.

  12. Brian Cuban (137 comments.) Says:

    I have received numerou emails complaining that I have given an unfair voice to JIDF without addressing the other side. I would be happy to do the same interview with a legitimate representative of an Anti-Israel group-I am not looking for rants or giving a forum for anti-semitic hate speech. If you have you represent a group and can state a a logic argument, contact me through the contact form on this blog.

    Brian Cuban

  13. Fluffy Says:

    Boris said it perfectly.

  14. Deadly Furby Says:

    Good people will do good thing and bad people will do bad things.
    But, when good people do bad things, it’s invariably religious based.

    “Gods dont kill people. People with Gods kill people.” — David Viaene

  15. lino j molina (1 comments.) Says:

    la tirania de cuba es y seguira ciendo el organismo mas antisemitico del hemisferio occidental ,cuidado con ellos;shalom

    lino j molinas last blog post..Daily Games & Free Trials

  16. Anonymous Says:

    LOL @ comment #4. So everyone that hate/dislike Jews are muslim? Since when did Hitler convert to Islam? I sure missed that line in my history book.

    Islam: Believe it or else.

  17. Justin (1 comments.) Says:

    As it turns out, the leading members of the JIDF are actually racists. The following conversation occured between myself and another member of the JIDF.

    Justin: (T)eaching that we are better than anyone else is exactly what the Nazis did. We may be God’s chosen people, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is an animal, and frankly, anyone who actually believes that non-Jews are lesser beings are no better than Nazis, and I want nothing to do with them.

    Binyomin: Comparing the Nazis superiority claim to the Torah’s proof is a bit idiotic. When Rabbi Kahane was interviewed once the interviewer asked what made his assertion different from any other groups. He simply replied because the Torah say’s we’re right. The key difference of course which you must notice is that whereas other groups use this for some form of killing another group we never do.

    The JIDF and David Appletree are only against racism if it comes from non-Jews. I am now a former member, and fight against the JIDF. Not against their principles, but against their racist members. They believe that Jews are superior to all others. I remember an young Austrian man claiming that Aryans were superior to all others 70 years ago, and slaughtering our people because of it. The racism of the ranking members of the JIDF is an insult to everything the rest of us tried to work for. David Appletree is no longer a hero. He is no better than any other racist out there, and deserves no honour or praise.

    Justins last blog post..The End of the JIDF

  18. Yael Lieber Says:

    Both sides are not as bad as each other, as one writer here claims. The JIDF is simply a grass routes organization trying to protect and defend Jewish people from slander, threats and attacks. They obviously do not hate Muslims nor promote the killing of Palestinians (for proof visit their facebook group). In this age of political correctness we have been taught that all acts are morally equivalent– that the death of a terrorist is equal to the death of a college student, that a child throwing rocks at a soldier is the same as a peace march and that a security fence is apartheid. No historical context is needed, all acts can be judged on the same principal. The truth is hard to see in today’s world of instant media and we often are too lazy to search of it. The very simple and uncomfortable truth here is that there are well over 100 anti-Jewish hate groups on Facebook and many are run by those who claim to be merely “anti-Zionist” or “anti-Israel.” Calling for the death of Israelis is being anti-semitic, plain and simple. Just as calling any group of people “pigs” or wishing for their annihilation is morally wrong, xenophobic and dehumanizing. The group “Israel is not a country” certainly does refer to Jews as being less than human and regularly allows posts and commentary that refers to Jews as pigs, dogs, Nazis etc. That is not real discourse nor does it contribute in anyway to helping the Palestinian people. There are too many groups that seek to hide behind the guise of helping the Palestinian people, but really aim to spread hatred of Jews. Palestinians are truly one of the most manipulated and used group of people in the world, their cause is taken on by the worst of the worst (Hezbollah, Hamas etc.) People with no interest in doing anything more than keeping them in a perpetual state of violence and poverty, while they spread their hatred, deflect attention away from their corruption and collect their UN monies.

    Unfortunately this Newsvine article certainly got it wrong. For starters, the author didn’t bother to even interview the people from “Israel is not a Country” group. Maybe he could have learned something about their motivations if he had even bothered to look at their Facebook site and read some of their posts. Also our valiant reporter didn’t even search/investigate the “Delist Israel is not a country” Facebook site and read there posts and commentary as a comparison point. It is this type of shoddy “reporting” that encourages people to pass lazy and biased judgments about those “crazy Zionists” and their plots to take over the world.

    Thank you for making me feel even more negative about the field of journalism and what it has become—propaganda.

  19. John Sullivan (10 comments.) Says:

    What saddens me most is HATE in general in any form. I can see both sides but I don’t see any cause that would make you HATE another human being. In my world there are no guns and murder.There’s Love Peace and Joy.
    Maybe next time..because that is the world I wanted to come into.

    As a blogger I only wish I could write on this level.
    Something to strive for.This is excellent work Thanks

    John Sullivans last blog post..I like Obama but he’s an idiot on this one

  20. I'm shocked Says:

    Jesus Christ! I'm shocked, he says that Palestinians should be removed to other Arab countries? Unlike Jews, not all Arab speaking people are alike. In fact these "Palestinians" are the "Jews of old" and they simply converted to Christianity or Islam, real history sucks doesn't it?
    I suppose Palestinians wouldn't fight Jews if they weren't colonists from Poland!

    I'm shocked's Recent post…null

  21. truth ts not hate Says:

    Who gives you the right in this country to defend or force on us anything? This sounds to me like a Zionist front. Your trying to inhibit our freedom of speech here in America. You people pulled this off in Germany and other countries. Perhaps the Talmud should be band and any one who teaches from it deported. It is the most hateful book I've ever read. I'm sure you wont post my comments, because this is the information you like to keep hidden (truth). I have to laugh in Israel you don't allow race mixing ,why is that?
    But here in the US you promote it and call it racist if you disagree. Sounds to me you have an agenda.

  22. bcuban Says:

    I couldn't care less about your opinion on something I wrote two years ago but consider it posted..

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  2. Jenn’s Other Blog » Blog Archive » Web 2.0 - The Latest Front in the War on Terror Says:

    [...] According to the JIDF, it is acting “with the advice of legal counsel and within the confines of the law.” [...]

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