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Posted in: Anti-Semitism, Culture Wars & Censorship

Published on Jan 04, 2009 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

No Hate Speech Allowed

This Blogger's Declaration of Independence


For the second time since I began blogging, I've decided not to publish a comment, not because the writing is illiterate or filthy with curses, (I've jettisoned some of those in the past), but because, like Israel, I've decided that "Enough is enough." I am tired of putting up with the written equivalent of screaming street corner hate speech at my own blog.

I have had enough of those commentators who sound like Norman Finkelstein or David Irving, who cloak their Big Lies in sarcastic, intellectual sound-bites or who imperiously drone on for hundreds, even thousands of words. Often, they sound "logical." Sometimes, like Finkelstein, they pretend to great scholarship by presenting many footnotes.

A footnote does not a scholar make.

However, focusing on lengthy, self-important comments by anti-Zionists, America-haters, and Jew-haters is dangerously distracting and also demoralizing. This is a propagandist's goal. It is also the way a cult functions: By over-inundating and overwhelming its potential members with false information. Everyone must agree. Dissent is treated as heresy and punished accordingly. During war, propaganda manipulates public opinion with false information and false images and also indoctrinates people into a Big Brother-or perhaps a vampiric-like Cult in which each new convert in turn silences and recruits the next one.

I will not allow my site to be "flooded" by propaganda.

In this one instance, I suggest that this particular commentator publish his comments elsewhere. There are thousands of anti-Zionist and anti-America sites out there. And, for those of my readers who need to keep duking it out with the haters: It will not be hard to find such views expressed elsewhere in cyberspace, in every language known to humanity. Let's see if your beg-to-differ comments are posted. Please let me know.

There is a very hot war going on. There are boots on the ground in Gaza. Seven years of Hamas-launched rockets aimed at civilian Israel is enough, as is eight years of a carefully planned Palestinian Intifada characterized by fake photos, fake footage, fake claims of victimization, and by Hamas's use of Palestinian children, women, and the elderly as human shields.

But there is also another very hot war underway. I am referring to the war of ideas and to the propaganda that fuels it. Thus, I have decided to "kosher" my blog comment site. After surrendering to what some might argue are the the holy demands of the First Amendment for quite some time, I now realize that by doing so I was also surrendering my tiny internet space to hate speech and Big Lies. Refusing to do so will in no way hurt the First Amendment since there are thousands of other internet sites devoted to such hate speech, as well as much of the mainstream media.

Inspired by Israel's decision to finally fight back against terrorism, I have decided that I will no longer publish rank propaganda. Opposing views clearly argued–yes; rank propaganda–no. Diverse views, hard questions–yes; sarcastic, overly long, incredibly self-important, slightly hysterical hatred of "the Zionist entity"–no. A reasoned critique of American foreign policy–yes; a denunciation of America as existentially evil–no. I am far too interested in providing my readers with a real forum in which to wrestle with ideas–"ideas" not "factoids." I will not allow those who romanticize jihadic terrorism and who despise democratic Israel to divert my reader's attention from the matter at hand.

Please stay tuned for some very important Hamas and Gaza-related videos and a discussion of the issues they raise for America and Europe.


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