This is a guest post by Hadar Sela
A year ago a blog named CiF Watch was launched, its mission being to monitor and expose anti-Semitism on the Guardian newspaper’s ‘Comment is Free’ website. It was born out of the frustration of ordinary people who were tired of writing unanswered letters of complaint and dissatisfied that their attempts to counter above and below the line bias and anti-Semitism were often deleted by the site’s moderators.
This unaffiliated, unfunded, diverse group of people was motivated to join forces and move from the defensive to the pro-active not only by the fact that a respectable mainstream media outlet was providing a platform where anti-Semitic hate speech thrived and multiplied to the point that the public vilification of Jews and Israel had become acceptable, but also out of an understanding that a society which allows hate speech against Jews will sooner or later turn on other minority groups as well.
Although CiF is one of the worst offenders, it is by no means the only mainstream media on-line news outlet failing to take responsibility for hate-speech in its domain. Social media such as Facebook, You Tube and numerous political blogs often suffer from the same malaise. With the advent of Web 2.0 communication across international boundaries has never been easier or quicker, and the promotion of anti-Semitism as a socially acceptable stand point and a means of delegitimizing Israel can therefore be utilized by anti-Zionist organizations.