Guardian

Richard Silverstein Gullibility Watch: The anti-Zionist “journalist” gets fooled again.


For those unfamiliar with Richard Silverstein, he’s a commentator and blogger who claims to be a Zionist, and promoter of “social justice”, yet has expressed support for a one-state solution, repeatedly defended Hamas, has described the behavior of IDF soldiers as “bestial” and subhuman“, and has even likened Israel to Nazi Germany.

And, while the work of this blog exposing his hateful rhetoric may have been partially responsible for his absence, since Dec. 2009, as a contributor at ‘Comment is Free’ (a possibility he openly acknowledged on his blog), his notoriety strangely hasn’t prevented him from being taken seriously as a “journalist” by other media outlets.

He has carved out a niche for himself as the blogger willing to expose evidence regarding even the most sensitive American and Israeli state secrets, without regard the national security costs to either state.

More concerning however has been Silverstein’s tendency to publish such information without adequately corroborating the story. 

Yossi Melman, a well-connected security and intelligence reporter for Haaretz, said of Silverstein:

“He spreads rumors without checking them.  He is an ideologue, not a journalist.”

Per a profile of Silverstein in the Jewish Forward:

In December 2010, he identified an unknown person who died in an Israeli prison, where he was referred to as “prisoner X,” as Ali Reza Asgari, Iran’s former deputy defense minister who disappeared a few years earlier and was presumed to have defected to the West. “Through a confidential Israeli source, I have exposed his identity,” Silverstein told his readers, adding that his information “would seem to give the lie to the claim of defection.” The publication led to an Iranian demand that the United Nations investigate Asgari’s alleged abduction by Israel. Despite the time that has passed, no information substantiating Silverstein’s claim has surfaced.

“He created a mini-crisis between Israel and Iran, which is a totally irresponsible thing to do,” said Melman, the Haaretz intelligence reporter. Melman said that he told Silverstein that the information regarding Asgari was wrong, but this did not prevent the blogger from running the story.

Further, Silverstein even believed, and posted about, an obvious faux-story published on the Jewish Holiday of Purim – when Israeli news sites often post nonsensical stories in line with the jovial nature of the day – from Ha’aretz, in which it was “reported” that the Israeli government was set to approve sponsorship adverts on the Western Wall.

The Ha’aretz satirical story included this:

The cabinet is set to approve a plan that would allow for sponsorship messages to be beamed onto the Western Wall, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office told Haaretz Saturday.

If the law is passed by the Knesset, any company will be able to project the image, logo or slogan of its choice on the ancient stones, for a price.

The proposal, drawn up by MK Mordechai Hidud, will take advantage of technology being developed by Kfar Sava-based start-up Kotelad. The company – the brainchild of U.S.-born Joe King – has come up with an innovative laser projector capable of beaming high-quality images onto walls, domes, minarets and steeples.

“After thousands of years of just being there, the Western Wall will finally be able to fulfill its commercial potential,” King said. “The religious and spiritual center of the Jewish people should reflect Jewish heritage – and thus be dedicated to bringing in a healthy profit.”

The Western Wall Heritage Center plans to open an ad sales division, and sell wall space on a per-stone basis. Prices are expected to be upward of NIS 1,000 per stone per day. When no advertising is running, the wall will have the message “What are you waiting for? The Third Temple? Advertise now!” [emphasis mine]

The Ha’aretz parody even concluded with “Happy Purim from Haaretz!”

Undeterred, Silverstein reported it as fact, contextualizing the story as further evidence of a corrupt, greedy Israeli society.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

After finding out about his mistake, Silverstein took down the post, but not without offering a bizarre excuse that he understood it was a Purim joke halfway through writing his post, but “accidentally” hit the “publish” button instead “delete”.

More recently, our friend Aussie Dave, of the blog Israellycool, published the following:

Wednesday evening [Dec. 28] Seattle time…Richard Silverstein went to bed a content man, having just revealed my real name and identity to the world.  

On Thursday morning Seattle time…Richard Silverstein woke up, perhaps brushed his teeth, and learned after going online that he was a laughing-stock. The blogger, who is regularly cited by mainstream publications as a source of secret information about Israel, had been taken in by a couple of mails from an “anonymous source”, an obviously fake Facebook profile, and his desire to do me harm.

 In his post…Richard Silverstein [purported to] expose my real identity, including my address, potentially placing my entire family at risk.

Continues Aussie Dave:

Silverstein’s post is the result of a trap I set to expose him as the unreliable, nasty amateur that he is.

For years, I have been posting about his hatred for Israel and nastiness, which makes a mockery of his blog’s name Tikkun Olam (“Repairing the World”). Recently, he was cited by the mainstream media, due to his posts blaming Israel and the Mossad for explosions in Iran and Lebanon, as well as for leaking online some FBI surveillance transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Although I have demonstrated on numerous occasions the inaccuracies in his posts, I knew I had to step things up a notch to really show how unreliable and careless with the facts he is.

So I set a trap. I asked a friend of the blog to approach Silverstein with “proof” of my real identity, knowing how much he wanted to reveal it to the world.

Aussie Dave continues:

David Loeb is a fake name. The photo in the Facebook profile I set up is of basketball [player] Jordan Farmar, who was in the news in Israel for playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv. I used his photo deliberately since anyone who claims to be knowledgable on the goings on in Israel would know this, yet using it would not necessarily expose the account as being fake. I knew if Silverstein thought the photo was really of me, it would expose the level of his ignorance.

I included in the profile my supposed address (Beit Shemesh was a great choice given how much it has been in the news), as well as the URL of this blog to connect David Loeb to it.

With the trap set, I asked a friend of this blog to send a mail to Silverstein with “proof” of my identity. 

Despite never having met [my friend] before, Silverstein eagerly took the bait, although promising to do “more research” (something he clearly never did).

[Silverstein] went right ahead and supposedly exposed me:

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Aussie Dave concludes:

So to summarize what we have here:

  • Despite claiming to want to “repair the world”, Silverstein reveals what he thinks is my name and address, potentially placing my safety and the safety of my family at risk 
  • Silverstein posts this on the basis of an anonymous source he knows nothing about, and a Facebook Profile with my URL and one friend!

I hope this post serves as a warning to all of those who rely on Richard Silverstein as a valid source of information, and place trust in his theories and “anonymous sources.” I hope it also demonstrates to you how he has no compunctions about potentially endangering the life of a fellow Jew, despite his claims of wanting to serve mankind.

This post is ultimately about a blogger who is regularly cited by mainstream publications as a source of secret information about Israel, yet is so gullible and unscrupulous that he got taken in by a couple of emails and an obviously fake Facebook profile. With this in mind, here are some examples of MSM outlets and noteworthy publications that have either relied on Silverstein or otherwise quoted him.

See the latest updates at Israellycool on how Silverstein responded to being so thoroughly duped. 

15 replies »

  1. LMAO (Laughed my arse off)
    ROFL (Rolled on the floor laughin)
    PMSL (Pissed myself laughing or pre-menstrual stress lifted)

  2. Editors, could you request the first respondent below the line to precis what he/she has written?

    Actually no need. Just the usual mad guff. Can be ignored because it has nothing new to add except yet further evidence of the madness of the extreme antiZionist nutter

    Another thought – Is that you Dickie Silverstein???

  3. In the (thankfully short) space of time Tricky Dickie Silverstein wrote on CiF he has managed to internatlise its most central tenets – that research doesn’t matter if what you are writing appeals to the antiZionist/antisemitic knuckle-draggers below the line, and if you think that something may be true then it is true because you have written that it is,

    These being the case, I am surprised that Tricky isn’t a more regular contributor. It can’t be because he’s too crazy even for CiF can it?

  4. There’s not much to say about this rant by the “American” (American white supremacist, black supremacist, Progressive Leftist or Islamic imperialist—it’s hard to tell nowadays, because they all sound the same when spouting off about Israel and Zionism), but there’s one point I wish to elaborate on, because a lot of anti-Zionists think it’s an open-and-shut case for them: The recruitment of the Neturei Karta, Ultra-Orthodox haters of the Jewish State, to their case. (In this rant: “FACT: real Jews are 100% AGAINST zionism” and what follows)

    I’m not going into this as a religious debate. It’s a long and protracted debate as such go, and CiFWatch is not the place for that kind of thing. Just for the disclosure, I’ll say I’m a Religious Zionist, one of those guys in Israel who wear crocheted skullcaps and form the core of Jewish revenants in Judea and Samaria; I believe there is no incompatibility between the renewal of Jewish political sovereignty in the Land of Israel and Jewish Law, even before the arrival of Mashiah Ben David.

    Now to the point. If you ask how you can prove the winner in the debate between Zionism and anti-Zionism within Jewish Orthodoxy, I’ll tell you outright it’s very difficult, but I’ll also tell you it doesn’t matter any longer. Why? Here’s a traditional Jewish story, the story of Kamtsa and Bar Kamtsa, from the time of the destruction of the Second Temple (69–70 CE), to make it clear:

    A wealthy Jew in Jerusalem had a beloved friend name Bar Kamtsa and a hated enemy named Kamtsa. Once, he held a banquet to which he invited all his friends, but disastrously, by human error, Kamtsa got an invitation instead of Bar Kamtsa. When Kamtsa entered, the banquet-holder ordered him to get out. Kamtsa protested, warning him not to subject him to public shame. The banquet-holder persisted in his demand. Kamtsa offered to pay compensation to be allowed to say. Again his enemy persisted. Kamtsa offered to pay for the entire banquet. To no avail: Kamtsa was thrown out, humiliated in front of all. In his great anger, he went to the office of the Roman governor and told the Romans that the Jews were rebelling against the Roman Emperor. And so the Romans sent their troops and destroyed the Temple.

    In this story it is clear that Kamtsa was absolutely right—until that moment he went to the Roman governor to set the Romans against his brothers. Until then, he had been the aggrieved and humiliated party, worthy of being consoled, whether by human compensation or by divine wrath poured on the banquet-holder. As soon as he put the Romans into the whole affair, he became counted among the most wicked.

    Let’s assume the Neturei Karta are right and Zionism is wrong. At this stage it no longer matters. Not now that they have had years of making cause with Arafat and the PLO, with Hamas, with Hezbollah and finally, with the nuclear Haman sitting in Tehran. Those of the Orthodox Jewish anti-Zionists who hold their anti-Zionism as an opinion but nevertheless pray for the Jews in times of war (as was the case during the Second Lebanon War) will be held righteous whether Zionism is right or not; but those who make common cause with the enemies of the Jews, much as Kamtsa did, will be counted among the many anti-Jewish Jews of Jewish history regardless of the rightness of their position.

    The Neturei Karta have disqualified themselves from this entire debate by allying with the worst of Jew-haters. Recruiting them in the war against Jewish nationalism (Zionism) does nothing less than devastate the arguer’s case.

  5. ziontruth, the Naturei Karta will be the first for the chop if Israel is ever overrun, unless they convert to Islam. Thanks for the anecdote but I doubt that American will engage with you. He/she/it is probably a bot and has already posted the same rubbish to another thread here.

    On a different note, there’s news on Twitter that Tricky Dickie has outdone himself (one tweeter calls him a malignant narcissist and I think that’s correct, at least about the malignant) and Isreallycool is saying that he’s been outed for sure now.

    Apparently Tricky Dicky was too lazy to do his own research, he was helped by a fellow lunatic.

    • Snigger,

      “…the Naturei Karta will be the first for the chop if Israel is ever overrun, unless they convert to Islam.”

      Not the first—like Silverstein, they preach against Israel from the comfort of their mainly American homes. But even in America the ground doesn’t feel so solid as a few years back, and those times all of a sudden the most estranged Jews remember their one and only homeland.

      “Thanks for the anecdote but I doubt that American will engage with you.”

      It wasn’t for him. It’s meant as ammunition for pro-Israel folks faced with the NKs in an argument (“They’re observant Orthodox Jews and they’re anti-Zionists, therefore ick blah bwack…”).

      • Apparently the great majority of Neturei Karta actually live in Jerusalem, where the group was established in 1935, with a smaller group in Beit Shemesh. You might have heard of the recent antics of their splinter group in Beit Shemesh, the Sikirikim – spitting on little girls on their way to school and calling them whores. Lovely people.

        And you may remember that their late leader Moshe Hirsch was Arafat’s esteemed advisor on Jewish affairs, which says a lot about how Arafat regarded the Jewish issue.

        All in all, it seems they only number a few hundred, worldwide, although you wouldn’t believe it considering the havoc they create.

        • “All in all, it seems they only number a few hundred, worldwide, although you wouldn’t believe it considering the havoc they create.”

          They’re not significant by themselves; it is the anti-Zionist media’s willingness to feature them far and wide (just about every time they give a coverage of some anti-Israel demonstration) that lends them their disproportionate clout.

          It’s like the Jewish–Arab Conflict as a whole. Consider it rationally: Why should this conflict be of any more importance to the world than, say, the conflict in Sri Lanka? The haters of the Jews and their state, sitting atop most of the worldwide media outlets, make it so.

          CiFWatch is instrumental in shedding light on one particular outlet among many. But there are many Guardians (of anti-Zionist bias) around, and they are all too willing to carry water for the Islamic imperialist cause. This will not change until the Jewish State revokes their rights to all activity within its jurisdiction pending elimination of anti-Zionist bias.

  6. “american”, Care to provide supporting evidence?

    Why don’t neteuri karta “jews” live in Gaza, live their complete “authentic Jews” lives in Gaza, complete with shuls, kosher butchers, schools?

    Let neteuri karta show the world how “authentic Jews” can live openly with “freedom and respect” under “tolerant” Islamofascism – or NOT.

    The “tolerant” Islamofascism that has brought the world.

    – videos of beheadings of captives by masked men shrieking “allah akbar”
    – honor killings of wormen
    – disfigurement of women
    – FGM – female genital mutilation
    – current day slavery
    – death threats against writers of fiction like Salman Rushdie
    – plane hijacking
    – flying hijacked planes into buildings 9/11/01
    – cruise ship hijacking and murder of wheelchair bound passengers
    – execution of gay teens – hanging from construction cranes
    – calls for genocide for entire nations (Israel and America)
    – bus and underground bombings in London 7/7/05
    – bombing of an elementary school in Beslan
    – bombing of embassies in Africa and the murder of Africans
    – bombing of churches in Nigeria
    – Mumbai India massacres
    – poison gassing of Kurds of Halabja Iraq
    – hijacking of the 1972 Olympics
    – murder of London policewoman Yvonne Fletcher
    – bombing of Pan Am 103
    – Arab kiddie shows where Jews are described as “sons of pigs and monkeys”
    – openly threatening the UK and Europe with massacres
    – death threats against cartoonists
    – death threats against writers of fiction like Salman Rushdie
    – murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh
    – 8 year Iraq/Iran war
    – destruction of the two 1,500 year old Buddahs of Bamiyan Afghanistan
    – attempted sneaker and underwear bombing of inflight passenger planes
    – necessity of screening ALL passengers for weapons/bombs at airports all over the world

    Happy Nakba FAKE “american” – I hope the FBI picks you up for a vacation in Guantanamo!

  7. excellent reporting. thank you.
    I too have been reading Dick Silvers writings as of late and am amazed that this hacktivist get’s quoted in the MSM. He clearly has a huge agenda.

  8. Robert, Silverstein is severely personality disordered and his behaviour would very probably tick all the boxes for narcissistic personality disorder in DSM-IV TR and probably some in other personality disorder categories.

    Malignant narcissists like him can appear “normal” and charming but are desperate for their gigantic egos to be “fed” by attention. They are also very plausible and sound authoritative, and this is probably why the MSM quotes him.

    Silverstein’s ego is paper thin, however, and easily damaged and if so he will resort to narcissitic rage if he feels threatened or his overweening sense of his own importance is threatened, as well as acting out of the sort we have come to see against Aussie Dave. Malignant narcissists also hold on to grudges and, once offended (and they are prone to feeling offended at the drop of a hat), never forgive or forget and often will plot revenge. They are very resistant to therapy since they storm out if the therapist doesn’t collude with their own overinflated view of themselves.

    Poisonous? Yes, unfortunately. The damage they are capable of doing and often do to those they feed off taxes even the most forbearing of people. They don’t inhabit the same moral universe as most of us and should be avoided like the plague.