I’m not an aficionado of Internet activism. I don’t go signing online petitions thinking they could actually change the world. I wouldn’t have started this blog at all, but then, in the middle of the last Lebanon War, I realized it was a necessity: the outcome of wars is decided today by one’s media image more than anything else, and since most of the mainstream media is sympathetic toward, if not actually owned by, the Islamic enemy (which is why I call it TreasonMedia), pretty much the only way to circumvent it is the blogosphere. LGF’s exposé of the Reuters Fauxtography Scandal was one of the blogosphere’s finest hours to date, and should soften even the most hardened skeptic into accepting the value of the New Media.
So I’m online because it’s a duty, it’s worthwhile. I post here and on the Infidel Bloggers Alliance and on various other places because I think it has some effect. If I didn’t think it had any effect, I wouldn’t be wasting a single second. And that’s the reason why I decided, after more than a month of taking my arguments to the enemy’s home field on the Daily Kos, to leave that den of Israel-bashers, America-haters, Occidentalists (in the sense inverse of Edward Said’s screed), Islam-huggers and, above all, hypocrites.
They started by calling me a troll. I’m not that into Internet lingo, but as far as I know, I didn’t fit the definition. A troll is one who posts on an online forum for the sole purpose of exciting the participants’ emotions. Such as, for instance, someone who posts things like, “Apple sucks” or “Macs drool, PC’s rule” on a Macintosh forum. Though of course I realize my posts were offensive to many, that was from the very fact of deviating from the concensus on Daily Kos, not because I had any intention of riling people. Trolls often emerge as unassuming posters, not arousing suspicion until they make their first red-caped posts in front of the eyes of the regulars. I, in contrast, was up front from the get-go: if you clicked on my profile link, you’d know I was a Zionist Jew registered on Daily Kos for the purpose of offering a dissenting view on Israel. Each time I was accused of trolling, I insisted I was there only for refuting lies about Israel and Zionism, and that the Israel-bashing diaries were the only reason I was registered on Daily Kos at all. Finally, trolls aren’t in it for the discussion; their earmark is hit-and-run posts, dropping a bombshell just to sit back and enjoy the scuffling afterwards. I was a full participator in discussions, checking replies to my posts and responding to them whenever I could. As I said, I’m online for the exchange of minds, not because I don’t have a life and I need some infantile fun.
The Daily Kos definition of “troll” is something else. It appears to mean, “anyone deviating from the party line”. It extends even to real life: Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel were called trolls by the Kossacks when they condemned Hugo Chávez’s anti-Bush remarks in the UN (see thread Pelosi/Rangel Statements Send Kos Kidz Into Tailspin on LGF). This mutation of the definition of “troll” reminds me of the Communists’ penchant for declaring opponents of the party to be mentally ill (with all the further actions that that entails).
But those are just words. On the last diary I posted comments on, the sticks and stones came: I found a lot of my posts had been deleted. And that, as far as I’m concerned, means I could in no wise continue my participation there. I said my online presence was only for things I think worthwhile. I’m willing to dedicate 20 minutes of my free time for writing a comment, provided that its readership be guaranteed. If it gets deleted sometime, it means I wasted 20 minutes—that’s 20 minutes I could have used for something far more productive! I save my comments to a file, so it’s not as if they’re lost forever, but still—any online forum where comments are at the mercy of the administrators, whether by the prospect of deletion or by the necessity of needing moderator approval first, is a forum I don’t consider worthy of registering on at all.
I want to pre-empt a likely strawman: “Daily Kos is in private ownership. They own it, so they can do whatever they want; you’re a guest and you have no right to complain”. This is a strawman because not once did I suggest they were beyond their rights. I’m not talking about rights here at all, I’m talking about moral integrity. Can the owners of Daily Kos delete my posts or ban me altogether? Sure they can. Can the owners of a Democrat forum, ostensibly standing for free speech and civil liberties, and bashing the other side for allegedly violating those, delete my posts or ban me altogether yet still preserve their moral integrity intact? Hell no, they can’t. This is hypocrisy of the same order as the Democrats’ forcing ABC, under threat (the threat of removing their broadcast license), to edit their docudrama Path to 9/11 just because it poses dissent to their precious view that Clinton could wash in the cleanliness of his palms with regard to 9/11.
To sum it up: by no stretch of the definition could I be called a “troll” on Daily Kos, and it was only McCarthy-like (the irony…) witch-hunting that could explain that; the deletion of my posts, while within the property rights of the owners of Daily Kos, is hypocritical, being an act of suppression of free speech and dissent in a forum that claims to stand for those values (but, as we saw with their treatment of ABC, it is a mask just like CAIR’s demands to silence all criticism of Islam in the interests of “cultural sensitivity and celebrating diversity” is); and finally, the deletion of my posts has the effect of making the time I spent on formulating and writing them totally, irredeemably wasted. Under the circumstances, I have no interest in participating in that hypocritical and treasonous forum ever again. I will keep on monitoring Daily Kos for anti-Israel diaries, and refute the egregious ones—but on my own blog, where I have the near-certainty that my refutations cannot be deleted by other than me.
And now for the issue of commenting on my blog. First, I welcome it. Comments to my writings are of high value in my eyes, because the purpose of my blog, as I said, is to insert my voice into the exchange of ideas which is so important in the clash of civilizations going on today. Comments that point out flaws in my blog posts are splendid, because they force me to fix them and improve my writings. Positive feedback encourages me, and negative feedback, if it contains arguments, spurs me to do better. Which brings me to the second matter: what kind of comments I intent to edit or delete.
It should be clear I’m not in favor of doing that. It would fall under Hillel’s famous quote, da’alach senei lera’ach la ta’bed, meaning, “What is hated unto you, do not do unto your neighbor”. And it should be clear I’m never going to delete a comment just because it offers a dissenting point of view. There are two cases where I would feel justified in editing or deleting a comment: 1) An opposing view but with no argument, and 2) Linking to death porn.
Opposing views are welcome, but they need to be presented as something I can argue against. If not, they’re a waste of my time. I would delete a comment consisting solely of the line, “&#@% U U ZIONAZI BASTARD!”, not because it offends me (victimology is best left to the whiny kids of the world like the Muslims), nor even because of the profanity (I request commenters to avoid profanity, but it would at worst be a cause for editing the particular part of the post, not for deletion of it), but because there’s nothing I can argue against. If you wish to call me a “Zionazi”, you’ll have to bring examples of how Zionism and Nazism are comparable, which I’ll then refute. This is an intellectual blog, so dissent needs to be formulated as intellectual argumentation if it is to stay here.
The second no-go as far as I’m concerned is death porn: photos of bodies of dead children, the staple of Muslim anti-Israel sites. You have to understand this: Judaism is very strict as to its rules regarding the handling of dead bodies. Even the body of someone hanged for the sake of justice, as capital punishment, is not to be left a single day longer after that (Deuteronomy 21:22–23). Jewish sentiment is averse to any mishandling of dead bodies, and the very thought of using them as propaganda money is unthinkable. Anyone who posts links to series of dead bodies, especially children, no matter if their deaths were on purpose or by mistake, has thereby made the statement that he views those bodies as a commodity to be traded in the public relations market. Let your comment contain a thousand words, formulated most eloquently and intellectually rigorous, and wondrously free of any logical fallacy, but contain so much as one link to a web address with death porn, and I delete that comment without thinking twice. That’s a promise and a non-negotiable point.
Other than those two caveats: welcome to the agora!