Monday, October 30, 2023

Online terrorism against Jews at Cornell: an analysis

From JTA:

Police at Cornell University were called to the school’s kosher dining hall, and the campus Hillel warned students to stay away from it, after anonymous antisemitic posts on a Greek life website that included threats to “shoot up” the building and kill and rape Jewish students.

The posts, whose text has circulated widely on social media, were published Saturday and Sunday under pseudonyms including “hamas,” “jew evil,” “jew jenocide,” “hamas warrior” and “kill jews.” The posts have titles such as “jewish people need to be killed,” “eliminate jewish living from cornell campus” and “gonna shoot up 104 west,” the name of the kosher dining hall.

The posts were made on Greekrank, a site that students at the Ivy League school and others use to rate fraternities and sororities. “If i see a pig male jew i will stab you and slit your throat,” read another post by a user called “hamas” that was viewed directly by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “If i see another pig female jew i will drag you away and rĂ pe you and throw you off a cliff. if i see another pig baby jew i will behead you in front of your parents.”

Looking at the Greekrank site, it is fairly clear that the person posting chose that venue because it allows completely anonymous posting without even the pretense of verification. Anyone from around the world can post literally anything with any Internet handle as often as they want with impunity. As long as they use a service that hides their IP address, it is very difficult to find them, especially if they are posting from an address that is physically overseas.

The specific posts refer to the name of the kosher dining hall, "104West!" - it is not an address - and indicates a familiarity with the campus. The "Allahu Akbar" strikes me as an attempt to misdirect suspicion on Muslims on campus, which seems unlikely as the rest of the messages do not fit a typical Islamist antisemite. In fact,the poster hits on all the themes of left-wing, right-wing and Arab antisemitism which makes me think that while the poster is indeed an antisemite, it is also someone who wanted to push all the buttons he (almost certainly a male) could to not only frighten Jews on campus but also to get lots of attention nationwide. 

The only philosophy this person actually has is to feel important and relevant. Blatant antisemitism is a surefire way to achieve that. 

Greekrank allows anyone to pretend to be anyone, and the reward is to get the campus police and FBI involved with the additional bonus of making lots of Jews fearful. 

This is terrorism. Death threats are crimes, and "criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes"are terrorist by definition. 

This particular brand of terrorism that has the lowest risk/reward ratio possible. It costs nothing, it is nearly impossible to track, and it is just as effective in terrifying the Jewish population as a hand grenade tossed into the dining hall would have been. The (probable)  incel who wrote this gets a huge psychic reward for doing something that causes so many people so much fear and prompts national attention and the use of law enforcement resources. 

Even though the actual physical threat from this poster is probably nil - this person is almost certainly not the type to actually do anything - it helps normalize and justify antisemitism and it could encourage others to act. Death threats like this cannot and must not be ignored. 

The most immediate thing that must be done is to force the Greekrank site administrators (and any other similar site) to add email verification, and since its entire audience is for and by people on campus, it should only allow people with campus email addresses (.edu) to post. It can still allow people to post anonymously but the records as to who they are should be available. This will make it much more difficult for losers to feel important for a day or two by threatening Jews. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

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