Thursday, July 29, 2010

The GOP's Facebook Anti-Semites | Mother Jones

Thu Jul. 29, 2010 7:26 AM PDT

Israel is responsible for 9/11, Al Qaeda is "100% state sponsored by Zionist Jews," and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is actually an agent for Mossad, the Israeli spy agency—at least according to posts on the Republican National Committee's Facebook page. (You can see screen shots of some of the posts below.)

Several avowedly anti-Semitic commenters regularly posted on the national GOP's Facebook wall, encouraging tea partiers and "White, Black, Spanish, [and] Asian" people to "arm yourselves" and rise up against the "Zionist Jews" who, they claim, control the country and the media. They linked to a site that hosts purported versions of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and promoted 9/11 "truth" theories that allege "Israeli agents carried out the attacks."

The RNC could easily have deleted these comments—it's as easy as clicking "remove" if an administrator is signed in to the account—or blocked the users who were posting them. Even if the RNC decided it didn't have the resources to monitor its Facebook wall, it could have simply disabled the ability to comment on its wall. When Mother Jones contacted the committee for comment Thursday morning, the RNC disabled its Facebook discussion board, but not its wall containing the anti-Semitic comment. When a Mother Jones reporter explained the difference between a Facebook discussion board and a wall, RNC spokesman Doug Heye promised the wall "will be down shortly."  "We're interested in a civil debate, and any rhetoric or language that is out of bounds is not something we're interested in hosting and not something we're interested in hearing," Heye said. "We have decided we are better off closing down our discussion page." That's what Organizing for America has done with Barack Obama's Facebook page. (The White House's wall, however, is still live.) But until it was contacted by Mother Jones, the RNC allowed commenting to continue unabated—and apparently unmoderated.

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