ACTION ALERT: CS Monitor Misstates the Facts on the JIDF **UPDATED**

UPDATE: We'd like to thank the CS Monitor for making the proper corrections in their piece, due to our concerns and to this 'action alert.'

A recent article in the CS Monitor misstates the facts on the JIDF saying that we have "employed various methods to remove or disable Facebook groups it believes are anti-Israel." Then combined it with the following:

"We believe in direct action both to eradicate the problems we face online and to create the publicity that will cause those with the power, companies like Facebook and Google, to take the needed action themselves," a spokesperson for the group, who asked to remain anonymous because of security concerns, wrote in an e-mail."
Targeting anti-Israel groups in general is not part of our mission and not what we expressed directly to CS Monitor. We have no qualms with legitimate political discourse or criticism of Israel.

This distinction is important to us.

The CS Monitor unfairly and dishonestly took the quote out of context. Here is the original context of the statement:
The JIDF is concerned with antisemitic content which also promotes terrorism online in places including (but not limited to) Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google Earth, and other sites and forums throughout the internet. We believe in direct action both to eradicate the problems we face online and to create the publicity that will cause those with the power, companies like Facebook and Google, to take the needed action themselves. The JIDF brings together individuals on different fronts, but with similar the goals of Jewish pride, knowledge, Israel advocacy, and unity.
We even emphasized as we answered a followup question:
"When individuals and groups use the internet to promote hatred, genocide, violence, and Islamic terrorism, thereby breaking the terms of service of ISP's and various international or regional laws, it is our responsibility to fight against those dangerous trends."
As one can see, we weren't even discussing "anti-Israel groups!"

The following is the full transcript of our interview with the CS Monitor where one can see we never said our concerns are with "anti-Israel groups" or that we work to remove or disable anti-Israel groups. In fact, in the past we have gone out of our way to express that we have no qualms with legitimate political discourse. As we discussed and emphasized with CS Monitor many times, we work against groups and individuals which promote antisemitism and Islamic terrorism, which break TOS, or that are against various hate/anti-terrorism laws
It is our hope that the CS Monitor gets our purpose straight. You can contact the writer of the piece here: yschleifer@gmail.com, and here you may contact the editor.

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH THE CS MONITOR:

1. Why was the JIDF created?

The Jewish Internet Defense Force, (JIDF) is approximately 8 years old as a collective of activists and has operated under the name the "Jewish Internet Defense Force" since the massacre at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem earlier this year. At that point, the JIDF created a website ( http://thejidf.org ) and we went public with our activities. The JIDF was created to fight antisemitism and terrorism online, to coordinate concerned citizens
globally, and to promote Jewish pride, knowledge, Israel advocacy, and unity.

The JIDF has been many years in the making. There were five important turning points for our organization:
  • The Start of the 2nd Intifada in September 2000
The catalyst to the creation of the JIDF was the Second Intifada. While Jews were being terrorized daily in Israel, the propaganda machine of our enemies resulted in reactionary pressure from the U.S. and the international community that forced Israel to enter into unfeasible, unattainable, and impractical concessions of land in exchange for false promises of "peace." This policy of rewarding terrorism with land concessions (Land for "Peace") only encouraged additional attacks and worsened the security situation in Israel. This policy resulted in needless loss of life and inspired the JIDF to begin its email campaigns.
  • 9/11
On this day, it felt that all of us in the USA were living in Israel. As many JIDF members were living in NYC at the time, to say the attack on 9/11 "had an impact" would be an understatement.
The JIDF email campaigns continued.
  • The disengagement from Gush Katif (Gaza) in August 2005
By 2003, with Sharon's announcement of his plans for "unilateral withdrawal," the JIDF had enough, and a group of us intensified our efforts online. In 2005, many of those involved with the JIDF were outspoken against the disengagement from Gush Katif and rallied Jews and non-Jews to support those that have since been expelled from their homes in Gush Katif and North Samaria. The JIDF launched mass web-based campaigns and JIDF email campaigns
continued.
  • The war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006
During this time, the JIDF continued our activities, which became more organized and urgent--especially as the JIDF began using Myspace as a way to show support for the IDF
  • The massacre at the Mercaz HaRav and the Facebook groups which went up to honor it in March 2008
The massacre at Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Israel allowed the JIDF to realize the need for more direct action. The JIDF became a more visible entity as the result of the event but ultimately it was the Facebook groups which subsequently sprouted to honor the perpetrator of the massacre that prompted the JIDF to be more brazen. The use of Facebook to blatantly praise acts of terrorism demanded an equally blatant response.

2. How would you describe what the JIDF does?

The JIDF is concerned with antisemitic content which also promotes terrorism online in places including (but not limited to) Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google Earth, and other sites and forums throughout the internet. We believe in direct action both to eradicate the problems we face online and to create the publicity that will cause those with the power, companies like Facebook and Google, to take the needed action themselves. The JIDF brings together individuals on different fronts, but with similar the goals of Jewish pride, knowledge, Israel advocacy, and unity.

We represent a younger generation of Jewish leaders, a new approach, and a real grassroots effort for change.

3. What kind of role do you believe it played during the recent conflict in Gaza? More specifically, what were some of the actions your group took during the conflict?

The JIDF was thinking and praying for our brothers and sisters protecting the citizens of Israel. Our thoughts, prayers and concerns were for all them and are always with the people who live
under the constant threat of Islamic terrorism, whether it is in Mumbai, Sderot, Iraq, or New York City, the JIDF recognizes that it is the same war on different fronts.

The JIDF always works to support Israel's right to self-defense and to highlight Israel's important role of being on the front lines in the war against Islamic terrorism. We noticed the mob gatherings being organized in various cities by those who apparently support
the Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas, so the the JIDF quickly coordinated counter protests.

You may read more about this here:
http://www.thejidf.org/2008/12/urgent-action-alert-organize-
counter.html


Here is the Facebook "event" we created for it as well:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=56981470324&ref=mf

Meanwhile, we observed many of the protests happening throughout the world and we were repulsed by what we saw on the other side. We helped expose how their protests were actually promoting genocide in places like Florida, where placards read "Nuke Israel" and protesters shouted, "You need ovens, that's what you need!" to Jews across the street. We found a man in Toronto who said Hitler should have done a better job and then smacked the cameraman. We saw in Germany how the mob convinced the police to remove an Israeli flag from a window. In Dallas, the crowds yelled the genocidal, "Khaiber, Khaiber al Yahud Jaish muhammed saya'ud." We saw the British police literally running from the terrorist supporters in London.

The JIDF did our part to make sure the world saw that these international protests against Israel's self-defense were not humanitarian or peaceful in nature, but rather, pro-Hamas mob
gatherings wishing for the destruction of the Jewish state and the Jewish people in general.

Whether during wartime or in general, the JIDF is always finding the best and most timely material to share in our effort to do whatever we can for Israel and the Jewish people.

4. What is the JIDF "defending" against?

We are defending the truth against many lies about the Jewish people and Israel, defending against the promotion of hatred and Islamic terrorism online, and we defend against the many attacks and threats launched at Jewish individuals, groups, and websites.

5. Do you think the online world has become a kind of battlefield itself?

Absolutely.

6. Could you elaborate? How and in what ways has it become a battlefield?

When individuals and groups use the internet to promote hatred, genocide, violence, and Islamic terrorism, thereby breaking the terms of service of ISP's and various international or regional laws, it is our responsibility to fight against those dangerous
trends. We must also promote goodness, truth, and accuracy.

7. How many members does the JIDF have?

Approximately 5,000.

8. How would you describe your membership?

Diverse, smart, passionate, and innovative.

9. If possible, could you tell me where the group's leadership is based (I understand you have security concerns, but it would be helpful to get some kind of sense of where the idea was born. At a minimum, could you say if the group's leadership is inside or outside Israel?)

The idea for the JIDF was born in the USA, but the soul of our organization is based in the Holy Land. We have many leaders within our operation, working in different capacities, both inside
and outside of Israel.



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