Are Internet Commenters the New Jews?

The Anti-Defamation League, eager as ever to publicize menaces to the Jewish people, fears Bernie Madoff's $50 billion swindle has led to a flood of online Jew-hating. Among Internet commenters. How convenient for the ADL!

Everyone hates Internet commenters! That makes them the perfect target for the League's hand-wringing quest to find anti-Semitism everywhere it looks. And now that random idiots qualify in its mission to crush Jew-hating everywhere, they will never be short of villains ever again.

A press release from Myrna Shinbaum and Todd Gutnick highlights quotes from blogs, stock message boards, and other websites where commenters blame worldwide Jewry for Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

The financial scandal surrounding allegations that Bernard Madoff ran a $50 billion dollar Ponzi scheme has given anti-Semites fodder for their bigoted views. There has been a dramatic upsurge in anti-Semitic comments on a wide range of Web sites since the Madoff story broke in the news.

Anti-Semitic reaction to the Madoff scandal was prevalent on some of the most popular newspaper sites, blogs and message boards on the Internet. Most of the anti-Semitic comments tended to focus on alleged Jewish greed and thievery, as well as conspiracy theories linking financial losses to Israel. Extremists, including white supremacists and anti-Jewish conspiracy theorists also added their comments to the anti-Semitic mix.

Just a few years ago, anti-Semites only had their fellow cohorts with whom they could share their anti-Jewish views and conspiracy theories. Today, these same anti-Semites can be found ranting on mainstream Web sites from the comments sections of mainstream newspapers and blogs to financial message boards to Internet discussion groups. Their views are seen by hundreds of people who visit mainstream sites for news and information.

Let me get this straight: The ADL is concerned that the Internet allows more people to read people's racist drivel. And yet it is spreading this same drivel far and wide through its publicity machine. Remember the ADL sent around a fundraising email with the subject line "Jews Have Ruined Our Country"? This is about as productive. Internet commenters spew anonymous vitriol for one reason: to get attention. And the ADL has just handed it to them in spades.

Why isn't the ADL going after Madoff? Many of his wealthy investors who say they lost millions in life savings are Jewish, too. If the League had its priorities straight, they'd be persecuting him — instead of circulating the words of dozens of Jew-baiting commenters.