Neviim Tovim, blogs by Gillian Gould Lazarus

Archive for April 2023

I had a couple of run-ins with neonazis on Twitter. One of them got his account closed down; the rest continue to post their anti Jewish, anti black, anti LGBT opinions. Some are Holocaust deniers; others celebrate the gas chambers and hope to see us Jews exterminated. One would think that Twitter would get the lot of them off of their platform but that isn’t how it works out.

When I see these keyboard warriors of the far, far right, I can hardly imagine that anyone who wasn’t of their persuasion would strike me with quite so much horror. Yet, when I turn from them to the assailants of the left, the thrust of their attack, while different, is not experienced as more tolerable.

In the intersection of Ramadan and Passover, Israel’s Iron Dome is deployed again against rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. Mr Corbyn does one of his anti Israel tweets, as familiar to his supporters as ‘The Little Red Hen’ to an infant who joins in with the words.

Videos are posted on Twitter showing riotous young men setting off fireworks in the Al Aqsa Mosque. Israeli police dragged them out, an action reported as ‘beating peaceful worshipers’.

Does the antagonistic left feel more menacing than the homicidal, racist neonazis? They seldom claim an intention to kill us but the reverse: stating that we, being Zionists, are the killers. Those who call us nazis – are they more reachable, more amenable  to reason, than those who proudly declare themselves as neonazis and Hitler fan accounts?

The danger of the antisemitic left and right intensifies when they encroach upon the centre, gaining influence by repetition, familiarizing their audience with the names they call us, for example ‘apartheid lovers’. Even as I write this, one of Mr Corbyn’s supporters on Twitter is calling a Jewish academic a ‘prick’ and claiming that he, the academic, approves antisemitism from non-Corbynists.

Occasionally, one is tempted to reply to abusers of the left but seldom to those on the right. Replying to Twitter trolls is a performance art. The right-wingers convict themselves with their own words and find support only from like minded racists. The left use more judicious phrases.

Today, some prominent activists against antisemitism are themselves being called antisemites by Corbynist Twitter accounts,  due to criticism, overt or implied, of a prominent and much admired Jewish Corbynist. Subjectively, such tweets are as shocking to read as the far right obscenities, in the sense that a wolf in sheep’s clothing is not less dangerous than a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Mercifully, it isn’t feasible to remember and keep track of all hostile accounts.

Today is Good Friday and the second day of Passover; Ramadan is also underway. Feelings run high, in the real world and in the online world. It was TS Eliot who said ‘April is the cruelest month’ and I don’t think he was wrong but being the same Eliot whose poetry included overt, classic antisemitism, I wouldn’t consider him reliable.

  • James Casserly: Unfortunately there seems to be no middle ground, no nuance and even less humanity on Twitter. Like you, there are people I have no time for, some I a
  • keithmarr: G < div dir="ltr">Twitter is such a cesspit you can more or less guarantee any opini
  • Gillian Gould Lazarus: You're Nathan Hull, aren't you, an abusive troll who uses the alias Gerard O'Neill?