Throughout our history, the Jewish people have confronted antisemitism in myriad hateful forms. Persecution had been rampant in the days of the Roman empire, throughout the Middle Ages to Nazi Germany, and today.
History teaches a vital lesson — antisemitism and bigotry in all their rancid expressions must be confronted, and opposed, wherever it surfaces.
Two weeks ago, in Los Angeles, a hate group known as the Goyim Defense League (GDL) hung three signs from an LA freeway stating “Honk if you know Jews want a race war” in yet another iteration of hatemongering that has plagued our people. The banners were suspended from an overpass on the heavily trafficked I-405 freeway.
Needless to say, LA’s Jewish community registered a shockwave. The event was widely reported by local news outlets and provoked swift condemnation from both the AJC and the ADL.
After enduring centuries of overt discrimination, this most recent incident comes as no surprise, but it stings nonetheless.
The banners were sponsored by a purveyor of antisemitism, Jon Minadeo, Jr., a 37-year old man from Petaluma, California, which is located in the Greater San Francisco area. Minadeo and his cohorts also sponsored a vile website, Goyim TV, which a British-based Jewish security firm has described as a “cesspool” of racist and antisemitic content.
The vitriolic Goyim TV has disseminated antisemitic conspiracy theories and conspiracy theories about Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Black Lives Matter movement and other unsubstantiated screed.
Goyim TV’s offerings include videos of Minadeo spewing hateful messages about Jews. Since December, Goyim TV’s website had been hosted by Epik, a domain registrar with more than half a million websites, the Arizona Jewish Post (AJP) reported last week. The AJP also reported that hundreds of complaints were lodged with Epik. A spokesperson for Epik told the newspaper that it had received complaints from “both sides — those demanding the website be taken down, and those demanding the opposite. Many of the latter came with violent threats.”
Epik explained that it removed the Goyim TV website “within hours of receiving complaints.”
“Unfortunately, we do not ever win in these cases,” the spokesperson wrote. “A site goes up — we get 300 complaints calling us neo-Nazis and harbingers of death. We take it down instantly — we get 300 complaints telling [us] we are fascists, threatening to put bullet holes in our head.”
Not surprisingly, Minadeo and his Goyim TV supporters were not deterred by losing their Epik-based website. They promptly relocated the site to a channel hosted by BitChute, called Handsome Truth GDL (Goyim Defense League), publishing the same content previously hosted on the Epik site. On its platform, BitChute describes itself as “a peer to peer sharing platform.” And, it adds that “it is not responsible” for the content of postings by its peers.
The newly packaged GDL has found a friendly space on BitChute. The site includes a facsimile of a tabloid newspaper proclaiming that “The Holocaust Is A Hoax,” and “Holohoax Tales.”
Cyberspace continues to redefine norms of publication. Hate-filled websites like Goyim TV exist for the simple reason that they fill a void in the lives of the purveyors of hate who create them and visit them online.
Through the Internet, it is possible for a single individual to publish their views to countless individuals. The medium’s power is daunting. At best, the Internet is extremely difficult to regulate. Nuanced questions of Free Speech permeate any discussion of what is appropriate content for most Internet-based messaging. Only through public pressure, such as the response to Goyim TV’s Epik-hosted website, can we effectively rebut and squelch propagators of hate like Jon Minadeo, and his minions.
As Jews living in today’s Internet-connected world, we must be vigilant and promptly call out hate-filled web sites. The LA Jewish community is to be commended for its quick response to the venom spewed from the banners above Interstate-405.
“The norms, rules, and laws for online behavior are still evolving,’ said Seth Brysk, director of the ADL’s Central Pacific region.
To fulfill the obligations of citizenship in a rapidly evolving society, we must all zealously confront hate-based incidents like the banners over the LA freeway. And, we must also act forcefully to remove and discredit Goyim TV, its progeny, and all hate-filled websites.