‘Common Dreams’ website traps Hasbara troll spewing anti-Semitism

Israel/Palestine
on 108 Comments
Jewish Harvard Grad poses online as Jew-hating troll

Anti-Semitic icon chosen by Jewish Harvard Grad “Jason Beck” posting as a Jew-hater under the alias of “DeShawn Williams”

A Jewish student posting virulently anti-Semitic comments at various internet forums, allegedly “to gauge how pervasive anti-Semitism” is online, has been busted by the progressive website Common Dreams (CD).  

Investigative journalist Lance Tapley leaves few stones unturned in his report “The Double Identity of an ‘Anti-Semitic’ Commenter” except the identity of the culprit. “Let’s call the student Jason Beck”, Tapley says, protecting the perpetrator. 

Beck, a Harvard graduate now a grad student at a midwestern university, created literally dozens of online personas to support his true objective: poisoning online discourse critical of Israel. So if evidence of anti-Semitism wasn’t there, he’d create it himself.

His posting on Common Dreams illustrates the susceptibility of website comment threads to massive manipulation.

And what was the goal of this pollution? Common Dreams says the hate speech undermined fundraising efforts, and was intended to do so.

The website’s executive director, Craig Brown, was personally appalled at the anti-Semitic comments–and had a financial motivation to block these commenters. One generous funder had told him, he said, referring to the stream of anti-Semitism, “I gave you five thousand dollars last year, but I’m not doing it again.”

“We’ve had hundreds of donors say similar things,” Brown added. “People are right to be offended by the anti-Semitism, and it has a serious impact on our reputation and our fundraising.” But when Common Dreams tried to block [Beck handles] DeShawn, HamBaconEggs, et al, they kept coming back.

Here’s how Beck jumpstarted the comment thread at the base of Max Blumenthal’s The Desert of Israeli Democracy on CD:

Just imagine how many millions of people would have been saved from the scourge of Judeo-imperialist wars and Jewish financial predations had Hitler actually finished the job.

After years and years of spewing classic vile Jew-hatred all over the internet fate caught up with him because he was using the university’s computers.

Interviewed by Common Dreams, the man, in his thirties, conceded he has a “psychological obsession” with trolling. A “tic”.  So he came up with multiple personas, including a “JewishProgressive” who trails his other personas expressing his disgust at the viciousness he’s just penned, and then launches into a diatribe on the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism online. These lectures dominated, poisoned and diverted online discussions.

So why grant him another anonymous handle? Common Dreams says it feared that disclosing his identity could put his life in danger; contributors to hate sites he frequented might seek revenge, having discovered he was himself Jewish.

Described by the professor in charge of his academic unit as “the sweetest guy you can imagine,” the man claims he became “frustrated” by what he perceived as “the blurring of criticism [of] Israel and anti-Semitism”.

Beck adamantly claims he was a “lone-wolf” acting alone all these years but curiously, when Common Dreams confronted Beck after tracking him down at the university, Beck stated he had been “ill-advised”.  Yes but ill-advised by whom?

Should any of this surprise us? Heck no! Millions have been invested in shutting down discussion of Israel online, and what better way to do it than close down progressive websites that host discussion of Israel.

When Common Dreams examined hundreds of posts in this ugly charade, the aim appeared clear-cut: to cast a deep shadow on, and drive support from, one of the largest and oldest progressive-news websites.

Some of Michael K Ultra's other DISQUS profile avatars: (L to R) the dissenter, Tillotson, Adenoid Fynkel, Avaritia, Johnny Warbucks, Father_Touch_M_McFeelems, el Bandido (Graphic: Common Dreams)

Some of Michael K Ultra’s other DISQUS profile avatars: (L to R) the dissenter, Tillotson, Adenoid Fynkel, Avaritia, Johnny Warbucks, Father_Touch_M_McFeelems, el Bandido (Graphic: Common Dreams)

The next time you see radical profiles online, think who benefits. Because it’s sure not progressives. Ask yourself, is “Jason Beck” unique in his duplicity? It’s unlikely.

(Initially his article mistakenly claimed the troll “Jason Beck” a Harvard graduate, was currently a student at Harvard. He is not, nor is the professor in charge of Beck’s academic unit quoted in the article a Harvard professor. Apologies to Common Dreams, Lance Tapley, and our readers~A.R.)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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108 Responses

  1. Stephen Shenfield
    August 21, 2014, 2:37 pm

    This guy is not a lone nutcase. He belongs to a time-honored Zionist tradition of provoking, encouraging, and if “necessary” faking anti-Semitism. In order to stampede Jews in Egypt and Iraq to Israel in the early 1950s, Zionist agents not only distributed anti-Semitic leaflets but also blew up cafes frequented by Jews.

    • Susie Kneedler
      August 21, 2014, 6:16 pm

      Isn’t “Jason Beck”‘s fraud illegal? Beyond fouling public debate through his racist screen-names and fake-brawls, “Beck” hurt CommonDreams.org because “hundreds of donors” stopped giving money.

      But Lance Tapley hints at a greater harm: “On Vanguard” his “African-American persona ['DeShawn S. Williams,' a 'Pro-White/Black, anti-jew'] encouraged the malevolence of Frazier Glenn Miller, the neo-Nazi accused of killing three people whom he believed were Jews outside a Jewish community center and retirement home….”
      Tapley doesn’t allege that “Beck” helped incite these terrible murders and doesn’t quote any of the “200” threads in which “Beck” and Miller commented, so we can’t see what those exchanges were like.

      But, still: someone “frustrated” with “the blurring of criticism [of] Israel and anti-Semitism” “encouraged” bigotry in a person who later kills others merely because he assumed they were Jewish? I wonder what “Beck” has to say about that.

      And, as long as we’re talking about offensive pseudonyms, I wish CommonDreams had either revealed JB’s name or stuck to “John Doe”–or, better yet, “Fraudster.” In a story about such malice, any invented name, even “Jason Beck,” evokes stereotypes.

      (Sorry, Friends: meant to stick this comment at the bottom.)

  2. Susie Kneedler
    August 21, 2014, 2:46 pm

    Thanks, Annie!–I know that trolls have been a problem here, too, so I’ve contributed a smidge more to Mondoweiss just now: Thanks to all at MW for faithful reporting.

  3. W.Jones
    August 21, 2014, 2:47 pm

    Anti-Semitic icon chosen by Jewish Harvard Grad “Jason Beck” posting as Jew-hater”DeShawn Williams”
    Where did Beck get that from?

    • Annie Robbins
      August 21, 2014, 3:30 pm

      w.jones, what do you mean get what from? the image? it’s a famous classic anti semitic image called ‘the happy merchant’ or something like that. if you google ‘happy merchant anti semitism’ by image you can see knock offs of the same sort of image. i found this on google image after seeing the one common dreams published which is exactly the same but very small. ‘beck’ used this on the vanguard racist site he hung out on smoozing it up w/a murderer. i recommend reading the full common dreams article.

      • W.Jones
        August 22, 2014, 1:07 am

        what do you mean get what from? ~Annie

        You answered the question in your reply.

    • Abierno
      August 21, 2014, 4:49 pm

      De Shawn Williams is a well respected, black football star at Clemson university. The polymorphous perversity involved in 1,000’s of trolling, antisemetic messages under a variety of pseudonyms – to which he can then righteously justify the overt presence of anti Semitism suggests deep-seated pathology. Also, Mr. Williams is reasonably well known in college football circles. (He’s a top draft candidate for 2015.) Did Mr. Beck consider that he was defaming Mr. Williams? Did he overtly set out to defame others in his choice of names? Does this choice suggest a racial flavoring to his choice of “designated” anti-Semites?

      • just
        August 21, 2014, 4:52 pm

        All great points, Abierno!

      • Philip Munger
        August 21, 2014, 5:20 pm

        There are several DeShawn Williamses. One is currently playing football at Clemson. Another played basketball for the Air Force Academy. DeShaun Wliliams played basketball for Syracuse. There are others, none non-Black, to my knowledge.

        The fact that “Beck” intentionally defamed a young Black athlete through use of a college computer system begs the question: Should we contact Lance Tapley and Common Dreams ED Craig Brown, urging them to report this to the NCAA, the NAACP, the ADL, the administrations of the various DeShawn Williamses schools and athletic programs, and the administration of the college at which ‘Beck’ defamed the student or students, urging an investigation and action?

        Additionally, can we mobilize any of the people who were so outraged at Prof. Salaita’s non-defamatory tweets to come to our assistance in unmasking this creep?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2014, 5:47 pm

        philip, what i would like investigated was who his other contacts or affiliates were, assuming he has friends and colleagues. for example, is he associated/affiliated with stand with us? who supports him financially and how?

        the other websites where he frequented also have access to his ip addresses and could track him down just like CD did. and this kind of “psychological obsession” doesn’t go away by being busted. it requires heavy monitoring otherwise he’s just going to keep doing what he’s been doing under different identities. he’s obviously smart and versatile. but sick.

      • just
        August 21, 2014, 5:47 pm

        “Additionally, can we mobilize any of the people who were so outraged at Prof. Salaita’s non-defamatory tweets to come to our assistance in unmasking this creep?”

        I was thinking along those same lines…

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2014, 5:35 pm

        Abierno, i have been informed by students, several contributors of ours who are members of pro palestinian activists groups on campuses, all speaking anonymously, that the pro israel groups on campus go to great lengths to place minorities in leadership positions within their college groups to represent them. using race as a calling card, whether as a troll, an advocate, an impersonator, or a as a way to defame, is calculated. just as recruiting christian zionists is calculated.

        also, in my observations, generally pro israel internet trolls introduce themselves with a bio. we’ve had several of them. they tell you about themselves and come with built in things about their character that, allegedly qualifies them to ‘speak on behalf of’.

        personally i doubt he was working alone, partly because there are job offers out there for prolific pro israel bloggers but more persuasively because pro israel bloggers never identify themselves as the paid variety. they work undercover and covertly. and i think it is very likely that working in the under cover capacity there are experts who overtly set out to defame others in the choice of names, professions, race, nationality, etc.

        another thing, there was a well known case of the white nationalist donated money to ron paul that was later used in a way that appeared to set him up. when he posted a screenshot of his computer for another reason, the giyus megaphone download could be seen on his desktop. everyone using megaphone, distributed thru israel’s mfa website, advocates for israel. they monitor what is going thru comments. so that indicates a coordination between the gov of israel and a well known white nationalists who defames jews. it was heavily covered on the internet at the time it happened. big scandal.

        one more thing, OT, we’ve gotten many comment attempts of this variety at MW, they do not get thru moderation which is very time consuming. and sites who do not moderate become targets if they ever start getting traffic.

        false flag trolls are a dime a dozen.

      • Abierno
        August 21, 2014, 6:17 pm

        Thanks Philip and Annie. Helpful information. I would hope that Tapley and Brown would consider screening the pseudonyms for other athletes,
        campus luminaries whose names Beck has used. Then, they need to at least inform them of the alleged defamation, since there could well be unfortold consequences for the defamed. For example, the various De Shawn Williams may have real difficulty with their background checks as they move into professional levels in their sports since on line presence is routinely reviewed. I would find it hard to believe that Beck, a Harvard graduate, would be unaware of this – I suspect he felt that he was untraceable. While the trolling is repellant, the capacity to further down the road disrupt the lives of those whose identities he usurped is not only unethical but definitely illegal. At the least, the victims of this sociopath should be informed.

      • Philip Munger
        August 21, 2014, 8:48 pm

        Well, we already know that Lance Tapley has motored or has somebody monitoring this thread.

        I challenge you, Lance, to be brave and do the right thing: Check with legal counsel at CD and determine whether you have obligations to go further than you appear to have gone to protect the identity of these young Black athletes from further illegal incursions. I respect journalists protecting their sources, but that is not the case in what you have discovered.

        Is it more important to protect this “Beck” who only means harm, or to ensure some measure of protection to the people he has defamed?

      • German Lefty
        August 22, 2014, 10:46 am

        @ Annie

        the pro israel groups on campus go to great lengths to place minorities in leadership positions within their college groups to represent them. using race as a calling card, whether as a troll, an advocate, an impersonator, or a as a way to defame, is calculated. just as recruiting christian zionists is calculated.

        And I bet that the supporters of affirmative action (reverse discrimination) totally fall for that. This makes sense because Zionism is reverse discrimination too. A minority rules over the majority.

        we’ve gotten many comment attempts of this variety at MW, they do not get thru moderation which is very time consuming. and sites who do not moderate become targets if they ever start getting traffic.

        I am ambivalent when it comes to moderation. On the one hand, I understand that it’s necessary on this site. Without moderation Mondoweiss would be overrun by Zionist commenters and normal discussions would become impossible. On the other hand, moderation is very often used to silence non-mainstream voices. Moderation becomes censorship. Recently, there was a discussion on German TV about when negative criticism of Israel turns into anti-Semitism. You know, the usual crap. The live show was accompanied by an Internet chat, where viewers could post their opinions and questions. I wrote about a dozen comments, e.g. about how the Zionists misuse Jewish symbols and Jewish history. Only two of my comments made it through moderation. And one comment was shortened.
        I wrote: “Why isn’t the actual root of the conflict mentioned on the show? Namely the Nakba, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Zionists.”
        Moderated version: “Why isn’t the actual root of the conflict mentioned on the show?”
        Apparently, mentioning the Nakba was taboo. However, I saw that some other commenter managed to get his Nakba comment through moderation. So, I guess it depends on the respective moderator. A lot of commenters complained about the pro-Israel bias of the moderators. The chat was pointless, because one camp was almost entirely silenced.
        I have a suggestion regarding moderation: Only moderate the comments of new commenters or of commenters who are known for breaking the rules. When a commenter has achieved a certain number of decent comments in a row (e.g. 300 oder 500), let his comments pass automatically without moderation.

      • seanmcbride
        August 22, 2014, 2:05 pm

        German Lefty,

        I am ambivalent when it comes to moderation. On the one hand, I understand that it’s necessary on this site. Without moderation Mondoweiss would be overrun by Zionist commenters and normal discussions would become impossible. On the other hand, moderation is very often used to silence non-mainstream voices.

        I don’t understand why more Mondoweiss commenters aren’t more proactive in exploiting social media platforms that are much more flexible and bottom-up than top-down platforms like blogs, which are a 1990s technology.

        One can use these multipolar platforms not to replace publications like Mondoweiss (which are irreplaceable), but to complement and supplement them — to increase the ability of commenters to communicate freely with one another in real time and to moderate their own information streams — with no top-down authority controlling the conversation.

        Several of us here on Mondoweiss have been using Friendfeed for this purpose for years now, with positive results. That is why I set up Mondoweiss on Friendfeed here —

        link to friendfeed.com

        — to provide an outlet for conversations that Mondoweiss wasn’t interested in hosting.

        The Internet is a powerful tool — but people must be PROACTIVE in using it — not passive. Any obstacles on the Internet can be easily routed around. Everyone on the Internet stands on a level playing field.

        Modern social media platforms are all about freedom of association and free speech — with no intervening authorities.

    • Mooser
      August 22, 2014, 11:44 am

      “Where did Beck get that from?”

      Oh, I was at the Evergreen State Fair, and there was one of those “Your portrait for $20.00 in 20 minutes” sketch artists…

  4. Chu
    August 21, 2014, 3:13 pm

    Harvard? Well, that’s embarrassing for the elite US university.

    If this were a neo-nazi skinhead posting and aiming to undercut a website’s prestige and funding, would they be sensitive to a simple apology and excuses about having a tic, with fear of his safety in mind?

    His name should be released to the public, as they’re letting a malicious con-man get off with a slap on the wrists. This is completely bonehead policy to let him coast. Surely he’ll return to his behavior. Reminds me of Anthony Weiner and his sexting habits. He’s reformed, until he’s caught again.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 21, 2014, 5:23 pm

      chu, i made a mistake. the troll was a harvard grad but not a student at harvard when he was busted. see the base of the article.

      • amigo
        August 21, 2014, 5:51 pm

        Hi Annie, seems to me if this jerk tried this approach at MW he would not make it past any moderator.
        I am surprised his antics were allowed to go on so long.One post with that sort of anti semitic garbage should not get through.That he used many different handles should not make any difference.
        Maybe some of these sites need to tighten up their rules and then his project would be short lived and that would end the whole project.

        Am I missing something??.

        ie, how would this get through even the most tolerant of moderation.

        “Just imagine how many millions of people would have been saved from the scourge of Judeo-imperialist wars and Jewish financial predations had Hitler actually finished the job.”.

        Regardless of the source.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2014, 6:33 pm

        amigo, i think it’s likely, tho i do not know, these sites let comments go thru automatically and they clean up the threads after the fact. that’s what we used to do. we’d check things when we’d start getting emails. but then we get so heavily targeted.

        i’ve mentioned before we get some very vile stuff, of course it never gets published. what i find interesting is the creative ways some posters find to insert heavily racist stuff into otherwise long and sometimes thoughtful sounding comments. towards the end sometimes in the penultimate sentence they throw something in so if one is lazy about it it just spills right into the page.

        anyway CD probably doesn’t have the staff,money or volunteers to keep up w/all their articles (they publish a LOT of articles).

        and there is an upside of letting vile stuff thru, i suppose. just to show unvarnished the way some people think. but i think a good portion of these kinds of comments are FF. so what’s the point! we have some differing views here on this kind of stuff. i’m more of a ct/ff than some people about trolls (but not more than everyone) and assume the enemy is very cunning and duplicitous. plus i get really vile accusatory emails some times. extremists zionism can be just rabidly rabidly vicious. not that long ago someone who was banned unleashed and said he would see to it we would get sued for supporting terrorism…or something. just so over the top threatening.

        and interestingly, when you read the words of this troll beck, when he’s in his ‘JewishProgressive’ character, he sounds like stuff we’ve read, the talking pts, over and over. which indicates to me he’s working with a group think tank. even his anti semitic comments have a hashed over repetitive quality about them. not individualistic like regular people talk. it sounds prepped.

      • Walker
        August 21, 2014, 8:52 pm

        Annie, I always kind of resented the moderation and thought I was being picked on. Now I understand that what you do is very intelligent. It preserves this site as a forum.

        I never thought I would ever come to this, but I would like to thank the moderators for their great pains and perseverance.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2014, 11:27 pm

        wow thanks walker.

      • German Lefty
        August 22, 2014, 10:51 am

        What do “ct” and “ff” mean?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 23, 2014, 7:15 am

        GL, (CT conspiracy theory) means i theorize if seemingly individual actions/crimes could be part of a larger conspiracy/pattern and not acting alone or random. and i don’t always assume the person i am engaging with on the internet is who they say they are and in fact could be the opposite of who they claim to be. FF is false flag. i assume my opponent is cunning at all times and generally contemplate ‘who benefits’ when i read about a crime. i don’t take media explanations of events at face value.

        for example, when i read pepe escobar’s recent article, link to atimes.com many of the things he wrote about were ideas i had already contemplated.

        wrt beck, it’s my natural inclination to contemplate FF when i read extremely anti semitic discourse and also my natural inclination to consider the individual is not working alone (CT).

        this is daily for me, not once in awhile. here is an example from yesterday link to twitter.com if you scroll up you can read the guy, allegedly “hammad” repeat the current zionist meme “Hamas and IS, same!!” big red flag. and the rest of the dialogue total BS. probably part of a team acting on instruction.

      • Chu
        August 21, 2014, 7:46 pm

        That’s worse Annie. A Harvard grad who has had 10 years to do something, given the prestige of an ivy league education, and he gets his kicks off imitating anti-semities with black sounding names. Common Dreams is making a terrible move protecting this person.

        I wondered if keeping this situation on the hush-hush has anything to do with incoming donations? There’s always that possibility.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2014, 8:14 pm

        well, it stands to reason if they were keeping the situation hush hush they wouldn’t have featured this great article on their website. i say kudos to CD for putting the effort into nabbing this guy. naturally i would love to know who he is and i have no idea if ‘protecting’ him is the sole reason they are not outing him. i also don’t know why a college would protect him under these circumstances. maybe if he were a teenager, but he’s an adult in his 30’s engaging in incitement which could be construed as a form of hate crime. maybe, i don’t know. so it’s not just CD protecting him. i doubt anyone would come after him to cause him bodily harm. i don’t know, i can only speculate. but there are undoubtedly other sites he frequented and they too have is i.p. they’ve probably heard of these handles. they could track him to the same college. i can only speculate so far.

  5. traintosiberia
    August 21, 2014, 3:15 pm

    This would have been all over the TV if an Arab were doing this to spew easily detectable false anti Palestinian messages to spread the ideas that racist ,vicious Islamophobia was rampant ,pervasive,and growing even if he or she did not intend or plan to shut down that particular media.

    It would actually be analysed for hours to debunk the trustworthiness of any information supplied by anybody that Israeli supporters did not or would not like as nothing but conspiracy generated trolls from Internet that created veneer of transparency or obviousness by convoluted arrangements of talkback .

    In another vein but also fits the wider perception that the crimes have different verdict depending on if an Arab or Israel is committing, I will mention the uproar, anger, righteousness, call for war by FOX news against the area controlled by Isis(the emphasis was against the area) for killing the journalist, and contempt against Obama for not taking that position.
    Did the American Turkish citizen in Flotilla murdered by Israel enjoy same kind of support? What about the beating by the kid from Florida who got beaten up mercilessly by Israel weeks ago?

  6. Boomer
    August 21, 2014, 3:59 pm

    I don’t understand the reason to refrain from disclosing the perpetrator’s identity.

    BTW, I would imagine that the name “DeShawn” implies, to many Americans, that the fictional poster is an African American. If “Mr. Beck” shares that perception, he is doubly racist.

  7. just
    August 21, 2014, 4:02 pm

    you both have great points, Chu and tts.

  8. RichM
    August 21, 2014, 4:04 pm

    One small correction to the article: Your first sentence begins, “A Jewish graduate student at Harvard…” Actually, what Common Dreams says is, “A Common Dreams investigation has discovered that more than a thousand of these damaging comments … were written … by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties….” It goes on to say that this guy is now a graduate student at a university “in the Midwest.”

    So, for the sake of accuracy, it’s someone who graduated from Harvard, not someone who’s currently a grad student at Harvard.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 21, 2014, 5:22 pm

      Rich, i made a mistake. Investigative journalist Lance Tapley emailed me and alerted me and i recently edited the article and left a note at the base.

      thank you for your comment and i would have probably seen it eventually had he not written me. much appreciated.

    • Mooser
      August 21, 2014, 6:27 pm

      For this he went to college?

      • seanmcbride
        August 21, 2014, 11:31 pm

        Mooser,

        For this he went to college?

        Laughing out loud literally. :)

  9. The JillyBeans
    August 21, 2014, 4:11 pm

    Honestly I think I’m going to vomit. This is really sick and demented behavior.

    • Kay24
      August 21, 2014, 5:27 pm

      They are a bunch of lunatics, and they are Masters at deception.

  10. Sycamores
    August 21, 2014, 4:24 pm

    ill advised by who???

    Ben Lynfield Tuesday 13 August 2013 link to independent.co.uk

    In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences.

    The students making the posts will not reveal online that they are funded by the Israeli government, according to correspondence about the plan revealed in the Haaretz newspaper…………….

    …………But Alon Liel, the doveish former director-general of the Israeli foreign ministry, criticised the plan as “quite disgusting”. “University students should be educated to think freely. When you buy the mind of a student, he becomes a puppet of the Israeli government grant,” he said. “You can give a grant to do social work or teach but not to do propaganda on controversial issues for the government.”

    the exposure ‘Jason Beck’ shows how low some people will go for Israel.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 22, 2014, 3:01 am

      Sycamores, we covered that in “Covert online students hasbara units directed out of Israeli PM Netanyau’s office” : link to mondoweiss.net

      imho, our report was better. but missed Liel’s quote. thanks. an added perk from our coverage:

      As an aside, last year staff at Mondoweiss became informed/aware one of the posters participating on our forums at that time was using an ip address out of the Israeli PM’s office. One wonders what prompted the open announcement of these “covert” units at this time.

      • Sycamores
        August 22, 2014, 6:07 pm

        thanks Annie,

        your article shows the true insidious side of government funded hasbara.

        one of the posters participating on our forums at that time was using an ip address out of the Israeli PM’s office.

        it doesn’t surprise me, there is no other site, that i know of, with such a large traffic of visiters, that can suss out a hasbarist as fast as Mondoweiss, covert or otherwise.

  11. Steve Macklevore
    August 21, 2014, 4:32 pm

    This doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    In over three decades of pro Palestinian activism, I’ve never heard a anti-semitic comment. Indeed the vast majority of Palestinian supporters bend over backwards to ensure that there is no hint of anti-Semitism in their work or discussions.

    So, supporters of Israel have to invent some, and what better way than through the Internet which is anonymous and lends itself to endless repetition.

  12. just
    August 21, 2014, 4:36 pm

    Once this hasbarist troll has been ‘trapped’, he should be exposed.

    This is serious stuff, not sport catch and release…he’s not a child. He’s a Harvard grad student using University computers. This isn’t a ‘tic’, it’s a malicious and deliberate attempt to cause maximum damage while using various aliases.

    Just curious, did the troll make it here?

    • Mooser
      August 21, 2014, 5:12 pm

      “Just curious, did the troll make it here?”

      And risk a run-in with Mondowiess commenters? Not a chance. He would have been caught out very soon.

      • just
        August 21, 2014, 5:24 pm

        That’s true. You & many others are very good guardians, keeping the trolls out and under the bridge.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2014, 6:21 pm

        Oh, I might detect something about his tone or something that didn’t ring true, but there are many others here who would have zeroed right in on his errors of fact.

      • just
        August 21, 2014, 6:27 pm

        Assuming, of course, that they can get by Ms. Annie!

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2014, 6:36 pm

        “Assuming, of course, that they can get by Ms. Annie!”

        Gee whillikers, I hadn’t thought of that at all, til just now! I’m often so gobsmacked by the stuff I do see in comments, I never even gave a thought to what I might not be seeing, the stuff that didn’t even make it through moderation. Maybe some day they will show us some of their all time favorites from the deleted file. There must be some doozies!

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2014, 6:43 pm

        Not a chance. He would have been caught out very soon.

        i bet he tried. how could he not. us, being who we are (meaning the best online discussions (in english) about i/p on the internet imho) ;)

        and actually just, wrt ‘getting past me’ i have not been moderating that much lately. it seems someone else is on the ball so there are not hundreds of comments stacked up all the time. that could be the result of our recent fundraiser, i don’t know and i didn’t ask. but it’s great having the comments flow without having to moderate them all. i hope it keeps up like this.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2014, 9:45 pm

        ” i have not been moderating that much lately. it seems someone else is on the ball”

        Well, I’m glad they took the load off Annie. A load you took for free. They took the load off Annie, and I’m glad they didn’t put the load right on me.
        I couldn’t do it.

      • eljay
        August 21, 2014, 9:50 pm

        >> Mooser: Well, I’m glad they took the load off Annie. A load you took for free. They took the load off Annie, and I’m glad they didn’t put the load right on me.

        Nicely done! :-)

      • Annie Robbins
        August 22, 2014, 3:06 am

        ;) you’re a jewel mooser. i am soooo glad you’re back.

      • amigo
        August 23, 2014, 7:55 am

        “Well, I’m glad they took the load off Annie. A load you took for free. They took the load off Annie, and I’m glad they didn’t put the load right on me” Mooser

        She ain,t heavy, She,s your sister.

      • Marnie
        August 22, 2014, 4:38 am

        I’ll never again ask “I was wondering why my comments take so long to get posted” when I need to thank you for the time you take to do it – thank you!

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 3:15 pm

        “you’re a jewel mooser.”

        A drunkard’s dream, if you ever did see one?

    • Chu
      August 21, 2014, 5:31 pm

      This is serious stuff. Common Dreams needs pressure to release his name. What a dumb decision, and like you said, he’s not a child.

    • eGuard
      August 22, 2014, 6:48 am

      One effect of not exposing him is that other sites he was working are left with the dirt.

      As for MW, there is a difference. CD only started research after donations dried up. In other words, anti-Semitic language was not monitored or banned for principle or quality. MW does have such standards.

      • just
        August 22, 2014, 10:41 am

        “MW does have such standards.”

        Yes it does.

      • Chu
        August 22, 2014, 2:52 pm

        It’s a scary trend. You could see left leaning publications dry up in the US. We’ll become more like Israel. Which is the political aim of this nabbed troll and many of his friends.

  13. Rusty Pipes
    August 21, 2014, 4:37 pm

    CommonDreams should sue him for defamation. Let his name come out in the courts.

    • Kay24
      August 21, 2014, 5:56 pm

      Watch the video below. A young woman was caught drawing swastikas on her college walls, and hidden cameras caught her doing it.
      Criminal charges were considered by the police. I don’t now what happened to her, but it seems if there were stiffer penalties for such disgusting crime, they might think twice before resorting to such dishonesty and false complaints.

      • Marnie
        August 22, 2014, 4:41 am

        That’s a hate crime right? I hope they put her in a very long time-out.

  14. Justpassingby
    August 21, 2014, 4:45 pm

    How did they caught him and could it be confirmed? And why have they contacted his teacher/professor?

  15. Kay24
    August 21, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Perhaps he was ill advised by his hasbara instructor, who knows. There are have been some complaining going on by some Jews in the world of anti semitic attacks, and law enforcement officials have investigated and found that they were indeed false.
    This disgraceful attempt to show victimization to cause trouble, to deceive good people, cast blame on others, and keep doing it for a long time, indeed shows a certain dishonesty that is typical of the zio agenda. Lie, deceive, attack, silence, and blame others.

    This must be the usual false flagging they are notorious for, but this time on the internet. I hope others like this horrible person will also be outed soon.

  16. justicewillprevail
    August 21, 2014, 5:29 pm

    A classic expose of how zionism is so heavily invested in antisemitism as its raison d’être that it makes sense to exaggerate it (nearly all cases in Europe), or in its absence create it. And then it can indulge in an orgy of self-justification, moral grandstanding and most importantly using it as a constant excuse for the savagery it treats Palestinians with. A self-perpetuationg, self-justifiying necessary artifice, which also serves as a convenient ruse to attack everybody critical of you, and never have to listen or answer the criticism. Without it, they might have to behave like citizens of the world, subject to the same norms. Oh, the horror!

  17. MHughes976
    August 21, 2014, 5:35 pm

    A few comments pop up on Mondoweiss which can, despite the care of the moderators, be suspected of trying to induce replies that can be advertised as anti-Semitic. They seem to think we’re something between storm troopers and neanderthals with a touch of blood-guilt mania. Perhaps they’re young and impressionable and that’s what someone’s told them. I hope that if they stay around to see the results of their labours they begin to get a fairer picture of us.

  18. Kay24
    August 21, 2014, 5:45 pm

    Here is a video showing a couple of American (Jews) involved in fake antisemitic attacks. They even scare the Jewish folk with this kind of reprehensible behavior.
    It seems like it is a mental disease:

    • oldgeezer
      August 21, 2014, 7:36 pm

      Well in the case of the perps, it is indeed a mental disease. Unless they’re doing it for a political agenda but most that have been outed so far seem unhinged.

      • They wouldn’t be the first criminals to opportunistically feign “mental disease or defect” once they’ve been caught.

        I think you’re right to wonder about a political motivation for these staged attacks, because false claims of anti-Semitic persecution are routinely being used to defend the very real (and extremely vicious) persecution of Palestinians.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2014, 8:47 pm

        cbc, he definitely had a political motive and CD/tapley said as much. Smearing a Progressive Website to Support Israel.

        and i wrote in my article

        Beck created literally dozens of online personas to support his true objective: poisoning online discourse critical of Israel.

        tapley’s article is long and somewhat exhaustive out of necessity, but it’s worth the read. it’s explored how he may have created the psychological explanation excuse.

      • I am not questioning that, and I agree that the article was worth reading.

        I was referring to a potential political motivation behind the anti-Semitic fakery reported on in the news clip that Kay24 provided.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2014, 10:36 pm

        oh, those news reports. i have no idea.

      • Trolls have always conspicuously lacked evidence to back up the pretense of “widespread anti-Semitism” that is supposed to be the ‘real’ reason behind any criticism of Israel.

        It probably shouldn’t surprise us to see some people resorting to faking it for the news, any more than it surprises us to see people faking it online.

        One would take a steadier nerve than the other, but they’re morally equivalent.

        I’m speculating, of course, but it is an equivalent behaviour.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 11:54 am

        “Trolls have always conspicuously lacked evidence to back up the pretense of “widespread anti-Semitism” that is supposed to be the ‘real’ reason behind any criticism of Israel”

        Well, if you haven’t seen Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” or Disney’s “The Lion King” you have only yourself to blame. But you are hiding your head in the sand, my friend.

  19. oldgeezer
    August 21, 2014, 7:32 pm

    Just when you think you’ve heard it all. I have often seen outrageous posts that made me wonder (and they always will). They would just leave you thinking and wondering.

    “Described by the professor in charge of his academic unit as “the sweetest guy you can imagine,””

    The second lesson of this tale is that this professor is an incredibly poor judge of character. Of course they say serial killers are often the quiet ones or the neighbour no one noticed.

    Whoever the guy is he should be outed I think. I’m somewhat wavering on the fence on that. With help maybe he can turn his life around and shouldn’t be scarred for life. He is clearly a very very sick individual though.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 21, 2014, 7:49 pm

      hey old geezer, you may have noticed i extracted “harvard” a couple times from your comment. can you scroll up and see the note at the base of the article i placed there 3 hrs ago. also, i was just wondering where you read the article because you were quoting the report as it was first published. is it published somewhere online like that? i just want to make sure we are not spreading false rumors.

  20. That reminds me of something I saw at the CBC years ago.

    When Zionists’ persistent attempts to deflect criticism of Israel’s actions, by blindly accusing critics of “anti-Semitism,” were vociferously countered as being inarguably baseless, suddenly a brand new commenter showed up out of the blue, spouting comments that actually were anti-Semitic.

    I called that commenter on the fact that he looked like a plant, and that he only seemed to be there to give substance to the relentless accusations of anti-Semitism, which, until then, had been ENTIRELY baseless. He soon disappeared.

    (That was before the conservatives repurposed Canada’s ‘public’ broadcaster to serve fascism, racism, and Zionism.)

  21. jayn0t
    August 21, 2014, 7:49 pm

    One wonders how many racist comments online are fake. Or even whole websites, Nazi organizations and so on. How much is produced by lone provocateurs like this “Jason Beck” guy, or by organizations like the Anti-Defamation League.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 21, 2014, 7:52 pm

      i saw something on youtube i assumed was a false flag last night. it was drenched in so many inaccuracies and just represented critics of israel as completely stupid. i will go see if i can find it. someone linked to it on twitter.

    • We should certainly scrutinize accusations when there is a clear motive to create a false narrative, but it is important to differentiate between politically strategic fakery, and the very real racism that fuels killer-cops (or killer cop-wannabes) who feel increasingly free to kill black people, and the very real systemic racism that predictably fails to punish those homicides and/or murders.

      Some groups are so viciously persecuted that there is no benefit in staging the appearance of persecution, because it is ALWAYS easier to just point at a real attack.

      A micro-example: A liar’s anti-Semitism may be fake, but if his racism is real enough, he might dress up his anti-Semitic persona with an African-American sounding name, in order to direct the outrage that his comments produce, at black people.

    • lysias
      August 21, 2014, 9:34 pm

      By the 1960’s, I read someplace, the vast majority of supposed members of the Communist Party of the U.S. were FBI informants.

      • As much as we are socially programmed to reflexively laugh at that kind of buffoonish management of police resources and public wealth – or at least that was my first reflex – it really was an oppressive hell of a time for some people.

        We just fight the same few fights, over and over again, don’t we?

  22. Boomer
    August 21, 2014, 8:33 pm

    The irony is that, far from being anti-semitic, Americans like Jews more than any other religious group (apart from there own). As Emma Green put it, writing in The Atlantic:

    “Or at least, that’s how I read the latest poll from Pew on American attitudes toward other faiths. The researchers asked a panel of more than 3,200 nationally representative adults to take a “feeling thermometer” about religious groups in America, rating their level of “warmth” or “coolness” toward Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, evangelicals, atheists, and more. Here, the researchers used “cool” to mean “chilly”—the opposite of “cool” as in “you’re awesome.” Despite making up only two percent of the country’s population, despite having only 100 representatives in this 3,000-person poll, Jews were at the top. For Jews like me, this feels like the statistically impossible triumph of Hanukkah, only better.

    “As the researchers pointed out, respondents were much more likely to report feeling “warmly” toward the religious group they were part of; Catholics were all about other Catholics, evangelicals were enthusiastic about evangelicals, etc. Of all the groups in the survey, Jews felt most loyal to their own tribe; their mean “warmth” rating of other Jews was “89” out of 100, which roughly translates to “we’re totally awesome guys” on Pew’s ratings scale.”
    from: link to theatlantic.com

    This Zionist troll has to fabricate antisemitism, to support his outlandish world view. Of course, in a country of 300 million people, one can find some individuals and some incidents that reflect anti-semitism, but the general attitude, as reflected by this Pew poll and others, is quite positive. The general attitude toward Israel is also quite positive, but–as discussed here previously–rather less so among younger Americans.

  23. Raksha
    August 21, 2014, 11:40 pm

    Like I always say, you can’t be too paranoid. But even I’m not paranoid enough, or not paranoid in the right way anyway. I post in the comments section of CommonDreams sometimes, and I’ve had a few run-ins with this loser in his “HamBaconEggs” persona. He’s so prolific it’s kind of hard to avoid him. Probably put a certain amount of time and thought into my replies too. Didn’t have a clue…I thought he was a real anti-Semitic troll. And maybe he is at that, since he obviously hates progressive Jews.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 22, 2014, 12:35 am

      He’s so prolific it’s kind of hard to avoid him.

      that is the point of an agent provocateur. it can intimidate people who might otherwise speak out. it sets the tone for what ‘real’ dedicated anti zionists are supposed to sound like, it encourages other people to accept the discourse as normal. and the ‘moderating’ voice that speaks up is ..himself..as the progressive jew character which he revels in, and probably considers himself.

      this is how coin operates, counter intel psyops in the army. the infiltrators. often the position themselves as leaders and push the group to be more extreme.

      • Boomer
        August 22, 2014, 6:23 am

        Annie,

        Your use of “COIN” reminded me of a a very informative article in the Guardian back in 2011 which reported that:

        “The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.” link to theguardian.com

        The article is filled with interesting details, such as:

        “The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.”

        No doubt many countries, corporations, and other interest groups of various sorts are using similar software in similar efforts now for their own purposes. In the case of Israel, since money is fungible, we can assume that our own tax dollars support such efforts against us.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 22, 2014, 10:10 am

        exactly boomer. these people do not mess around. they have massive resources and probably operate very high tech. it wouldn’t surprise me if 1/3 of their operatives were infiltrators on the pro-p side and possibly all their top professionals. it just makes sense if your goal is to demonize a movement.

        and they were doing this way before 2011. way back into the iraq war this was going on.

  24. DICKERSON3870
    August 22, 2014, 1:17 am

    RE: “The next time you see radical profiles online, think who benefits. Because it’s sure not progressives. Ask yourself, is ‘Jason Beck’ unique in his duplicity? It’s unlikely. ~ Annie Robbins

    FOR INSTANCE, SEE: “Amateur or professional?” ~ by Rowan Berkley, Niqnaq, posted on Saturday, January 8th, 2011 at 7:56 am

    The weakness of this scheme is that the message boards log IPs and can thus detect sock puppets – RB
    ~ ~ ~ JIDF 4chan operations for Feb 2011 ~ ~ ~
    Jewish Internet Defense Force (offsite)

    This upcoming February we will be launching our largest operation on 4chan and other popular image boards, our objective is to create an image of Palestinians and Lebanese being virulently anti-American and anti-Western.
    • Create threads against Israel and fill them with posts from violent Jihadist Palestinians, claim to want to immigrate into the West to do Jihad, later on in the threads post links to propaganda films like Pallywood.
    • Exploit massive Lebanese immigration into Australia as a reason why the Australian people should support Israel.
    • Claim that Israel helps stop Muslim immigration into the West.
    • Post propaganda threads linking to Palestinian and Lebanese suicide bombers and other Muslim extremism, in these threads also reply as a Jew who has been affected by Jihadist violence, explain to the readers that Muslims are a threat to the West.
    • Start threads claiming to be Lebanese-Americans or Palestinian-Englanders, portray yourselves as extremely anti-Israel, later on in these threads claim to be a Jew disgusted by the behavior of the Lebanese/Palestinian man.

    MD5: 98bc2f5ba195396e3958bcec640a4292
    -7-6-6-2-5-8-2-1-8-9-3-6-7-8-4-5-6

    SOURCE – link to niqnaq.wordpress.com

    ALSO SEE: “Lets have a serious discussion about the JIDF”, by kevkevkev, The Student Room (UK), 9/12/11
    LINK – link to thestudentroom.co.uk

    • Chu
      August 22, 2014, 9:50 am

      great link. Thanks. We have to ask ourselves is this a few lone wolves? Of course it isn’t. The JIDF link provided says their fighting against Antisemitism and Terrorism, but they seem to overreach with duplicitous hasbara, based on what you’ve highlighted above.

  25. jon s
    August 22, 2014, 2:00 am

    “Never believe a quote you read on the internet” – George Washington

  26. Citizen
    August 22, 2014, 5:33 am

    There’s a lone commentator on Amazon’s review of Allison Weir’s latest book; he wrote the only solely negative review, without reading her book, and has been toiling away attacking commentators personally and otherwise spreading hasbara among the commentors under his review for months now. He works ceasely also to get Amazon to delete pro-book comments.

  27. wes
    August 22, 2014, 6:56 am

    What i find interesting is that this chappie posted all this anti semitism for so long and no one said anything from day one.if he did it on mondo he would be deleted right away because thats policy.same with infomationclearinghouse site.outrageous comments about jews and israel thread after thread.
    in fact i will tell you a funny story

    I personally had not been much of a zionist.in 1976 i visited israel,did the kibbutz thing but israel never really appealed to me as a country,i like big open spaces.also i got on a bus one friday going to tiberias after working in the banana plantations and a local arab worker got on at one stop carrying this big bunch of banana,s he was taking home for the weekend.he sat there facing me and i looked at him and he looked at me and i read his soul.i realized that there is a wound that will take a long time to heal in israel.i have not been back since but things can change
    anyway as i was saying that what has made me pro israel is the anti semitism that i came across at ICH……i used to call the site itch,as in itch to scratch
    Self fulfilling prophecy perhaps ? don,t know could explain some things that are happening in europe
    on the other hand what people say is not important its what they do.
    right
    taping into the otherwise neutral can give birth to all sorts of weirdo,s
    or it could lead to solving the unsolvable

    • Mooser
      August 22, 2014, 11:58 am

      Wes, we are already full up on mutterers, but if you can find a corner to skulk in, go ahead. But please, keep your hands out of your pockets.

      • Chu
        August 22, 2014, 12:36 pm

        lol! great. Sorry to laugh in your face wes, but you had that one coming.

  28. JustJessetr
    August 22, 2014, 9:23 am

    Great! They caught a fake one. Now to hunt down one of millions of ACTUAL anti-Semites trolling the internet.

    • Mary T
      August 22, 2014, 10:01 am

      Hunt them down and do what?

    • Marco
      August 22, 2014, 10:12 am

      People shouldn’t be hunted down for their political views, however reprehensible.

    • just
      August 22, 2014, 10:23 am

      We’ll leave that to you, Israel and the ADL, Jester.

      You are all so good at hunting.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 12:05 pm

        You don’t understand! When you’ve been persecuted and kicked around as long as we Jews have, you don’t just deserve equal rights. Equal rights is for other minorities, like Afro-Americans, Hispanics, or groups like gays and stuff.
        We Jews deserve extra rights, not equal rights!

      • AbigailOK
        August 22, 2014, 3:51 pm

        @just +1 My thoughts exactly. Some never try to miss a beat, do they?

    • AbigailOK
      August 22, 2014, 3:53 pm

      @JustJessetrOne fake one and the rest of those fakers are for real? Man oh man, some have no shame. Did you actually understand what this dangerous fraud has been up to? Sure you do but that does not matter apparently. Hunt down who? Watch your language because it is coming from your soul.

  29. Vera Gottlieb
    August 22, 2014, 12:11 pm

    Why isn’t this guy’s name being revealed? Why is he being protected?

  30. Chu
    August 22, 2014, 1:05 pm

    JIDF article – When persecution complex hits rock bottom it looks something like this… link to thetrenches.us

    JIDF: 66,000 members. link to twitter.com

  31. dberze
    August 22, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Is this the same guy? He uses the same avatar!

    Reddit’s Ferguson Board Is Run by White Supremacists

    link to gawker.com

  32. Neil Schipper
    August 22, 2014, 5:42 pm

    Steve Macklevore @ August 21, 2014 at 4:32 pm:

    In over three decades of pro Palestinian activism, I’ve never heard a anti-semitic comment. Indeed the vast majority of Palestinian supporters bend over backwards to ensure that there is no hint of anti-Semitism in their work or discussions.

    Never heard? Or gone out of your way to ensure you haven’t? Give a watch. You only need to watch from about 0:55 for about 1 minute, especially the 10 secs or so starting at 1:26.

    I know MEMRI has an agenda, and does not represent the entire Muslim world, etc. I also know they’ve been criticized for mistranslation & selective editing — back in 2004. I’ve found very little in the way of compelling debunking of any of their work in recent years.

    That public meeting — in Sydney, Australia — looks to me to be an actual thing in the world. How can such things not inform your view of the world?

    • jayn0t
      August 22, 2014, 7:14 pm

      “Indeed the vast majority of Palestinian supporters bend over backwards to ensure that there is no hint of anti-Semitism in their work or discussions.” This is true. At any BDS protest, you’ll see and hear people making concessions to their critics, saying that criticizing Israel is not “anti-semitic”, as if they have to prove something to Zionists. The anti-apartheid movement didn’t worry about “anti-whiteism”, but the Palestine solidarity movement is far too concerned with “anti-semitism”.

    • Mooser
      August 23, 2014, 2:03 am

      I want to remind everybody of one of the inexorable laws of physics: ‘if there is one genuine anti-Semite in the world it justifies everything Israel does!!’

    • Mooser
      August 23, 2014, 2:05 am

      “I’ve found very little in the way of compelling debunking of any of their work in recent years.”

      Why bother? It’s been done, and MEMRI isn’t about to change anything. Everybody knows they are full of crap.

  33. Citizen
    August 22, 2014, 6:24 pm

    On a related issue, the Pentagon is now blocking the Scott Horton Show, where Phil has appeared a number of times in recent months: link to scotthorton.org

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