Australian Jews Want Facebook To Block Page

Anti-Semitic Page Engages in 'Hate Speech'

By JTA

Published September 27, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Jewish leader in Australia blasted Facebook for continuing to allow access to a page that “constitutes hate speech against Jews.”

Peter Wertheim, the executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, lashed out at the social networking platform Thursday after a spokesman defended the organization’s right to publish the “Jewish memes” page even though it is now inaccessible from Australia.

The page, which was established Aug. 30, was withdrawn in Australia last month following a chorus of condemnation, including criticism from Race Relations Commissioner Dr. Helen Szoke, who said Facebook could be in breach of local racial vilification legislation.

The page includes depictions of Jews as fodder for gas chambers and a photo of Anne Frank with the message, “What’s that burning? Oh it’s my family.”

It also features an “apology” addressed to “any Jewish person who is offended by our jokes” that says “You are not special because you suffered. Shut your self-serving mouths and get over it.”

But a Facebook spokesman told JTA that while the content is “incredibly distasteful,” it does not violate its terms.

“Hate speech against protected categories is against Facebook’s terms,” the spokesman said. “However, humorous content is still allowed to target those categories.

“Ultimately, this is an issue of free speech – these pages are clearly offensive to some but as they are not targeting individuals, are based on humor and make no credible threat of violence they will not be removed.”

In response, Wertheim said it was “an indictment of Facebook” that it cannot understand the content “constitutes hate speech.”

Wertheim added that “Facebook would do well to remember the admonition of the internationally renowned human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler that the Holocaust did not begin with deeds, it began with words.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.