SHORTCUTS

By Forward Staff, Jta

Published December 30, 2005, issue of December 30, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

What’s in a name? According to Jews for Jesus, plenty.

Last week, the Messianic Jewish organization filed a lawsuit against Internet titan Google in U.S. District Court in New York City, citing trademark infringement. The subject of the complaint is jewsforjesus.blogspot.com, the blog of an anonymous individual self-identified as Whistle Blower. The lawsuit demands control of the subdomain name as well as damages.

Whistle Blower has used the blog as a forum to criticize Jews for Jesus, including references to executive director David Brickner’s “management by anger” style and a call for a full accounting of a recent five-year missionary effort by the organization. From the posts, Whistle Blower appears to identify as a Jew, writing “Jews for Jesus ‘knew’ that Jewish people weren’t thinking for ourselves,” and suggesting that “something might not be so kosher in JewsforJesusland.” The Forward was unable to reach Whistle Blower for comment.

According to Susan Perlman, associate executive director of Jews for Jesus, the issue at stake for the organization is not the content of the Web site but the right to control its own trademark. “We feel there is a right to free expression on the Web,” Perlman told the Forward. However, she added, “We feel we need to protect our name.”

Jews for Jesus has defended the right to its name on the Web before. In 1998, the organization successfully sued for control of the domain name www.jewsforjesus.org. According to Paul Winick, an attorney representing Jews for Jesus, the group is suing Google rather than Whistle Blower because Google is the commercial entity in charge of blogspot, maintaining the right to remove blogs that violate the law. “They’re most clearly using it commercially,” Winick said. “It’s their Web site, their advertising.” In addition, Winick said, “there are complications to suing an anonymous party.”

One unintentional effect of the lawsuit has been to reinvigorate the blog itself. Whistle Blower had only posted to the blog three times since its inception this past January, the most recent post being in May. According to exhibit documents filed with the complaint, as of December 21, the site had been visited a total of 54 times, and the blog entries had received all of two comments — one from Jews for Jesus’ web developer, requesting control of the subdomain, and one from Whistle Blower refusing the request.

After the lawsuit was filed and reported on Reuters, however, Whistle Blower resumed blogging on an almost daily basis. As of press time, the blog entries had received 264 additional comments and the site had been visited 3,395 times.

Google could not be reached for comment.

* * *

The Frumster.com dating Web site says it is now open to all “marriage-minded Jewish singles.” Frumster, which says it has married off 250 Jewish couples, had been open only to Orthodox Jewish singles. Officials with the site say it has 20,000 active members worldwide.

* * *

A Jewish lottery was launched Sunday in Britain. The lottery aims to raise money for charities in Britain, with some of the money earmarked for Jewish schools. It has a jackpot equivalent to $17,000.






Find us on Facebook!
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • 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.