yorkshire_anti_communist-post-removedA few days ago, an antisemitic Facebook community Yorkshire Anti Communists (ID 104387733236839) was reported to our online hate reporting tool, FightAgainstHate.com. It had been online since June 22, 2015 and had amassed 375 supporters in the short period.

We documented the contents of the Page and reported it to Facebook. We are pleased to share that the Page has since been removed.

However, we are still sharing some of the content from the Page to illustrate how it was using communism as an excuse to attack Jews in general. The page apparently stood against communism. Standing against a political ideology is not hate speech, and as such having an anti-communism page is perfectly legitimate. However, this page claimed that Jews created Communism, and Zionists have funded Communism since its inception. Having made this dubious claim, the page then descended into all forms of antisemitism: demonising and dehumanising them; promoting Holocaust denial; and promoting conspiracy theories about the Jewish race and Israel.

In his book “The Myth of Jewish Communism”, Dutch academic Andre Gerrits uses four observations to debunk the theory that the Jews created and controlled the Communist rising and the eventual communist governments. As a review of his book states: “Firstly, Jews were not the only ethnic minority over-represented in European Communist parties between the two world wars. So too were Georgians, Armenians and Latvians. Secondly, Jewish participation in Communist parties varied from country to country, and was not universally significant. For example, there were few Jews in positions of influence in the German Communist Party. Thirdly, it was not only the number of Jews but also the prominence of some Jews in leadership positions including state security organs that captured popular attention. And finally, the prominence of Jews in Communist parties tended to decline quickly once Communist rule was established.”

These observations taken together expose the weakness of this conspiracy theory. Yes, many Jewish men and women were attracted to the Communist movement. But so were people of many different faiths and ethnicities. The overall role played by Jews in the movement, however, was neither significant enough nor consistent enough to prove that Jews controlled or manipulated the international communist movement in order to rule the world, as such conspiracy theories claim.

Below, we share some examples of the content from the Page. Some examples relate to the conspiracy theory that Jews created and controlled the communist movement. Others display the general antisemitism.

Example 1 & 2: Using the actions of a single Jew to implicate the entire race

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Klaus Fuchs was not Jewish. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor. So the page is spreading malicious misinformation trying to implicate Jews.

However, even if true, it wouldn’t necessarily implicate the Jewish people because it would amount to accusing the whole race for the actions of one person in that group. This is done so often to the Jewish people that the working definition of antisemitism, presents the following as an example of antisemitism: “Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews”. Example 2 below exemplifies such antisemitism.

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Example 3 & 4: Holocaust Denial

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Holocaust Denial is a particularly pernicious form of antisemitism, which aims to deny or trivialise the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust. OHPI has written extensively on why Facebook should ban Holocaust denial as hate speech from its platform. You can read it here. As OHPI’s CEO, Dr Andre Oboler, stated in one of our recent reports: “The Holocaust is a tragedy of human history in which a vast number of people lost their lives. Not only families, but entire communities were wiped out. The Holocaust is the event from which the very concepts of genocide and of crimes against humanity were created. To mock the Holocaust is not just to insult Jews, or to make fun of the dead, or to insult the survivors by calling their testimony lies. These may be the reasons we object to Holocaust denial, but they are not the reason why France and other countries ban Holocaust denial. The reason Holocaust denial is banned is the same reason glorification of Nazism is banned. They are banned out of a desire to prevent a re-emergence of fascism.”

Examples 5 & 6: Promoting conspiracy theories

Below are examples of content from the community, which promote conspiracy theories about the Jews: such as, they control the media and or aim to gain control over the world through a new world order. Most of these stem out of a fraudulent document called the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” about which we have written here.

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Example 7: Content promoting homophobia

The community page also promoted homophobia. Below is one such example.

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We congratulate Facebook for its quick and accurate response to our report.

We also encourage all our supporters to report any form of online hate they encounter on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to our online hate reporting tool FightAgainstHate.com (after reporting it to the platform). To find out how our tool empowers social media users, go here.

To read other publications by OHPI on online antisemitism, go here.

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