A letter to the Editor from Ira Forman, NJDC's Executive Director, responding to the Swift Boating of MoveOn.org by the Republican Jewish Coalition.
October 24, 2006
To the Editor:
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks' October 19 op-ed selflessly proclaims "Don't shoot the messenger." But what do you do when the messenger is lying?
Republican claims that progressive websites, such as MoveOn.org, are filled with anti-Semitism just isn't true. Indeed, of the tens of thousands of postings on MoveOn.org each week, there have been a very small number of anonymous anti-Semitic postings on the site. Critically, those postings were made in an open forum where non-members and members alike can post comments anonymously.
Counter to the editorial's assertion, the postings were taken down immediately by MoveOn officials and refuted immediately by members of the organization. In fact, the Anti-Defamation League letter of which Brooks speaks was written 17 days AFTER MoveOn had already removed the anonymous postings.
Even more, Eli Pariser, Executive Director of MoveOn's Political Action Committee, called the postings "abhorrent" and expressed his pleasure that "so many MoveOn members rose to sharply criticize the hate speech that was posted – even before it was brought to our attention." The ADL praised MoveOn for its "responsiveness," noting that "the matter has been resolved satisfactorily.
Online communities, such as MoveOn.org, are open forums which not only preach free speech, but actually practice it. Jewish voters should take comfort in knowing that MoveOn.org is not a haven for anti-Semitism and the organization will renounce and remove any postings of the sort.
Leave it to Republicans to not allow the truth to get in the way of campaigning.
National Jewish Democratic Council