JC kept to the PCC code

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has rejected a complaint against the JC by a Jewish internet activist. David Appletree was interviewed in a People page item in May celebrating his work “battl[ing] Nazis and Shoah-deniers on Facebook”. Mr Appletree later took offence to the article describing him as “Texas-based” and in his 30s. He said that this information in itself put him at risk. The PCC said there was no breach of its code.
    Last updated: 8:31am, July 10 2008

    COMMENTS

    Anon (not verified)

    Sat, 07/19/2008 - 13:48

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    this blurb misstates the facts of the complaint completely. Appletree was concerned about the risk it posed to his family. From my understanding, he is not even "Texas based" - but a bit of a vagabond character who operates from different locales around the world (as this is where his job takes him...) It was also a complaint about the mentioning of what he does for a living. Both of those items were supposed to be "off the record." Every other media organization which covered his activism, agreed to the basic requests---except for the JC and David Rowan, who not only published things that Appletree didn't want published, but misstated the facts (as it does here) and threatened to make matters worse, after Appletree complained to them about it. Appletree originally wrote to the JC to complain about many of the problems in the original piece (which misstated many facts.) - and the fact that he specifically requested that the JC not release information about his location (at the time of the interview) as it was irrelevant and he had (at the time) 2 viable death threats against him. (Since that time, that number has doubled to 4 death threats.) The complaint was also about David Rowan's attitude toward Appletree---and the fact that it seemed that David Rowan was threatening to make a greater issue out of it, by publishing Appletree's concerns. Upon dealing with Mr. Rowan's unprofessional attitude, Appletree filed the complaint. Many people are happy that Mr. Rowan is moving on and will no longer be the editor of the JC---especially since he feels the need to misstate facts, threaten people, and publish holocaust denying material. It is sad that the JC couldn't even keep the complaint private, we feel the JC is most likely deliberately mis-reporting this. From our understanding, the JC was warned about its behavior from the PCC and that actually there was no "rejection" of a complaint. From out understanding, David Rowan now has an opportunity at Conde Nast (Wired.) Those decision makers should be made aware of this person's blatant disregard for the truth and lack of respect toward his subjects. For someone who says they are a "journalist first" and then a Jew, it's rather pathetic.

    Jonathan Hoffman

    Fri, 07/25/2008 - 15:41

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    In an article headlined "JC kept to the PCC Code" you note (July 11) that the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) rejected the complaint against the JC by David Appletree (see 'People', 30 May). It did no such thing. The PCC simply found that there was no breach of the Code, which is a very different matter from rejecting the complaint. The PCC is a self-regulatory body which was set up by the newspaper industry. There are obvious shortfalls in its Code and its procedures - for example the Code does not prohibit discriminatory references to groups of people (as opposed to individuals) and there is no right of appeal over the substance of a decision (as opposed to the way the decision was handled). Mr Appletree has received death threats because of his campaign to suppress vicious antisemitism on the Internet, particularly Facebook. He therefore requested that no personal details that could help in his identification should be published. That request was not respected. When he complained to you post-publication, you threatened to publish the complaint, which would have represented a further threat to him. Yet your article of 11 July omits to mention that the Commission said "it was unable to come to a view in regard to the complainant’s position that he had made a verbal agreement with the journalist not to reveal this information". The PCC Code simply does not cover - and was never designed to cover - cases where an individual selflessly risks their own security for the sake of the wider Community. The JC should be an ally to activists and not a threat. By not respecting Appletree’s request to withhold personal details and by implying that the PCC finding renders his complaint groundless, you simply discourage activists from co-operating on stories of vital communal interest - and your readers lose out. Sincerely Jonathan Hoffman

    Jonathan Hoffman

    Tue, 07/29/2008 - 06:01

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    http://www.zionismontheweb.org/ Facebook: JIDF takes over hate group

    Peter Cohen

    Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:16

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    Jonathan Hoffman, the JC should be an ally to worthwhile activists. However, the photo of himself that "David Appletree" sent the JC features the logo of Kach or one of the allied Kahanist organisations that share the same design.

    The JC should not be the ally of Kahanists and those who support racist and terrorist organisations. Kahanism is a threat to Jews and our image, not something good. After all, it was a Kahanist activist who murdered Rabin.

    What the JC and other Jewish media should do is warn our community of how Kahanists use seemingly beneficial fronts as a cover for recruiting people to their campaigns of hate.


    Shoshana

    Sat, 12/06/2008 - 11:52

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    That symbol means different things to different people. It was originally found on a wall during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

    I think it's unfair to try to consider Appletree a "Kahanist" without sufficient proof of anything. Knowing his issues with the article, who knows if he even provided that image?

    I think it's quite stretch to claim that Appletree is trying to push a campaign of hate. That could even be considered defamation.


    Jonathan Hoffman

    Sat, 12/06/2008 - 14:24

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    Peter Cohen

    I do not believe that the JIDF is a "cover" for supporters of racist and terrorist organisations.

    I believe that the JIDF acts within the law to defend Jewish interests. Jews and Israel are being attacked online and the JIDF is trying to do something about that.

    Their "fist in star" symbol has a number of significances. It was originally found on a wall during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

    As Shoshana above says -- if you have proof that the JIDF is breaking the law - eg by promoting racism and terrorism - then please produce it.


    Shoshana

    Sat, 12/06/2008 - 14:57

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    I think you're right, Jonathan. And I think I figure it out. "Peter Cohen" might be upset as listed as an biased Wikipedia editor on the JIDF site:

    http://www.thejidf.org/2008/10/list-of-heavily-biased-anti-israel.html

    It's says he's a "non-Zionist." Not sure how a Jew can be against millions of their own people living in Israel. It makes sense that he's trying to smear the JIDF too.


    Peter Cohen

    Sat, 12/06/2008 - 16:44

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    It's a pity that there aren't time stamps visible to the public to show how this little shadow play worked and how it followed straight on from the JIDF vandalising Wikipedia and setting up a bogus account Peter Cohn there in the hope of vandalising pges which I edited. They also are sending me harassing emails today (what better way to spend Shabbos?) including one saying I should look at this page and the original article page to see their reply. Coincidence? Well I think you know the answer.

    This page has been idle for some time. Then suddenly two people turn up at the same time, in the middle of the JIDF's harassment campaign against me, and edit the page (and that of the original article about which the JIDF/Appletree complained.

    "Shoshana" and "Jonathan Hoffman" are either one person or two people working together to a prearranged script. If people want to look at the page discussing the JIDF article at WIkipedia, they'll see that there is a history of the JIDF having several accounts pretending to be independent users.

    And despite implications above, you will find that the JIDF attack on me on their page of Wikipedia editors who happen to disagree with them was created after I started criticising them and their Kahanist politics here and on Wikipedia.

    As for the JIDF wanting to distance their public image from Kahane.At present, the JIDF archive includes material gloating over the Kach logo being used to vandalise another (admittedly unpleasant) site. They also have seven pages praising Kahane. In the last 24 hours, they have added a page attacking the actions of the Israeli authorities against settlers in Hebron. In other words they do not and never have represented the viewpoint of mainstream Jewry. Readers should beware.


    Bill

    Sat, 12/06/2008 - 19:00

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    Cohen, paranoia will destroy ya. Thanks for the update on the JIDF - how about some links? Your impression of the JIDF is not necessarily accurate, but it's funny that you accuse people of harassment and following you on Wikipedia when it's clear you are watching everything the JIDF does, apparently. Let's see the "seven pages" you think are "praising Kahane?" Again, the article by the JC is about Appletree, who may or may not be linked to the JIDF in any significant way. Thank you for such the stern warning about the JIDF.

    Readers should beware that Mr. Cohen is the proud owner of 2 ferrets (it's on his WIkipedia user page.)

    Oh, and as far as Jonathan Hoffman is concerned, maybe you should search around a bit to know who you're dealing with there. I'm sure you can find more info about him on the JC site. He's a fairly well known activist for Jewish causes in England who's very capable of independent thought. So nice of you to get on here and insult so many people all at once.

    Stop playing the innocent victim here. You have been trying to bring this article into Wikipedia and then you commented upon it, so fans and friends of the JIDF responded. Hardly a "coincidence" - it's merely action/reaction.

    If you represent mainstream Jewry, it's a good thing the JIDF has a different viewpoint.


    Peter Cohen

    Sun, 12/07/2008 - 15:36

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    I have now learnt that Jonathan Hoffman is vice-chair of the Zionist Federation. As such I would expect him to be able to tell the difference between a generic fist in star symbol and the particular stylised version used by Kach and the other Kahanist groups.

    A graffitied version of the emblem on a wall in the Warsaw Ghetto would not have looked exactly like the stylised version of the Kahanists. The fact that "David Appletree" uses the Kach version of the logo says more than any of the answers he has given in the interviews he has given either for himself or the JIDF.

    It is true that the Appletree name is meant to evoke the ghetto, but this is just one of several names of dead Jews used as aliases by the JIDF. But the JIDF themselves feature an article describing the logo as the symbol of the Kach movement in here. http://www.thejidf.org/search/label/kahane%20chai
    They are almost certainly the "Jewish activsts" mentioned in the article title.

    There is a long history of popular causes being used by political grups to recruit members. (Think of how, in this country, the Militant Tendency used anti-poll tax federations, or the Socialist Workers Party used the Anti-Nazi League.)
    That the Zionist far-right should be doing the same should hardly be shocking.

    Sabotaging anti-Semitic websites is just such a popular cause among Jewry and one that I have no objections to myself. However, despite Jonathan's rather disingenuous comment, it, like all hacking, is illegal. The Misuse of Computers Act 1990 is just one example of the many laws around the globe that outlaw it.

    As for "Bill", he is almost certainly someone I have encountered before. Why do I think this? Because I have received abusive harassing email (which mention ferrets among other things) from people calling themselves "einsteindonut" and "Jared Kaplan". "Einsteindonut" has a long history of vandalising Wikipedia and of using multiple userids (known as "sockpuppets") to damage articles and harass other editors. Under one of these ids "Peter Bergson" he has also been listed in connection with various JIDF groups. Although my Wikipedia homepage does have a "userbox" that indicates that I own one or more ferrets. It doesn't say how many. The number would only be known by someone who ahs spent a long time following me around on WIkipedia The sort of person who would create a bogus id "Peter Cohn" to follow around my editing activity and undo edits not all of which concern the JIDF. (This id was rapidly identified by Wikipedia administrators as a bogus id and blocked from editing Wikipedia and so only two edits were actually carried out, but the intention was clear.)

    The JIDF is an organisation whose modus operandi is to have the same individuals dishonestly use several identities (some of them sleeper accounts to get round some editing restrictions). Who have these identities pretend to be new users who hae just chanced across the pages. (Just look at the history of the discussion page for the article on them at WIkiepdia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Jewish_Internet_Defense_Force. It hounds the Jewish Chronicle aout privacy issues and at the same time puts up pictures of individuals it dislikes on its own website. It is a group that has article praising Meir Kahane. It is an organisation one of who's members leaves because of the tolerance shown towards forms of racism other than anti-Semitism http://dconservative.blogspot.com/2008/08/is-this-end-of-jidf.html It is an organisation which then uses that member's name as a bogus id on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_checkuser/Case/Einst.... Now I ask you, is the sort of organisation that behaves in this way and that seems to show particular ire for Jews who challenge it, one with which most Jews should wish to associate themsleves or is it more likely to belong to the extremist fringe where Meir Kahane and his accolytes belong?


    Jewish Internet...

    Mon, 12/08/2008 - 02:04

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    It should be noted that many of Mr. Cohen's comments above about the Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) and about Appletree are untrue. Thus, we feel this might be defamatory in nature and have asked the JC to remove the offending statement. It is unfortunate that someone is trying to capitalize on the fact that the original article in question was troublesome. We are pursuing our legal options in the UK as we feel the original article about Appletree contained inaccurate information which the JC did not have permission to release. We also feel the JC's interpretation of the PCC case is inaccurate. And finally, we have a new chapter of Peter Cohen going to extreme lengths to try defame Appletree and the JIDF through false statements, assumptions, and allegations. He is actively doing this here on the JC website, a Yahoo group, and on Wikipedia.

    Furthermore, we feel that Mr. Cohen's main problem is that he is listed on our site as someone we feel is a biased, anti-Israel editor on Wikipedia:

    http://www.thejidf.org/2008/10/list-of-heavily-biased-anti-israel.html

    He himself has stated that he is an "anti-Zionist" Jew here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:New_antisemitism&diff=pre...


    JIDF Fanatic

    Mon, 12/08/2008 - 10:36

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    Peter:

    First of all, according to the Jewish Chronicle's rules for this site, you must not: post, link to or otherwise publish any User Material that is unlawful, defamatory, inflammatory,or which contains, in our opinion, any other form of illegal, objectionable or harmful content or which restricts or inhibits another’s use or enjoyment of the website.

    Secondly, I'd like to do a point by point breakdown of Peter's "points" (which are indicated in italics and with "//"):

    //The fact that he uses the Kach version of the logo says more than any of the answers he has given in the interviews he has given either for himself or the JIDF.//

    False. I'm friends with him I don't see him using that logo at all, nor does the JIDF use it. Perhaps he didn't know all that was behind the logo at the time?

    //It is true that the Appletree name is meant to evoke the ghetto//

    I don't think that is necessarily true, either.

    //JIDF themselves feature an article describing the logo as the symbol of the Kach movement in here. http://www.thejidf.org/search/label/kahane%20chai - They are almost certainly the "Jewish activsts" mentioned in the article title.//

    How do you figure? The JIDF has stated categorically that they act within the law and are not hackers.

    //Sabotaging anti-Semitic websites is just such a popular cause among Jewry and one that I have no objections to myself. However, despite Jonathan's rather disingenuous comment, it, like all hacking, is illegal. The Misuse of Computers Act 1990 is just one example of the many laws around the globe that outlaw it.//

    Again, the JIDF has clarified that they do not hack nor do anything which is against the law. For you to claim otherwise without sufficient proof might itself be breaking the law (as it is defamatory).

    //The JIDF is an organisation whose modus operandi is to have the same individuals dishonestly use several identities.....it hounds the Jewish Chronicle about privacy issues and at the same time puts up pictures of individuals it dislikes on its own website.//

    From my understanding, Appletree had a verbal agreement with the JC which he claims they did not adhere to. He also claims that he was misquoted.

    //It is a group that has articles praising Meir Kahane.//

    You mentioned earlier that they have "7 articles praising Kahane" and here you say it again. I have thoroughly reviewed the JIDF sight and don't see them "praising Kahane" at all. Can you please find me anything anywhere which would lead one to believe that the JIDF "praises Kahane?" If not, then you're just making things up again.

    //It is an organisation one of who's members leaves because of the tolerance shown towards forms of racism other than anti-Semitism http://dconservative.blogspot.com/2008/08/is-this-end-of-jidf.html//

    If you go to that site, you can see the JIDF commented on the fact that the person claiming was a member was actually never a member.

    //It is an organisation which then uses that member's name as a bogus id....//

    No proof of this either. Has it ever crossed you mind that people might be claiming to be a part of the JIDF who have no formal ties whatsoever? Has is it ever crossed your mind that people oftentimes act on their own? Do you believe Rabbi Kahane told people to do the things which you'd probably claim he inspired? Is everything that happens that looks like it could be Appletree and/or the JIDF, the JIDF's. fault?

    //is the sort of organisation that behaves in this way and that seems to show particular ire for Jews who challenge it, one with which most Jews should wish to associate themsleves or is it more likely to belong to the extremist fringe where Meir Kahane and his accolytes//

    Well, you can ask that to the each of the members/admins of these groups, who are associated with the JIDF:

    The Jewish Internet Defense Force (Facebook Page)
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22194342477
    3,177 Members

    Facebook: Delete the group "Israel is not a country"!
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10450965798
    71,181 members

    I won't go through all of them, but there are about 20+ of these Facebook groups which the JIDF created. They also have friends on Digg, Myspace, YouTube, Twitter, etc. We're talking thousands of people. The JIDF also has a mailing list with thousands of people on it. (They can opt-out any time.)

    So, have fun asking your question to all those folks. Most Jews support Israel and are against anti-semitic and pro-Jihadists trends online. The majority of mainstream Jewry supports Israel and are proud Zionists. It only makes sense that a proud "anti-Zionist" (as stated above) would have such an issue with a proud Jewish, pro-Israel organisation like the JIDF.

    You may not like them or what they are about, but it gives you no right to make up lies and defame them and Appletree....all based on what, a logo?

    -JIDF Fanatic


    Bill

    Mon, 12/08/2008 - 19:19

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    As we say here in America....PWNED!


    Peter Cohen

    Tue, 12/09/2008 - 15:38

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    For those who may be seduced by the claims of the various JIDF representatives who have posted here, you may be interested in looking at this page on the Anti-Defamation League's website http://www.adl.org/terrorism/symbols/kahane_1.asp where the fist-in-star symbol is listed in their international terrorist database. I may not agree with the ADL on everything but they do have a record of fighting racism in general and not just anti-Semitism and also support interfaith work. The JIDF, on the other hand, has been criticised by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for linking anti-Islamic hate sites.

    As for the attacks on me. It should be noted that the JIDF attacked me on their site only after I pointed out on Wikipedia that the picture of "Appletree" in the original article about him contained the Kach emblem. One of their members sent me a threatening email containing only the words "you might want to be wary of an organisation whose leader supplies the JC with an image of himself wearing a Kach and Kahane Chai logo". (This being cut out of a post of mine to Wikipedia.) Later that day the attacks against me appeared on the JIDF website. There was no attempt to provide me at the time with an alternative explanation of the symbol. Just the threatening email followed by the personal attack. The fact that they did not choose to convince me of any legitimate origins of the symbol but instead reacted with attacks on me, demonstrates the accuracy of my point. And the fact that the threat against me anticipated the attack on me demonstrates that the individual responsible is influential in the JIDF. This individual has been responsible for much of the vandalism committed on the Wikipedia page on the JIDF and has been identified as using many "sockpuppet" accounts by Wikipedia "Checkuser" specialists.


    JIDF Fanatic

    Wed, 12/10/2008 - 10:52

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    Actually, my understanding of it is that the JIDF reacting to your constant anti-JIDF stance in Wikipedia and your trying to smear the organization on the site. You were edit warring with pro-JIDF editors and tried to insert a lot of your biased point of view into the article about the JIDF. You misinterpreted the FAZ article and then misinterpreted here as well. The article never claimed that the JIDF linked to hate sites, as you are saying here and as you were trying to say via Wikipedia. Regarding the symbol, the JIDF does not use the symbol and I don't see Appletree using it either. Perhaps he had this one photo and submitted it to the JC w/out realizing its full meaning (as per the ADL's analysis of it). Kahane himself experienced a lot of defamation from the ADL, which is ironic. You're just trying to continue this trend, of defaming proud Jews who are pro-Israel. Also, again, no one necessarily affiliated with the JIDF or Appletree was behind any sort of "threatening emails" you claim you received. Telling someone to "be wary" is not necessarily a threat, perhaps they were just looking out for you. Hard to tell, via the internet. The JIDF is busy taking out official Hezbollah forums, as the ACTUAL terrorist organization is threatening them:

    http://www.thejidf.org/2008/12/hezbollah-threats-jidf-thinks-we-are.html

    ....so I'm sure they could care less about what you think or about your false claims against them.


    Peter Cohen

    Wed, 12/10/2008 - 13:31

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    For an organisation that is so concerned to portray others as libelling it and even gets concerned when the JC supposedly inaccurately says that "Appletree" is from Texas, and the ADL was unafraid to describe Kahane who he really was, the JIDFand its supporters take a remarkably free and easy attitude to the truth themselves.

    Contrary to what Fanatic claims, my reporting of what the FAZ said is accurate. Interested readers can see the criticism of "David" and the JIDF in the last section of the original article at http://tinyurl.com/4nuau4

    On the other hand, the supposed edit-warring that I committed was dealing with someone who has been blocked from editing Wikipedia because of how his approach to editing was destrutive to WIkipedia's priamry purpose of creating a collaborative encyclopaedia. This individual has repeatedly created bogus alternative identities and on the occasion referred to was trying to introduce links to the JIDF page which libels some Wikipedia editors. Pleas note that I wasn't even listed on that page at the time but accurately predicted here http://tinyurl.com/5cr7az that the JIDF would add myself and another editor to the attack list. In adding my name they resorted to the usual bullshit of my prbably not being a real Jew and if I were I was definitely as self-hating one. However my comments on this shamed even them into withdrawing that bit.

    As for the "be wary" not being a threat, it was cut and pasted from this post of mine http://tinyurl.com/5n79md An email containing just the text cut from my post was certainly threatening. The fact that it resolved into my being attacked on the JIDF page showed that the individual was operating in cooperation with the JIDF.

    Despite Fantic's assertion that the JIDF "couldn't care less" about what I right, it has used multiple identities to post to this thread. Also three different email identities have been used to contact me, one having the userid "the JIDF", onr havign the userif "ensteindon" which I know to be the individual who has edited Wikipedia as "einsteindonut", "Peter Bergson" and several other ids and who as "Peter Bergson" is listed as a coordinator of the JIDF Facebook group and several other such groups. The third was Jared Kaplan who again is listed on several JIDF-related Facebook groups and whose literary style and preoccupation with my having ferrets convinces me that he is posting here under a different name.

    Now if the JIDF were devoting itself purely to sabotaging anti-Semitic or other racist sites, if it wasn't also devoting itself to being a nuisance to both Jews and gentiles whose only crime is that they happen to disagree with them, if they weren't posting material on how Kahane was right and celebrating vandals who hack wesites and place the emblem of the fascist racist and terrorist Kach party, if they weren't applying double standards that certain racists and terrorists were evil and others wer good, then I wouldn't have a problem with them.


    Peter Cohen

    Wed, 12/10/2008 - 21:41

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    And here is further proof that "David Appletree" has knowingly alligned himself with the Kahanist groups the JDL and JTF, and that I am not the first Jew that he has threatened when wanting to erase this fact from the record.
    http://www.toluu.com/feeds/981244404/popular


    JIDF Fanatic

    Fri, 12/12/2008 - 04:04

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    Well aren't you the little detective. Actually, you haven't proven anything but your own paranoia. As an anti-zionist, you support people who wish to push Israel into the sea. You don't know the first thing about Rabbi Meir Kahane, the JDL, Appletree, or the JIDF. Defamation is the last refuge of non-thinkers. The ADL believes in giving up Israel to our enemies and pushes an socialist agenda. Ironic that you can bring up the double standards of the JIDF and use an organization like the ADL to "back" your point. The ADL defames Rabbi Meir Kahane. I'm going to start encouraging the JIDF to post more Kahane material, so it will make you and people like you think, rather than continue trying to defame people and organizations you know very little about. There's no such thing as a Jewish terrorists. There's only Jewish freedom fighters. You, my friend, are nothing but a traitor to the Jewish people. You're actively involved in this forum:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JustPeaceUK/

    Which actively promoted and celebrated this antisemitc "church" service:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1045447.html

    We see the folks you align yourself with. Personally, I'd side with people who are fans of Kahane than with folks singing antisemitic carols and who are for the destruction of the Jewish Holy Land. I don't know who "threatened" you but because of your own online antics and accusations, you probably brought it upon yourself.