Josh Howie

How to help out against the avalanche of antisemitism unleashed by October 7

Here's some hard-learnt lessons on what you'll face - and a few tips on how to cope

November 23, 2023 12:58

Make no mistake, there are two wars being fought.

One involves the brave men and women of the IDF fighting Hamas, the other is on social media.

And with the former risking life and limb to keep Israel safe and return the hostages we in the diaspora have, frankly, no excuse to not sign up for the latter.

For there is no question that social media has been part of the avalanche of antisemitism we’ve experienced since October 7.

There is no point debating the specific merits and dangers of social media, the genie is not going back in the bottle. It exists, it’s a platform that allows for dangerous and false ideas to spread instantly.

But it can also be harnessed for good. Which is where you come in.

Many Jews are already fully engaged online. Many non-Jewish allies are also there with us. And both are a beautiful thing to see.

This has been an organic growth from the early days of Corbyn’s leadership, where the few rallied against the many. Yet we are still massively outnumbered. And we always will be.

Which is why every voice matters. Some might question the point: the online world isn’t real.

This is true, but it is naive to think that just surrendering that space, won’t have a real world negative impact on Jews.

We’re needed as a bulwark against the lies, misinformation and hate that too many are too ready to believe. And if we want others to rise with us, to fight with us, not just for the safety of Jews, but for liberal democracies everywhere, first we must be seen to be standing.

Among those now recently awakened to the danger and wanting to get involved, the most common refrain I’ve heard is: how?

I get it, it’s daunting tipping your toe into a bizarro word of inversion and hostility. So here are a few hard-learnt pointers:

Start small Like, share, forward, follow, screen grab and copy links. It all adds up, not just in terms of support, but also to your knowledge.

As your social media bubble bursts you’ll see again and again the same lies, tactics and fake tokenism, and the same misuse of words like genocide, apartheid and occupation. And you will know how to challenge them.

Be bold
You have to forget politeness and the niceties of civil society. There’s no capitulating and bending over backwards to accommodate for the sake of compromise. The people you’ll end up engaging with are scum. Challenge them, call them out. They’re far-left cranks. They’re Islamists. They always act in bad faith. They’re disingenuous, they fight dirty, and they hate Jews. Oh, I mean (((Zionists))).

Keep calm
We all react to aggression in different ways. You can choose to be dignified, you can be rude, you can even swear. But stay calm and reasonable, even when you’re confronted with completley unreasonable.

You’re not doing this to convince the person you’re challenging, you never will. You’re doing this to expose them and their lies to the silent majority who look on. Provide the facts, supply the logic and reason. You have truth on your side and soon you’ll have others on your side as well.

Don’t panic
There are a lot of antisemites in the world. There are a lot of idiots. Their only real advantage is their numbers and they will use this force to gaslight you, to try and shut you down.

They’ll also use your private life, your politics and your previous posts to try and attack you. But you will get tougher. Your skin will calcify. It doesn’t matter how vicious they are, how greatly they outnumber you. They are wrong and you are right.

Take a break
For them it’s a game, or a matter of faith. For us, it’s survival and there is a mental toll. And that toll can be even worse on those platforms where confrontation is more likely to bleed over into real-life relationships.

And if you work in the media or the arts, you might be particuarly vulnerable. So remember your family and true friends and enjoy them.

And take a walk. Remind yourself how most people out there are actually good, and not mental.

Always check what you’ve written before clicking send. You’ll never regret spending those few extra few seconds. I speek from experiance.

Remember that we’re fighting actual evil.

We have many advantages. Not least of all, our cause is just and right. We’re fighting evil. Actual evil. And our opponents are very, very thick. There are aberrations who are smarter than most, but they always expose themselves in the end. And overall, we tend to be a pretty bright bunch.

Whilst we may not be appreciated in the diaspora for our physical prowess, online our talents can shine. We’re funny. We’re good with words. We’re annoying. We’re a stiff-necked people. We never give up. We’ve never lost. We’re still here. We will always be here. With your help.

November 23, 2023 12:58

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