“Antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem, it’s an American problem,” Liora Rez, founder of StopAntisemitism.org.
Lockdown has changed the way we live our lives. It has changed the way our children operate and what they are exposed to. Moreover, the stress of the lockdowns has been exacerbated by the growing divisions and increased racial divide in our nation. Online predators know this and are targeting our children on the Internet.
Nowhere is that more evident than on the Internet. Extremist groups have a much wider and younger audience. Antisemitic extremists, racists, Marxists, criminals and enemy state actors, like China and Russia, that are seeking to sow chaos in our nation, are also aware that they can directly make contact with your children even if you’re home with them. They do this through your smartphones, iPads, laptops and home computers.
These nefarious groups are targeting America’s children and parents need to be vigilant, said Liora Rez, founder of StopAntiSemitism.org, which works to expose racist, anti-American and antisemitic groups in the United States. Her work is changing lives and exposing extremists but it is filled with challenges.
Antisemitism On Social Media
2017: 81,400 antisemitic tweets were posted per day (New Antisemites report)
Jan. 29, 2017 until Jan.28, 2018: The Anti-Defamation League estimated that minimum of approximately 4.2 million English language anti-Semitic tweets were posted on Twitter.
In a recent interview on “The Sara Carter Show,” Rez explained how she’s seen a notable increase in antisemitic behavior. Her non-profit Stop Antisemitism monitors, tracks and exposes these subversive groups and people.
She discussed the use of vast social media platforms, like TikToK, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by racists, as well as other predators, who she says, lurk in the shadows exposing American children to so-called ‘edgy’ viral videos that are actually racist tropes. These videos are nefarious and intended to subversively indoctrinate our children against Jews, as well as other minority groups, according to the FBI.
Like Rez, the FBI is also warning parents to take extra precautions with their children during lockdown.
- Children who are home from school and spending more time online may be at increased risk for exploitation.
- Anyone can be targeted by hackers and scammers.
- Protecting civil rights and investigating hate crimes remain a high priority for the FBI.
In some instances, other minority groups in the United States are behind the racist tropes and memes against Jews and the state of Israel, like some factions of the Black Hebrew Israelites and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. In other instances, it’s the more recognized groups like the neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, racist skinheads.
It’s not always racist tropes but ideological indoctrination that reveres Marxist, socialist values. What about the hundreds fo TikTok, Instagram and Twitter videos depicting police officers as pigs and threatening our communities.
“I’m not on TikTok, you’re not on TikTok, our kids are,” Rez told me. “And they don’t have the type of reasoning skills to sit back and say, you know what, this is not okay. You know, wait a minute, maybe we should question why.”
“You know, a group of people such as police officers, or first responders are being vilified,” she said. “So the fact that these social justice movements, and these hate movements are being targeted to children. And then the children, you know, they don’t know what’s right or wrong, they take it for what it is right? They’re not able to see that this is completely off the wall. They’re not going to go to their parents and say, you know, the police should be dismantled. They’re subliminally being shown that the police are there to hurt you, not protect you.”
Many times the messaging is not overt but subversive, she said. For example, there is no group associated with the video, but the messages are intended to push the “anti-American, racist, antisemitic” ideology, she added.
She told me that her goal after acquiring a large following on social media sites was to use her platform to expose the dangers online. It has not been easy for her. Many times she has become the target of the social media giants for exposing the growing antisemitic behavior on their platforms. Many times, companies like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook fail to appropriately monitor or remove the messaging targeting the Jewish community.
For example, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, a known and overt antisemite, has a platform on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and many times has posted antisemitic statements that have been allowed to exist on the platform for weeks before any action is taken.
Another interesting example is an algorithm discovered on Facebook that “actively promotes” Holocaust denial content. This is based on an investigation by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK-based counter-extremist organization, that discovered the issue. It found that typing “holocaust” in the Facebook search function brought up suggestions for denial pages. Moreover, it actually linked to recommended publishers and books that sell revisionist and denial literature, according to The Guardian, which first published the findings.
Rez is not surprised. An allied group of her StopAntisemitism.org, known as @StopAntisemites, has been jailed by Twitter for actually “exposing a physical threat against harming a Rabbi.”
The group has “appealed but have not heard from Twitter,” a Tweet from Rez’s group states. “Please RT to help get their account fully functional again.”
Rez warned that parents need to be more vigilant.
“Social media, as we all know, it’s the next frontier of communication or it’s, you know, the future of communication,” she said. “You know, traditional press and newspapers are nearly obsolete. And everyone was turning to the big three platforms, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to get their news fill. So when I established these platforms, I said to myself, you know, I have a dedicated audience. This is news that needs to get out and it was a perfect opportunity for me.”
In fact, by mid-March as the nation, as well as the rest of the world went into lockdown, the predators increased their antisemitic, racist and anti-American ideology.
“While parents are trying to kind of reshuffle their day in work, what are the children doing? They’re, you know, they’re on their screens, of course,” said Rez. “So, what antisemites have done, they very quietly — not only on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook where they’ve always been — they’ve essentially infiltrated TikTok.”
On Thursday TikTok’s CEO resigned citing continued threats from President Trump to ban the Chinese application in an executive order. Trump, along with top U.S. and European national security experts say the video application poses a national security threat as it collects extraordinary amounts of data on users by the Chinese communist government.
Rez says it is also being used by China and other state enemy actors to push socialist and communist ideology to our children.
It is also being used by those same enemy actors to sow chaos in the United States.
“We all know it’s a Chinese app, the administration and you know, many people are accusing them of spying on the on users,” said Rez. “We’ve seen it take a step further that besides they’re collecting information, and they’re watching children, uh, you know, perform these really fun dances where we’re seeing kind of bigotry and hatred, explode, and it’s not being monitored as it should be.”
“And we’re seeing children as young as seven being exposed to things that they don’t understand,” she said. “And, you know, this is where we come in.”
Rez says her audience – those that follow her – submit the TikTok videos that are hateful, or anti-American or antisemitic.
She says she’s “seen a lot of hate and my jaw is on the floor half the time.” She noted videos that she watched where people were mocking Anne Frank, in a “sexual way with catchy music in the back.”
Frank was a young Jewish girl that hid from the Nazis in 1942 during the occupation of the Netherlands. Two years later she was discovered but had written a diary that was later found about her time hiding from the German Reich that killed more than 6.5 million Jewish people during WWII. In 1945, she was killed in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after being discovered by the Nazis.
“And again, children as young as seven and eight are seeing this,” said Rez. “So it’s it’s mind boggling, but it’s happening well, and again, while parents are trying to not lose their minds, me being one of them, while they’re trying to work from home while entertaining children and making sure that you know, their homework is done at their, you know, you have to feed them, take care of them.”
For more information on the dangers of antisemitism, online predators and what you can do go to StopAntiSemitism.Org.
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China Expands Charm Offensive in Southeast Asia to Squeeze out U.S.
Similar to what is happening in the Pacific, the US is facing a significant uphill battle to balance China’s rise in Southeast Asia. During the recent G20 and ASEAN summits in Indonesia and Cambodia, the Chinese Community Party (CCP) media upped its propaganda war against the United States over Southeast Asia. Outlets like Global Times and Xinhua claim that China’s interests in Southeast Asia are focused on mutual benefits, while the US is a malicious force in the region. The CCP press also claims that China is generously giving robust and purposeful aid to the Southeast Asian countries, while the US is neglecting them.
Claim #1: China’s Interest in Southeast Asia is Peaceful and Mutually Beneficial
China’s approach to Southeast Asia is benevolent and focused on mutual benefits, according to the CCP-run press. “China’s goal is to achieve a truly prosperous and peaceful ASEAN,” and “doesn’t interfere in ASEAN members’ internal affairs,” according to Global Times. “China focuses on pragmatic issues, such as promoting infrastructure construction, living standards, which are needed in those countries,” and “China is seeking a cooperative path toward common development,” according to another Global Times article. That same article quoted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as stating that China and the ASEAN countries “are good neighbors who will always be there for each other…”
One country that is particularly thankful for growing Chinese influence, according to the CCP press, is Indonesia. Indonesians want China to “lead…the world to a more peaceful and prosperous future,” and view Chinese President Xi Jinping “with an apparent sense of affability and affection,” according to Global Times. Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the People’s Representative Council of Indonesia, praised China as “becom[ing] essential in improving global governance,” and that “the visionary concept of building a human community with a shared future proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping shows China is willing to work with other countries to create a peaceful and secure world with openness and inclusiveness,” according to Xinhua. And perhaps the most perplexing aspect of China’s “benevolence” in Indonesia is the “Peace Ark” – a hospital ship that has recently docked in Indonesia, but that is also a navy ship run by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to Global Times.
Malaysia has a favorable view of China as well, according to the CCP press. Koh King Kee, president of Center for New Inclusive Asia, a Malaysian think tank, stated that “China is the backbone of the global supply chain and acts as a ballast stone of the global economy in times of uncertainty,” according to Xinhua.
And in response to US concerns over rising Chinese influence in Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian dismisses the base as not targeting any third party, according to Global Times. Cambodia’s Minister of National Defense Tea Banh further claimed that the Chinese involvement in that base is benevolent, stating that the base helps Cambodia “in cooperating with friendly countries and help[ing to] maintain regional peace, stability and prosperity,” according to that same article.
Claim #2: The US’ Interest in Southeast Asia is Manipulative, Malevolent
In contrast to China’s benevolence, the United States “only wants [ASEAN] to serve as its pawn to counter China, and to fulfill its own hegemony goal, according to Global Times. At the G20 conference in Bali, the US takes a “hegemonic, unilateral and protectionist approach,” and “is preaching war and confrontation,” according to that same article.
The US and the West are merely using the G20 summit in Bali “to advance their own geopolitical agenda against Russia, therefore preventing the crucial meeting from tackling serious economic issues,” according to another Global Times article. “Such a geopolitical focus “will worsen this uncertain and unstable world,” according to Veronika S. Saraswati, China Study Unit Convener at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia.
According to another Global Times article, the US is using ASEAN “to drive a wedge between China and Southeast Asian nations in the future,” is attempting to “rope in the region via political, security, and value-oriented agendas,” and is trying “to buy off” Southeast Asian countries “by pledging to spend certain amount[s] of money.”
Claim #3: China gives Robust, Targeted Aid to Southeast Asia
CCP media taunts the extensive aid that China is giving to Southeast Asian countries. China has pledged $1.5 billion in “development assistance” to ASEAN countries in November 2021, and Chinese-ASEAN trade was about $878 billion in 2021, according to Global Times. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang claims that of the 160 “cooperation initiatives” that China has suggested with the ASEAN countries in the previous 10 years, over 99.5 percent of them have been implemented, as reported by another Global Times article.
Li also stated that China is planning to build emergency storage for medical supplies and rise within the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) framework, according to Global Times.
Chinese state-run media is particularly touting China’s Belt and Road investments in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Laos. According to Global Times, the Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway will be operational in June 2023, and as a “flagship project of China-Indonesia cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative,” will be the first high speed train in Southeast Asia, according to Xinhua. China’s ambassador to Indonesia praised the project, claiming that the railway “will greatly reduce traffic jams, make travel more convenient for local people, improve local investment environment, boost businesses and tourism along the route, and accelerate the building of a high speed railway economic corridor.” The ambassador also mentioned that existing Belt and Road initiatives with Indonesia like the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park and the PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry Park, “have generated tax incomes, job opportunities and foreign exchange earnings, and provided Indonesia with opportunities for greater participation in global industrial chains of stainless steel and new energy.”
Claim #4: US Investment Lags Behind China
On the other hand, the CCP media claims that the US is lagging far behind Chinese investments in Southeast Asia. President Biden’s newly announced “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” with the ASEAN countries “…looks more like a symbolic act. The US is playing the catch-up game with China,” according to Koh King Kee, president of a Malaysian think tank, according to Global Times.
US and ASEAN trade, at $441 million in 2021, was almost half that of Chinese investment for that same time, according to Global Times. President Biden pledged to ask Congress for $850 million in aid for electric vehicles and clean energy to ASEAN countries, but this amount is “symbolic” and a “mere ‘drop in the bucket’,” according to Global Times. In May, Biden “announced a $150 million development and security package” for the ASEAN countries according to that same article, which pales in comparison to the amounts in aid that China claims it is giving those same countries.
According to Global Times, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang mentioned that US investment in ASEAN is “a drop in the bucket if compared to US support for Ukraine” during the Biden administration, which Global Times claims is “over $18.9 billion in security assistance.”
CCP media is waging a charm offensive targeting Southeast Asia. While China is investing heavily in these countries, the US has yet to devise a credible counter to such influence.
You can follow Steve Postal on @HebraicMosaic
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