The white supremacist ultra-nationalist far right in Australia, like its pathetic bath-house-braces-bad-tatts-and-bare-nipples buddies overseas, is barking and baying an empty message of hate and violence consisting of repackaged bits of Mein Kampf along with selections from ancient propaganda toilet paper like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
In other words what they peddle as a “political philosophy/platform/vision” is totally devoid of a factual base.
Anyone with half a brain knows this, including their fellow travellers on the far right who are equally devoid of a factual basis for their own subset of bizarre beliefs. However these very same fellow travellers would indignantly deny they were associated with Nazis or were like them in any way despite ample evidence to the contrary.
The target du jour is Islam and Muslims: tomorrow it will be yet another group, probably the Jews who have never really lost their position as Hate Object No 1 with the nutzis.
The fact that Muslims are a multi-ethnic group and that Islam is a universal religious faith like Christianity is not a problem for the brain-dead racist zombies of Nutzidom. Nor is the notion and regular use of stalking, intimidation, slander and identity theft as an attempt to silence those they do not approve of.
Lacking any solid basis for the lies they peddle, the white supremacist/neo-Nazi/white nationalist collective have resorted to a number of illegal activities apparently designed to convey to their prospective recruits the impression that they have no opposition and that they are somehow “mainstream”.
Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with these criminals on social media will know that they employ a variety of strategies to silence their critics. These range from out and out threats, usually under a fake profile, continuing gender-, racial- and sexuality-based bullying and harassment, nuisance calls, publication of pictures and details of opponents’ young children (there’s a name for that beginning with “p”), vandalism to property and spurious complaints to workplaces (all of which are ignored by employers).
The latest person to have engaged their obsession is this man.
Josh Bornstein is a prominent Melbourne human rights and industrial relations lawyer with an impressive record of taking on society’s nasties, ranging from rorting employers and companies to the institutional child abusers and their deniers in his own Jewish community.
You may remember the 2007 ABC series Bastard Boys based on the 1998 wharf dispute where Bornstein took on stevedoring company Patrick Corporation alongside the union movement.
So it raised eyebrows when this high-profile Australian lawyer came to the attention of a bunch of Internet maggots in their strenuous efforts to kick along their own war against Jews and Muslims by sabotaging the smallest amount of progress in the Middle Eastern peace process.
And as we have seen in similar instances of identity theft pulled off by these and similar extremists they started off by creating a fake “Josh Bornstein” blogger which managed to fool the editorial staff of the Times of Israel, a Jerusalem-based independent newspaper.
The story surfaced in the media in April, Crikey picked it up and it culminated in Bornstein himself writing an article for The Guardian detailing the stalking, harassment and identity theft.
Social media itself was not blameless.
A fake account was enthusiastically welcomed by Twitter who were happy to receive money to promote a tweet urging the killing of Arabs made by the fake Josh.
In Josh’s case perhaps the next to last word comes from Flavorwire
The insidious tactics of these hoaxers, combined with the speed and fury which which online “outrages” snowball and become major scandals, are also something to be on alert for in this brave new world in which trolls adapt and change tactics.
In the end, this mini-blowup is a good reminder to all of us, particularly the pugnacious and sensitive among us, that when we see something that seems as though it were explicitly designed to gin up a high level outrage and disgust, that might actually be the case.
And far from silencing Josh Bornstein, this has impelled him and others to redouble their efforts to work towards a just and tolerant world.
And we strongly suspect that quite a few of the enemy will be feeling the heavy hand of the law in due course – in this country and elsewhere.