May 19, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 19, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Questions for the Most Important Pro-Israel Blogger You Likely Never Heard Of

The following cartoon from the pro-Israel blogger known as the Elder of Ziyon does a good job of summing up how the United Nations deals with Israel.

The United Nations has made the systematic invalidation of Israel a de facto tenet of its existence. Many U.N. agencies have their goal, like UNRWA, not to serve their constituency, but rather to preserve the existence of the agency. Often to the detriment of Israel.

Anti-Israel coverage in the Arab world has been going on for decades. Hasbara has long been used to counter that. And it’s unclear how effective it has been.

But one person who has been at the forefront of countering anti-Israel bias is an anonymous blogger known as the Elder of Ziyon. He wants to remain anonymous and has done a good job at that.

We know he’s an American male based on public audio recordings he has given. See https://www.youtube.com/@TheElderOfZiyon.

Of course, he could be putting on an American accent. But whoever he is and wherever he is from is ultimately irrelevant.

I’ve been a big fan of the Elder for many years. I reviewed his book “Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism” in The Jewish Link in 2022: https://jewishlink.news/antisemitism-today/

As good as his blog is, https://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/, I find it surprising that more people don’t know of it.

I contacted the Elder, who was kind enough to answer some questions.

 

When did you start your blog?

I started it in August 2004, making this my 20th year. If I wasn’t a real “elder” when I started I think I might be one now.

 

What motivated you to do it?

In the early 2000s, I was active in the Israel/Palestinian debate section of the now-defunct Yahoo! Message boards. I would write mini-essays that I was proud of, but only a few people would read them, and after a day or two, they were not easily accessible. A blog would allow me to start writing my analysis, which would be more permanent. It’s grown quite a bit, with about 30,000 views a day and some 70,000 Twitter/X impressions a day, plus more people following me on email lists, Facebook and Instagram.

 

Do you read/write/understand Arabic? If so, how much?

No, I don’t. I use Google Translate extensively every day to translate articles in Arab media, and more recently, it has also allowed me to translate graphics. In the beginning, it was a crude translation, but soon, I got the hang of it and would edit my translations to what the writer meant. (One prominent Arab journalist thought I was an Arabic expert based on my translations!) When I’m not certain that I understand the translation properly, I have a couple of real experts whom I can ask for help.

 

Which media outlet in the Arab world is the most anti-Israel?

The list is long! Iraqi and Algerian media used to be the worst, but unfortunately, over the past year Jordanian media like Al Ghad TV and various Nasserist newspapers in Egypt have gotten just as bad. Houthi media is particularly antisemitic, which is to be expected because the Houthis don’t even pretend to distinguish between Jews and Zionists; their slogan includes “Curse the Jews.”

 

Which media outlet in the Arab world is the most pro-Israel?

It would be misleading to say any are pro-Israel, but Asharq al-Awsat has some articles that look at Israel fairly. Al Hurra is fair towards Israel, but the U.S. government funds it, so I’m not sure if that counts.

 

Which non-Arab media outlet is the most anti-Israel?

The Guardian wins that ignoble prize among mainstream media. However, the BBC and CNN are right up there during the current war.

 

Which non-Arab media outlet is the most pro-Israel?

The New York Post is pro-Israel, as is the editorial section of The Wall Street Journal. Smaller internet-only media like the Free Press and Washington Free Beacon are important sources.

 

Do you think you could gain more credibility if you were not anonymous?

I decided to remain anonymous originally for career reasons and later for the safety of my family as I saw how pro-Israel activists would be harassed. To compensate for my anonymity, I provide sources for every fact I write, substituting transparency in reporting for revealing my name, which really shouldn’t matter anyway. That being said, being anonymous means I am more limited in public speaking or writing op-eds for other media outlets, which would be nice to do.

 

What can the average person do, if anything, to fight anti-Israel bias in the media?

The best thing everyone could do is follow CAMERA and HonestReporting. When those groups point out media bias, contact your local newspaper or news station and politely point out their mistakes and ask for a correction. Also, while op-eds don’t have to be objective, they must tell the truth, so emails to the editors for op-eds that include lies are also helpful.

 

Besides Eylon Levy, who do you think does a good job articulating the case for Israel?

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari has been excellent in dispassionately explaining the facts during the war. Outside the Israeli government, Douglas Murray and Richie Torres have been great. Perhaps the most knowledgeable advocate for Israel to emerge has been John Spencer, who knows more about urban and tunnel warfare than anyone else and who has been invaluable in explaining the unprecedented challenges the IDF faces in Gaza.

 

The Neturei Karta gets a lot of press for a tiny organization. Should anything be done about it, or should we just ignore it?

The only reason they are effective is their haredi clothing. The yeshivish and Chasidic communities have publicly condemned them, but that news has not gotten out to mainstream media, and that needs to happen every time they are in the news. Moreover, NK can be discredited with photos of them apparently being “mechalel Shabbos b’farhesiya” as they attend rallies on Shabbat alongside the worst antisemites, sometimes holding signs outside an eruv. At the very least, they prioritize their political activities over celebrating Shabbat, which no real religious Jew would do.

 

What can be done about the United Nations’ anti-Israel bias?

The U.N. and most of its associated agencies are hopeless. The bias is built in, and they will never be reformed. The only thing that can be done is for the U.S. and remaining European powers to make a consistent stand that if it doesn’t change course, they will quit—and do it. Realistically speaking, that won’t happen. UN Watch is the single most effective organization exposing U.N. hypocrisy and antisemitism. Support them.

 

Is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) doomed or just suffering a short-term downturn?

If any U.N. agency should be dismantled, it is UNRWA. Its very existence is guaranteed by the world community until Israel is destroyed. Unfortunately, UNRWA isn’t going anywhere. It has gone through financial crises before, and the free world always bails them out, and this is happening now as well. Ironically, it gets relatively little support from the Arab world.

 

How truly unshakable is the unshakable U.S./Israel bond?

U.S. support for Israel cannot be relied upon anymore. We saw it during the Carter years, during the Obama years, and now as well. Should Trump win in November, I have concerns about whether he will remain reliably pro-Israel as well. For other foreign policy issues, he is more isolationist, and the Republican party is turning more towards that position for Israel as well. If he feels that an Israeli leader slighted him, who knows how he would react?

 

Do you work for the Mossad? And have you ever been contacted by Israeli government agencies about what you do?

No, I don’t work for the Mossad. Although if I did, I suppose I would deny it. I’ve been contacted by individuals who work for the government, or IDF, and a few years ago, I went to Israel to participate in online media conferences sponsored by the government, but nothing beyond that. I honestly wouldn’t want to work for them because I want to maintain my independence and integrity, and if I think that they are doing the wrong thing, I want to be able to say so. It doesn’t happen often, though.

 

Any parting thoughts?

When Israel bombed the Osirak nuclear reactor In Iraq in 1981, there was universal condemnation. It took decades before many leaders publicly praised the action as having thrown a monkey wrench into Iraq’s nuclear weapons program. The same thing is happening today. It will take a long time for most people to realize that destroying Hamas is not only critical for Israel but for the entire free world. Even if they never do, it is still the right thing to do, not only because of the immediate problem of Hamas but also because it would be a significant blow to Iran’s “axis of resistance,” which is a threat to everyone.

The sheer amount of hate for Israel and Jews since October 7 has been mentally exhausting. It’s essential to counter the lies and to make sure that people know that Israel is doing the right thing. Be vocal and proud Zionists. My site at https://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/ and Twitter/X account at @elderofziyon can provide raw material, but it is up to everyone to use that information. It is a privilege to be one of the top pro-Israel advocates online, and I thank all my readers and supporters.


Ben Rothke lives in New Jersey and works in the information security field. He reviews books on religion, technology, philosophy, and science. Follow him on Twitter at @benrothke. His new book, “The Definitive Guide to PCI DSS Version 4: Documentation, Compliance, and Management,” was recently published.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles