Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Power of a Single Blogger!

Guest post by Tropper is Troubled.

Events have moved very quickly this past week and Jews/Israelis have been thrust into the media spotlight with intensity. The way Israel stopped the Gaza blockade busters after it was provoked into action unleashed a storm of, well not pro-Israel sentiment, but rather a torrent of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic venting in the world media and on the streets of many nations.

Once again, Israel was hated and demonized for taking preemptive action against its enemies, almost to the day 43 years since the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967.The anti-Israel mobs took to the streets aided and abetted by the self-hating Jews and Israel bashers of all stripes and shades. People in the media referred to Israelis in the worst stereotypes of Jews worthy of the Nazis.

While the world was huffing and puffing with all this hate, across the Atlantic at a little-noticed "Jewish heritage month celebration" at the White House (it's not clear what "heritage" was being celebrated there because lately the White House people seem to be surprised that most of the world's Jews do not adhere to the standard group-think so common to secular political Jewish groups), something significant happened!

What happened?

At the height of the ships trying to break the Gaza blockade and with Israel being excoriated, none other than Ms. Helen Thomas, the senior correspondent at the White House, both in age and status, put her foot in her mouth when innocently asked about the event at the White House she chose to throw her notorious verbal nuke at Israel and it's people to tell Israel, meaning its Jews, to "get the hell out of Palestine...and go back 'home' to Poland, Germany and America" that is till reverberating across the news media and when her videotaped live comments were posted online, she was forced to eat humble pie, was fired, condemned by the White House spokesperson and had to apologize.

What was she doing and what was she thinking?

She is not senile, but she was throwing a life-support to the beleaguered blockade-busters who were causing havoc for Israel and she was in effect joining in with all the world's anti-Semites and Israel bashers who were calling for Israel's scalp. While it turned out to be her personal Titanic, it hurt Israel but it taught an even deeper lesson.

What is missed is that Helen Thomas was brought down by a one, until now unknown, Jewish blogger !

The most distinguished voice in journalism at the White House for 50 years, allowed to hector, lecture and interrogate US presidents in public, and one of Israel's most strident and sly critics was cut off at the knees and exposed as a duplicitous anti-Semitic hate-monger and biased anti-Israel advocate and instantly defrocked of her status as a reputable journalist.

The power of one blogger brought down Helen Thomas and it should as a warning to all those who cling to power in the old-fashioned way and hope that their nefarious views and deeds will remain hidden. Tropper learned this the hard way, as have many others, most notably Nixon with the tapes of his White House conversations and the Linda Tripp tapes of Monica Lewinsky exposing Clinton's behavior.

The until-now unknown Jewish blogger is an online rabbi, someone who has tried to make a living from work in the media over the years, or so he claims, with credentials from the Conservative JTS. He is no different to tens of thousands of other Jewish bloggers many of them rabbis of all shades and denominations who hope to make splash and a difference with their blogs or websites.

On his site/blog, Rabbi David Nesenoff's main "credential" is that he is the "Founder, RabbiLIVE.com" and as he explains about himself at:


"No Need To Wait... It's LIVE !

Anne Frank, while hiding for two years during World War II's Holocaust, wrote in her diary: 'How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.' Certainly in our new world of speed of light, sound bite, and mega byte there is no rhyme or reason to wait when it comes to helping our fellow man and woman. Slow motion, time delay, and reruns must be substituted with LIVE. RabbiLIVE.com is dedicated to preparing, repairing, caring, and sparing the world... and doing so now... in real time as captured on video at real LIVE events with real LIVE people concerning real LIVE issues reported by a real LIVE rabbi.

Israel, politics, family, religion, the arts, peace, war, controversy, celebrity, events, celebrations, rallies, sermons, and of course even, if not especially, comedy make up our lives. The rabbi must sometimes leave the pulpit and mingle with life’s fellows and foibles. The new literature, for good or bad, is video. RabbiLIVE presents LIVE literature that exposes and proposes...teaches and preaches. -Rabbi David F. Nesenoff."

He's earned his ten minutes of fame, that's for sure, but more importantly he has taught a very important lesson in this television+cyber-age with it's 24 hour news cycles and live blogospheres, that with the ability to use words and especially with a small recorder or video camera (it could be in a cell phone or pen) a tiny 25 second sound bite can expose a cancer, deliver a mortal blow to bring down falsehood and hate and equalizing an otherwise unequal battle between puffed up ego maniacal over-confident abusers of the Jewish people and the few who are bravely perpetually struggling against them.

New Hampshire cases of sexual assault of a minor, the statute of limitations starts 22 years after the victim turns 18



In 1997, 15-year-old Tina Anderson became pregnant after being raped repeatedly by an older man she knew from church. Shockingly, when her pastor found out, he forced her to apologize in front of the entire congregation in Concord, New Hampshire, and then promptly helped whisk her away to live in Colorado.

According to Tina, the first time she was raped by Ernest Willis, it was in the backseat of his car after he'd given her a driving lesson. She didn't tell anyone because she was terrified that she'd be blamed. After being raped by Willis again, Tina became pregnant. Willis, ever the vile human-being, offered to drive her out-of-state for an abortion or to punch her in the stomach to cause a miscarriage. It was at this point that Tina confided in her mother, who in turn notified their pastor, Chuck Phelps.

It turns out, she was right was right to fear being blamed. In a disgusting turn of events, Phelps told Tina she would have to go before the entire congregation to apologize for her sins. Excuse me? It seems that Phelps explained to Tina that while Willis "may have been 99 percent responsible," she needs to confess to her "1 percent guilt in the situation."

After Tina acquiesced in this humiliating act of victim-blaming, the church and her family shipped her off to live in Colorado against her wishes, where she was instructed to give the baby up for adoption. While Phelps did contact the police about Willis — you know, since he was 99% guilty and all — it became nearly impossible for them to do anything about it since Tina was now hidden away in Colorado.

This appalling story is finally seeing the light of day because Tina Anderson decided to come forward this year. Sadly, it wasn't until this February that Tina truly realized that the assault on her was, in fact, zero percent her responsibility. That's when she decided it was time to share her experience with others and to seek justice for what had happened to her as a teenager.

You might have noticed that I am using her real name, something highly unusual in rape cases because victims' names are protected. This is because Tina wanted it this way. She wanted you to know exactly who she is and what was done to her, not only by Ernest Willis, but by those she entrusted to protect her.

Since Tina came forward, Willis has been arrested and released on bail. In New Hampshire, in cases of sexual assault of a minor, the statute of limitations does not run out until 22 years after the victim turns 18. Just as importantly, police are investigating exactly how much church leaders knew about the rape. Of course, if the adults in Concord — meaning Phelps, Tina's family, and every church congregant who heard Tina's "confession" and sat silent — had acted compassionately and responsibly back in 1997, they would have saved Tina over a decade of heartache and their community a lifetime of guilt.

Roxann MtJoy is a freelance writer and case manager at a domestic violence shelter. She is producing and directing a documentary on women's colleges in the United States.