European Rabbis petition Apple to ban anti-Semitic app

“The Conference of European Rabbis, representing Orthodox Jewish congregations, is petitioning Apple to remove a mobile app version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The work is a a historical — but completely fictional — ‘exposé’ on a secret Jewish conspiracy to take over the world,” Electronista reports. “The group says that making the text available in this form makes it more likely that it would be misused by conspiracy theorists and bigots.”

Electronista reports, “Egypt-based developer Innovation Group does include a disclaimer that the contents of the application have been described as ‘a forgery,’ but does not disavow the work’s anti-Semitic nature. The Rabbinical group’s leader, Pinchas Goldschmidt, admits the text of the book should be available to academics to study in its proper context, but ‘to disseminate such hateful invective as a mobile app is dangerous and inexcusable.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“The publication has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked, but it endures as a staple of anti-Semitic rhetoric among neo-Nazis and other anti-Jewish extremists,” Raphael Satter reports for The Associated Press.

“Israel’s minister of public diplomacy, Yuli Edelstein, said Apple shouldn’t allow the material on iTunes,” Satter reports. “‘They wouldn’t allow pedophilia and pornography on their networks,’ he told The Associated Press. ‘They shouldn’t allow xenophobia, anti-Semitism or racism.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple removes ‘Jew or Not Jew’ from French App Store; database of public figures seen as offensive – September 15, 2011
National Organization for Marriage to Steve Jobs: You’ve become Big Brother (with video) – December 17, 2010
Christian Group asks Apple to reinstate pulled ‘Manhattan Declaration’ iPhone app – November 30, 2010

61 Comments

      1. Essence aside, the article says that application’s content is “historical — but completely fictional”. It can not be both: it is either historical, id est describing historic events, or it is fictional, which describes nothing but someone’s fantasy.

        What is with article writers those days?

        1. it’s in the genre…historical fiction, present in many news sites, blogs, rumor mills…take your pick which one, depending on which historical fiction site you support and which you demonize.

        2. What they mean is that the Protocols has a well-known history as a made-up tract by the Czars, and it has played a role in many political and racial movements in the 20th century, in Russia and the Soviet Union, in Nazi Germany, and in much of the Islamic world. But what’s in it is pure fiction and conspiracy mongering.

      1. Proverbs 10:21 “… the foolish die for lack of understanding.” It is great to stand up for the truth when you can. However, I do not believe you can enlighten a fool on this blog. At some point, he will be on a long line of souls explaining to the One in charge that he was misinformed and wishes he could reconsider everything.

        Keep in mind that there were only 7 others with Noah. Everyone else knew better.

        1. “Keep in mind that there were only 7 others with Noah. Everyone else knew better”

          So what you’re saying is… Noah was the first person to claim global warming was happening, and did something about it. And everyone else was a denier and suffered the consequences.

          Got it 😛

        2. @Jersey_Trader, the problem is, which “One” are you talking about?

          Yahweh? Thor? Zeus? Vishnu? The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

          You can believe in any one you wish, but that doesn’t make it so. There’s the same evidence that each of the above is a true god: zero.

          1. There is abundant evidence to support the reliability of the Bible. But it can’t be proven.

            For me, I wanted to put the existence of God to the test, so I did.

            John 14:21–23 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

            So, I tried to do what the Bible teaches just to prove that this part was a lie. Then I would be more justified in rejecting the possibility of God.

            Only it didn’t work out that way. He did reveal himself to me.

            1. @Prophet, that’s effed up. You scare the shit out of me dude.

              The problem is I’m hearing the exact same thing from every other religious fanatic. There’s nothing to say your take on it is right. And everything points to it being a total fabrication.

        1. Regarding Gigamesh, almost every ancient culture has a flood story (visit icr.org and search for “flood myth”). I find this to be quite a strong indication that there was an historical event (visit icr.org and search for “gilgamesh”).

          Regarding Moses, you’ll have to prove it.

          1. True, ancient cultures having flood stories should be common. Flooding is common. I have 2 flood stories myself since 2002. : ) Though thankfully not of Biblical proportions.

  1. Why ban it if the books are itself studied by rabiis under proper context ??
    Also if the books is fictional , then Apple should just move it into the fiction category eh …

    1. They appear concerned that less sensible people will severely misuse the “information” presented in the ap. Considering the number of hateful people in the world, their concerns are likely justified. A game ap would not be a “proper context” for study.

  2. Can’t we just let superstitious idiots and ignorant bigots publish their crap?

    I’d rather see this stuff in the light of day, and see debate. The answer isn’t to have some official gatekeeper hiding ideas from the public. Even if they’re completely stupid.

    1. Debate among sensible people holding different viewpoints is one thing. Nothing wrong. The concern is likely with those who have no sense or respect for the positions of others. Your opinion on this is from an American/western perspective only. Jews, based on history, have reason to be concerned about such things.

          1. I’m just saying if we, as a society, are happy with the idea of banning ideas, we have to remember that it won’t always be the sensible ones in charge. Sooner or later the people who decide what to ban will be the crazy ones.

            1. Attempts at outright banning of information have generally failed throughout history. However, information and ideas envisioned as protected in the U.S. did not include everything. Subversive activities against the government are banned in the Constitution, as just one example. Hate speech intended to cause violence or hurt is not permitted. (One can’t yell “fire” in a darkened theater without being subject to arrest.)

              So, ideas are already restricted. Those sensible and thinking people among us would themselves likely not just be offended, but would stand up and say that certain speech goes too far…that consciously designed to bring death or injury to innocent people, as one example.

              In the case here, Jews are correctly sensitive that certain non-sensible people in the world (including some prone to terrorism) might be baited into action damaging people.

              Ideas are currently banned. The question is where is the line to be drawn. I do not have full information in this case to make an informed decision. But I can be persuaded that certain material can go too far and should be pulled by Apple®. This may fall into that area.

            2. Ideas are not currently banned, although public expression of some ideas is. That’s a big difference. You can’t ban the foolish from thinking foolish thoughts, even by banning access to foolish “literature”. In the Internet age, you can’t even stop the access.

              But again, since this is Apple’s store, it is Apple’s call.

              And you can, in fact, yell “fire” in a darkened theater if there IS a fire. (And that is sooooo NOT a comment on the content of The Protocols, before anyone screams.)

  3. I don’t see any need to pander to religious groups that want to ban everything under the sun. Why this is I don’t know. We should treat religion like they do in the Constitution, a strict separation between the temporal and the state. Similarly, a strict separation should exist between religion and technology in the app store.

      1. I’m concerned that religion is being used as a tool to construe anti whatever it is you want to call it. If people want to read a tract that lays out its foundation in assumed theorems, then they can make up their minds about it positively or negatively. There’s no need to ban it – that’s a blunt instrument that’s only used by the guileless.

        1. @Left Nut

          Yuo are looking at this all wrong. It has NOTHING to do with religion.

          The “book” was written by Czarist Russia to divert responsibility from them for the problems they created to the Jewish people. It’s a proven forgery.

          The Nazis (past and neo) and Arab leaders keep the book in print (and now digitally) to perpetuate the lies.

          Anyone who encourages the continued publication of this brutal pack of lies knowingly or unknowingly supports genocide, as the “book” is partly responsible for inciting the past and present murder of Jews.

          Keeping this app in the store is not anti-free speech… It is supporting evil.

    1. This app isn’t just about a religion. Judaism is both a religion and a culture. This app is based on a work that attacks a culture and spreads misinformation about them. If it’s presented in a way that makes it seem like it’s genuine then I think it has no place in the app store.

      1. This is a strange case: is the app presented in a different way than it would be just as a book in the iBookstore? (I honestly don’t know, and I’m certainly not going to download the damned thing to find out.) On the bookstore I guess Apple could categorize it under “fiction”, but book apps are just categorized as “books”, fiction and non-fiction alike. It’s up to the reader to make the judgment on whether it’s fiction or non-. So who makes the judgment on whether a reader would be confused? Is that even an appropriate judgment to make? Anyone can buy a hammer from a hardware store. Most will pound in nails; some sick few will pound in another person’s skull. Does that mean we should stop the sale of hammers?

        Ultimately, Apple is a corporation and will decide for itself. I’d prefer they leave it, I guess. To quote disposableidentity above, “The answer isn’t to have some official gatekeeper hiding ideas from the public. Even if they’re completely stupid.”

        1. Apple isn’t a democracy. They don’t have to appear fair or balanced. This pisses a bunch of people off and I think they’ll remove it. If this were in the iBooks store I think it would be a totally different matter.

  4. Apple opened Pandora’s Box when they removed the “How to cure homosexuality” apps. If they removed those, then they should remove these. Slippery slopes: they’re fun.

          1. Since when is Apple required to put hate speech in the App store? It can censor whatever it wants (and it does). And to the person below (John) – go ahead and believe it! Have fun, moron!

            1. I’m not saying Apple is required to put ANYTHING they don’t want in the App Store. See my comment under praus’s above. It’s THEIR store, and they can allow or disallow what they want. But for someone on the outside of Apple to say something “does not belong” in there smacks of entitlement. And censorship.

              I’ve never read “The Protocols”, nor do I want to. I would certainly not buy it from the App Store. Certainly this would be a clearer point if the Conference of European Rabbis was asking it to be removed from the iBookstore; while again that would be entirely Apple’s prerogative, it would be an obvious attempt at suppression of ideas the Conference disagrees with. I would note that they are not doing that; in fact they make a point of talking about academic study of the work as a text. Their beef is about it being a mobile app. I can see their point, even if I have not looked at the app. But I maintain that this is still a form of censorship, even if a well-meaning one. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, as they say. And I didn’t get that out of a damned fortune cookie.

  5. @dslarsen:
    Awesome!! I can’t stop laughing about the herpetologist talking snakes remark. Be careful here though- this site is full of right-wing Palin/Romney tea-party Faux-News watchers.

    1. …and talking snake oil salesmen.

      Why wasn’t the Da Vinci Code censored? Mystics and bishops and Freemasons should be attacking it.

      I really hate those who cherry-pick their targets claiming anti-this and anti-that. Let me read it and decide for myself.

      1. @Jesse:
        The DaVinci Code wasn’t used as a partial pretext for slaughtering millions of innocent people. Nor is the DaVinci code used to discriminate against a specific group of people.

  6. This document is the basis for pogroms in Russia, and the Holocaust.

    Millions of people lost their lives because of the lies made up in the Elders of Zion. This is not free speech it’s a means to ruthless execution and should not be apart of any society.

    1. @danilko1 — Dude, you are absolutely right. The “book” was written by Czarist Russia to divert responsibility from them for the problems they created to the Jewish people. It’s a proven forgery.

      The Nazis (past and neo) and Arab leaders keep the book in print (and now digitally) to perpetuate the lies.

      Anyone who encourages the continued publication of this brutal pack of lies knowingly or unknowingly supports genocide, as the “book” is partly responsible for inciting the past and present murder of Jews.

      Keeping this app in the store is not anti-free speech… It is supporting evil.

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