Yochanan Gordon’s “When Genocide Is Permissible,” was a vile Chillul Hashem that will adorn the pages of neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and al-Qaeda websites for many years to come. But unlike the slander that appears on these corners of the web, it cannot be said that this wasn’t real. This was an actual article, presumably thought out by an adult, and self-published on a prominent website.
No one should blame the Times of Israel, or worse, libel the “Israeli press” like the putridly dishonest Glenn Greenwald did. Of course, a Times of Israel blog reflects the Israeli press like Greenwald’s mediocre blogspot in the mid-2000s reflected the American press. But that won’t matter. To those who only pay fleeting attention to the story–––a majority, it’s safe to say–––the damage has been done. Like the perfidious Greenwald, they now think there are Israeli columnists advocating genocide, instead of a fanatic from Nassau County.
The Times of Israel must impose some sort of quality control. It would be a tragedy to see this diverse community of bloggers disappear in a bout of overcautiousness. After this episode, however, it seems reasonable that an editor should periodically review the titles of recently published blog posts, and if further investigation is needed, the content.
UPDATE: It seems ToI has come around to implementing something like this. Good.