It sure looks like successful cognitive warfare: An Exchange between Weisenthal Center and Maurice Ostroff about the Ban Ki-Moon forgery

I just received the following from Maurice Ostroff, who blogs at Countering Bias and Misinformation mainly about the Arab-Israel conflict. It begins with a response from Mark Weitzman of the Weisenthal Center about the forgery we discussed last week. Ostroff warns that they may be dismissing it too lightly since Pravda has posted it as true and solicited a raft of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic vitriol in the talkbacks.

Response from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre re: Speech of Secrtry grl of the UN

I have checked into the account of the reported speech of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that was supposedly given upon the occasion of Israel’s 60th birthday. According to the Department of Public Information of the UN, the speech is “categorically a hoax”. This can also be confirmed by the account of one of the (anti-Zionist) blogs that posted the forged speech, where he admits he was fooled and took it unknowingly from a neo-Nazi site. (This is the url for the blog, and this is the url where he acknowledges his mistake). Evidently, this is another in a long line of Internet hoaxes that are passed off as real.

I hope that the information above has been helpful. Please feel free to contact us if we can be of any further assistance.

Sincerely,

Mark Weitzman

Director, Task Force against Hate
Chief Representative to the United Nations
Simon Wiesenthal Center
50 East 42nd Street, Suite 1600
New York, New York, 10017
tel. 212.370.0320
fax 212.883.0895

Maurice Ostroff
5/501 Asher Barash, Herzliya, 46365 ISRAEL
Tel. +972 9 9595 261 Fax. +972 9 9509 667

http://maurice-ostroff.tripod.com

To Mark Weitzman
Director, Task Force Against Hate
Chief Representative to the United Nations
Simon Wiesenthal Center

Report about the intention of UN Secretary General to ask the UN to strip Israel of UN membership!

Dear Mark Weitzman,

Thank you for your phone call. As discussed, I do not believe that this episode can be dismissed lightly on the strength of information on one or two not very serious blogs. The original report appeared on a very genuine looking UN News Center web site and it needs to be refuted prominently and officially by the UN.

Unfortunately the report and the negative references to Israel have been given credence by Pravda which alleges that the speech appeared on the official UN site but was removed under political pressure. See here.

Pravda is not uninfluential and has not issued any amendment to the report quoted above. What is more disturbing is that it is now running an additional thread on the same subject that is attracting a flood of anti-Israel talkbacks. See here.

Pravda’s claim that it received the report directly from its source at the UN cannot be overlooked by the Secretary General.

To prevent the allegations contained in the SG’s alleged speech about Israel’s conditional membership from snowballing, an urgent widely publicized clarification is needed from the UN and I respectfully suggest that in your capacity as Director of the Task Force against Hate of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, at the United Nations, you take up this matter at top level.

Sincerely
Maurice Ostroff

A visit to the site noted by Weitzman is instructive. Note how he frames the story — aha! it’s true (obviously) and it’s further proof that the Jews control the world media since they got everyone to take it down (including) the UN.

It has long been assumed that the zionists have complete control of the Corporate Media in the United States. AIPAC and its supporters have literally gotten away with murder over the past 60 years as a result of this.

But, there are still some that doubt that what I just said is a fact….. if the following isn’t enough evidence, then I don’t know what is.

On the 11th of May, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, called for Israel to be stripped of its membership in the world body. Did you read about it ANYWHERE? I know I didn’t until this morning when it was brought to my attention. The reasons….. here is just one of them;

The UN News Agency placed the Secretary General’s remarks on its official web site on May 11 and shortly thereafter, a news site in Israel called “News from Jerusalem” published the story on its web site.

Within hours however, the remarks of the Secretary General to the General Assembly were pulled off the UN site! In their place was a second address by the Secretary General, this one to the Security Council which was made the next day, May 12.
In addition, the May 11 story about ousting Israel from the UN was pulled off the “News from Jerusalem” site! In its place is a retraction challenging the validity of the source.

The above (in italics) is taken from a Blog, proving once again the valuable role played by the Blogesphere as the vehicle of getting the truth out to the masses. It is more than disturbing, it is downright frightening that our lives are in such control by the zionists.

Below is the full text of the Secretary General’s speech to the General Assembly….. pass it on, it must become public knowledge.

Desertpeace posted a rapid retraction:

A post I did earlier was based on what I thought to be ‘news’ from a reliable source…. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

The Blog I cite as the source of the article is a site run by one of the most despicable neo nazis living in the United States. The Turner Radio Network ( a blog attached to the Hal Turner show: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Turner#cite_note-0 ) is maybe most unreliable source on the internet.

The Turner Radio Network already spread many false news, and surely not in an innocent way: for instance:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/business/24turner.html

All of the above was pointed out to me by one of the editors of an Associate site, URUKNET.
For this I am grateful, and to you my readers, I apologise….

The ’speech’ supposedly written by Ban Ki Moon was actually meant as a satirical piece, written by Greg Felton.
An irony of the Net is that the Turner Radio Network is listed as a news site on Google, while my Associate, Uruknet is not.

To which I commented:

maybe the reason you got caught was because you so wanted to believe the contents of the forgery. and despite what Greg Felton claims, he did not make a “satire” but a forgery (i.e., he copied the letterhead of a public institution and tried to pass off his ideology — which apparently appealed to you). a satire is when you take ideas you don’t believe in and make fun of them, like Swift suggesting that the Irish eat their babies during the great famine. See my post.

meantime, like Greg Fulton, you seem to have a limited grasp on the difference between “fact” and opinion. it’s far from a fact that the jews control the media, and certainly not for the purposes of spreading zionist plots, not even the media they’re prominent in like the NYT. that’s actually one of the oldest of modern conspiracy theories and it radically misreads the dynamics of jewish participation in modernity, esp the media which engages in levels of self-criticism unseen in any other “ethnic” or “religious” group.

maybe this mistake might be the beginning of a reconsideration on your part. after all, you do have the courage to admit error.

Which he duly posted.

26 Responses to It sure looks like successful cognitive warfare: An Exchange between Weisenthal Center and Maurice Ostroff about the Ban Ki-Moon forgery

  1. Michelle Schatzman says:

    If I were a male accused by Senator X of having carnal knowledge of my farm animals, I could answer “yes, and during the act, I thought of doing the same to Senator X”. Or even “Oh, it is Senator X who introduced me to it”.

    However, I remember an italian journalist, during the “anni di piombo”, the difficult terrorism years of the seventies, who was stated “if I were accused of raping the little madonna, which sits on the top of the Duomo di Milano, I would pack my suitcase and flee immediately to Switzerland”.

    Stu, you were right.

    How do we destroy or overcome this destructive meme?

  2. Michelle Schatzman says:

    A few days ago, one of my messages was stuck in Richard’s spam filter, which might have been a good thing. In that message, I had translated into english the electoral propaganda produced by the “liste antisioniste”, which competes for the european elections in the Paris area.

    I came across this propaganda, because it was on one of the sites, which had forwarded the Felton’s fabrication, turning it into a bona fide hoax, with the most extreme parts of the Felton piece highlighted in red.

    Maybe this propaganda does not deserve to be posted here. But I’ll be glad to post my translation, according to popular demand ;-).

    What must be called to attention is something else. A yong lawyer, called Ziyad Clot, published in the rather mainstream web site Marianne 2, an opinion piece explaining that the admission of Israel to the UNO was conditioned to UN resolutions 181 and 194:

    Ziyad Clot is 31 years old, he is franco-palestinian, he has worked in Ramallah during 2008, as a juridic adviser to the Palestinian Authority – according to some descriptions found on the web.

    The marianne2 site is linked to a main stream media, the weekly Marianne – not as important as the three main french weeklies, “Le Nouvel Observateur”, “L’Express” and “Le Point”. But Marianne stands next in line. So we are talking mainstream.

    The meme “Israel must be expelled from the UN, because it was only conditionnally accepted” can be found also in Felton’s piece. Moreover, there may be some kind of link to the Palestinian Authority.

  3. oao says:

    So we are talking mainstream.

    it is a logical implication of my major argument (which i won’t state now to avoid you asking me again why i repeat it) that the kooks are becoming the mainstream.

  4. JD says:

    “Ostroff warns that they may be dismissing it too lightly”

    “since Pravda has posted it as true”

    Was Ostroff’s pappy a true-believing member of the Party? Pravda is a nut site, and even most nuts know that “Pravda,” ironically, is a word meaning lies.

    “and solicited a raft of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic vitriol in the talkbacks.”

    Hey, how about monitoring The Guardian chat rooms? I guess telling the fund raising targets we’re monitoring left wing hate sites doesn’t bring in much dough.

  5. oao says:

    Pravda is a nut site, and even most nuts know that “Pravda,” ironically, is a word meaning lies.

    to the nuts it’s normal and we are nuts.

  6. oao says:

    excuse me, cognitive warfare is very important, but the loss of america is even more important:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/05/023660.php
    http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/rosner/entry/the_natural_growth_game_of

    it’s a sad spectacle which will have atrocious costs.

    consider what this will teach iran and the pals, not to mention the rest of the arabs.

    it’s over folks. america is no more.

  7. obsy says:

    after all, you do have the courage to admit error.

    Which is honorable.

  8. obsy says:

    oao,

    I’ll add an article by Barry Rubin to your America is lost collection:

    No one in the region takes America too seriously because it does not follow up and enforce its positions. The PA knows that it can do what it wants and pay no price. There is no—repeat no—real pressure on it to stop incitement, educate its people for peace, make any real compromise or concession.

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/05/if-us-government-ignores-palestinian.html

  9. Stuart Green says:

    Michelle,

    Well, one way to overcome/nullify these memes would be to aggressively use the same tactics as our enemies. That is, we create counter-memes. Not defensive ones, but aggressive, attacking memes that distract/divert the public and put the enemy on the defensive. You could make lies as the enemy does, but I think the enemy is so belligerent, so offensive, and so hateful that nothing really needs to be made up. Besides, lying betrays some of the best western values–transparency, accountability, and honesty–and would serve to confirm what the enemy and their useful idiots *think* they already know about us. The feat would be getting various publics to actually focus their attention where it needs to be rather than on us.

    Slogans, chants, rallies that appeal to ignorant but well-meaning activists and students. A deluge of simple sound bites that are easily digested and dovetail nicely with movement X or campaign Y, such as “Socialists for Palestine: Up with Living Standards, Down with the Rockets” (that’s not very good, I know, but I haven’t thought much about this). Palestinian activists hold rallies to protest “oppression” and/or celebrate multi-culturalism. The bait, of course, is switched at the end, as it really turns out to be an anti-Israeli gig. Why can’t we do the same? “Hello member of Such-and-Such Gay Union. You came to protest intolerance, well have you heard what Hamas has in mind for you?”

    We could also start planting doubt memes in the students’ and others’ heads. We know what they’re being fed, for the most part. What if we introduced a “controversy” the way creationists and Holocaust deniers do?

    What if we started asking confrontational questions like, “Jesus and Muhammad: what have they taught us by their personal examples?” or “We believe no faith can rise to dominate another–we are all fundamentally equal *UNDER* and submissive to secular law. What would Muhammad say about that?” or “Have you asked a Muslim what parts of the Koran/Hadith they will reject?” or something really loaded like “Do you think the KKK are right to hate and persecute immigrants, or do you think the Arabs were right when they did it before WWII?”

    Anyway, just brainstorming. Not coherent, I know. Not yet, anyway!

  10. oao says:

    i read rubin every day.

  11. oao says:

    US Security Assistance To Lebanon Already Being Turned Against Israel
    http://www.mererhetoric.com/archives/11275591.html

  12. oao says:

    American poll on popularity of Arab leaders results in grim findings
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3722291,00.html

  13. obsy says:

    oao: American poll on popularity of Arab leaders results in grim findings

    The Syrian Embassy is likely tickled pink that Bashar al-Asad was the highest rated Arab leader in the question “which two world leaders outside your own country do you admire most.” Asad scored 18% — well below Hugo Chavez, at 36%, but ahead of Osama bin Laden, Hassan Nasrallah, Hosni Mubarak and Mahmoud Ahmedenejad.

    http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/05/19/arab_public_opinion_in_2009

  14. oao says:

    looks like american arabs are worse than their foreign counterparts.

  15. obsy says:

    oao: looks like american arabs are worse than their foreign counterparts.

    I guess it is the same poll.
    Look at your ynetnews article:
    The survey was undertaken in six states: Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.

    They probably call it “American poll”, because the statistic guys were American.

  16. Stuart says:

    Here is another attempt at posting this:

    Michelle,

    Well, one way to overcome/nullify these memes would be to aggressively use the same tactics as our enemies. That is, we create counter-memes. Not defensive ones, but aggressive, attacking memes that distract/divert the public and put the enemy on the defensive. You could make lies as the enemy does, but I think the enemy is so belligerent, so offensive, and so hateful that nothing really needs to be made up. Besides, lying betrays some of the best western values–transparency, accountability, and honesty–and would serve to confirm what the enemy and their useful idiots *think* they already know about us. The feat would be getting various publics to actually focus their attention where it needs to be rather than on us.

    Slogans, chants, rallies that appeal to ignorant but well-meaning activists and students. A deluge of simple sound bites that are easily digested and dovetail nicely with movement X or campaign Y, such as “Socialists for Palestine: Up with Living Standards, Down with the Rockets” (that’s not very good, I know, but I haven’t thought much about this). Palestinian activists hold rallies to protest “oppression” and/or celebrate multi-culturalism. The bait, of course, is switched at the end, as it really turns out to be an anti-Israeli gig. Why can’t we do the same? “Hello member of Such-and-Such Gay Union. You came to protest intolerance, well have you heard what Hamas has in mind for you?”

    We could also start planting doubt memes in the students’ and others’ heads. We know what they’re being fed, for the most part. What if we introduced a “controversy” the way creationists and Holocaust deniers do?

    What if we started asking confrontational questions like, “Jesus and Muhammad: what have they taught us by their personal examples?” or “We believe no faith can rise to dominate another–we are all fundamentally equal *UNDER* and submissive to secular law. What would Muhammad say about that?” or “Have you asked a Muslim what parts of the Koran/Hadith they will reject?” or something really loaded like “Do you think the KKK are right to hate and persecute immigrants, or do you think the Arabs were right when they did it before WWII?”

    Anyway, just brainstorming. Not coherent, I know. Not yet, anyway!

  17. Stuart says:

    Slogans, chants, rallies that appeal to ignorant but well-meaning activists and students. A deluge of simple sound bites that are easily digested and dovetail nicely with movement X or campaign Y, such as “Socialists for Palestine: Up with Living Standards, Down with the Rockets” (that’s not very good, I know, but I haven’t thought much about this). Palestinian activists hold rallies to protest “oppression” and/or celebrate multi-culturalism. The bait, of course, is switched at the end, as it really turns out to be an anti-Israeli gig. Why can’t we do the same? “Hello member of Such-and-Such Gay Union. You came to protest intolerance, well have you heard what Hamas has in mind for you?”

    We could also start planting doubt memes in the students’ and others’ heads. We know what they’re being fed, for the most part. What if we introduced a “controversy” the way creationists and Holocaust deniers do?

    What if we started asking confrontational questions like, “Jesus and Muhammad: what have they taught us by their personal examples?” or “We believe no faith can rise to dominate another–we are all fundamentally equal *UNDER* and submissive to secular law. What would Muhammad say about that?” or “Have you asked a Muslim what parts of the Koran/Hadith they will reject?” or something really loaded like “Do you think the KKK are right to hate and persecute immigrants, or do you think the Arabs were right when they did it before WWII?”

    Anyway, just brainstorming. Not coherent, I know. Not yet, anyway!

  18. oao says:

    Well, one way to overcome/nullify these memes would be to aggressively use the same tactics as our enemies.

    illusions.

  19. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Stu,

    from time to time, the blog engine seems to refuse our posts.

    In any case, controversy is a good idea. What about : “we support the creation of a Palestinian state ; but are the Palestinians ready?”

  20. Stuart says:

    Folks, sorry about all those repeats. The engine seemed to refuse my posts for several days, with the exception of a couple very very short ones, some of which disappeared, and then they all showed up simultaneously. Bizarre!

  21. nelson says:

    From 2003 to 2005 I kept a blog in English called Europundits. Six years ago I posted there something I thought useful then. Maybe it would be useful now. Anyway, here’s part of the text:

    “Monday, December 22, 2003

    A COUPLE OF SUGGESTIONS

    I’d like to offer to whoever’s interested a couple of ideas that might be useful. Some are older, others are recent and, if possible, I’ll keep adding new ones to these as they keep coming to my mind.

    1) The Palestinian and Arab ideologists and their backers have been for some time now stealing nothing less than the Holocaust itself. When they do not deny it, they try to cheapen it, applying the expression in the most absurd ways, using it in the plural and without capitalization (“holocausts”) to refer to whatever those they consider their enemies do, did or, most probably, didn’t even do. More than fighting fire with fire, it would be quite fair then to also socialize the expression “Al Nakhba” (something like “The Catastrophe” in Arabic) that they use to refer to the self-inflicted military defeat of the Palestinian Arabs in 48/49 and its consequences. My idea, thus, would be to call the expulsion (in the late 40s and early 50s) of 700/800 thousand Jews who had been living all over North Africa and the Middle East for over 2.000 years the “Jewish Nakhba”?. A day of mourning should be chosen (possibly that of one of the main Egyptian pogroms) by Israel to mark officially that tragedy and this should also be put forth to the US Congress (and, yes, the UN) with all due publicity.

    2) As someone who deals with poetry, I know that sometimes a short slogan can be more useful than a lengthy treatise. The briefest formulation I’ve found for anti-Israel bias, mainly in Europe, would be something like: Anti-Zionism is the European outsourcing of anti-Semitism to the Arabs.

    3) I’m no numerologist, but I do believe in the power that numbers have on the minds of people who aren’t all that familiar with math and statistics, journalists first of all. (The damage done by Marc Herold’s numbers, for instance, was really big). As I went to business school, I also know that they are less useful than most people think, but you won’t convince them of that. So, the only way of fighting bad numbers is having better ones at hand. I’ve circulated among some blogs last year an idea that, at the time, didn’t catch on. Maybe I’ll be luckier now. It is the following:

    A site should be created by several bloggers that would provide the better numbers available with all the necessary links. I mean, obviously, those kinds of numbers that are relevant to the war on terror: the number of dead on 911, that of those killed by the bombing of the chemical/pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also during the Gulf War, the Iran-Iraq war, the Algerian civil war, the war in Chechnya, the number of Arab members of the Knesset compared to those of Arab members of the French Assemblee Nationale and so on. The site could be called Reliable Numbers.and it could also be used to monitor the misuse of numbers by the press and the media.”

  22. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Hey, I like the number idea! (OK, I’m a mathematician, so I a am biased :-) ). The site could also include stuff on misuse of numbers. The famous progression “lies, damn lies and statistics” is a serious problem. With biased data, you can make up about anything. Conforms to good old GIGA (garbage in, garbage out).

  23. [...] “To prevent the allegations contained in the SG’s alleged speech about Israel’s conditional membership from snow-balling, an urgent widely publicized clarification is needed from the UN and I respectfully suggest that in your capacity as Director of the Task Force against Hate of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, at the United Nations, you take up this matter at top level.” —Letter by Maurice Ostroff, founding member, International Council of Hasbara Volunteers, to Mark … [...]

  24. Balls says:

    What avbout Orlev’s bill?

    May we mourn the Naqba?

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