Yourdictionary.com is the latest example of how anti-Israel propaganda, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have gone mainstream. Previously, we noted how anti-Israel propaganda had permeated Wikipedia
, thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated anti-Israel editors. But Wikipedia, despite its tremendous authority, is a source open to public editing. Yourdictionary.com is supposedly a neutral source, which provides "educational content" for profit. When the propaganda gets into dictionary definitions, it is a sign that it really has become part of the mainstream culture. Yourdictionary.com is not an obscure little Web site or a Facebook group for teens either. It has an Alexa rank of about 6,400, which means that about 800,000 people visit this site each week, over 100,000 every day. It claims to have received accolades, and is undoubtedly considered a reliable source by most of its unsuspecting visitors.
Yourdictionary.com's choice of entries is eccentric. Neither "anti-Semitism" nor "antisemitism" were listed in this dictionary as of July 19! Anti-Semitic, the adjectival form, is there. A very peculiar sort of dictionary.
For the entry Jew
, the dictionary lists the anti-Semitic verb form first. To be fair, it states that the usage is racist, but I have never seen the verb form of "Jew" listed first in any dictionary (as in "He Jewed me down").
For other entries that we found, the definitions were correct, but the examples included vicious anti-Israel propaganda and opinionated slurs, including deliberate misuse of other words.
"The only way for Israelis to have security is, quite simply, to end the 35-year-old Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory."
Comment: This is a dubious assertion. The territory was NEVER under Palestinian sovereignty. Before 1967, Israelis did not occupy it, and did not have security. Some legal experts insist that it is not occupied under international law - that includes a former justice of the Hague court and Eugene Rostow.
"The Israeli occupation will never respect the human rights or civil rights of the people."
Comment: this is an opinion, that is not necessarily borne out by fact.
"The cause of the problem is the illegal occupation, by Zionist racists, of the land of the Palestinians."
Comment: this is an outrageous slur on Zionism, as well as misuse of the word "illegal." Suppose they wrote for entry "Negro" - "Negroes are intellectually inferior." Would that be considered 'just an example?"
The apartheid wall alone makes a mockery of the pride's slogan of ' Love Without Borders '.
"Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state, " he said.
Comment: Israel is NOT an apartheid state and is not like South Africa. The slogan was invented by anti-Zionists and terror supporters to delegitimize Israel.
The end of Zionist ethnic cleansing, and the right of all refugees to return to their homelands.
Comment: This is pure propaganda and incitement. More Arabs live between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean ocean than have ever lived there in all of recorded history. Therefore, the charge of "Zionist ethnic cleansing" is a lie.
While some of the entries and examples may be a matter of opinion, an example (hat tip: Contentious Centrist) in the entry for "Holocaust" is unequivocally anti-Semitic:
"Zionists relentless attempts for world domination may lead to a new Jewish holocaust."
Comment: The charge that Jews or Zionists are bent on world domination is found in the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Hamas charter and other anti-Semitic materials. Yourdictionary.com is apparently in the same class.
We could not find a single entry in which neutral or positive examples involving Zionism or Israel were given. This could hardly be a coincidence. The examples, consistently anti-Israel, were chosen by them. How could they not reflect their opinions? How many thousands of young minds are poisoned each week by this insidious, disingenuous hate site that masquerades as a "dictionary?"
Ironically, it seems that the man who created this hate compendium is named "Love," and that is the basis for the name, "Lovetoknow."
What is your kid learning as he or she do their homework and use this dictionary?
The larger, and sadder aspect of this issue is the wider significance of this problem. The success of yourdictionary.com is appalling, because it means that the most virulent forms of anti-Zionism, which have crossed the border to anti-Semitism, have become embedded in U.S. culture. Yourdictionary.com could not flourish were there not a large audience willing to tolerate and even accept slogans like "Zionist world domination." It is not recognized as a hate Web site, in part because the slogans and ideology of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and the Hamas are coming to be accepted by a large number of Americans.
Meanwhile we do what we can. Please write to BOTH the Web site owners and to ADL. Protest that politicization of dictionary entries is unacceptable, and that omission of "anti-Semitism" (in whatever spelling) could not be accidental. Yourdictionary.com has a disclaimer stating that examples do not reflect their opinions.
ADL: Via contact form at:
Yourdictionary.com (Love to Know)
1325 Howard Ave
Burlingame, CA 94010
Please check yourdictionary.com for other entries that might yield "interesting" examples.
Do not accuse them of "anti-Semitism," even if it is obviously true. Anti-Semites know what they are, but of course they will deny it. Keep reminding ADL and lovetoknow until these problems are resolved.
GlamMedia are apparently their advertising promoters:
East Coast: 646-205-7008
West Coast: 650-244-4000x249
United Kingdom: 44-207-84-30-130
At yourdictionary.com/about/adopp.html, they claim to have gotten awards from various places including Forbes, IDG CIO and Library Spot. You might write to these people and try to verify whether or not they gave such awards to the site and why:
90 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Phone (212) 366-8900
Steff Gelston, Senior Editor, email@example.com
Michael Goldberg, Online Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abbie Lundberg, Editor in Chief, email@example.com
Elana Varon, Executive Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
StartSpot Mediaworks, Inc.
820 Davis St.
Evanston, IL 60201
phone: (847) 866-1830
fax: (847) 866-1880
Contact information courtesy of Blue Truth.
Original content is Copyright by the author 2008. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000583.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNNemail@example.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.
Replies: 6 Comments
Dear Mr. Love,
The verb entry for "Jew," though somewhat out of step with common dictionary practice, was not racially offensive, because you explained what it is and why it is inappropriate to use it. Generally the etymological root or most common usage is listed first. For some reason you listed the slang racist verb first.
The real problem is the use of racist and politically biased examples. People, including school age children who can't be expected to recognize the problematic nature of your examples, come to your site to get authoritative information. In that guise, they are getting hate speech about "Zionist quest for world domination" and political messages about "illegal occupation." It is just as inappropriate to claim there is a Zionist "quest for world domination" as it is to use "Jew" as a verb meaning to bargain someone down or to cheat. But you offer no warning that this usage is inappropriate hate speech. This insidious propaganda and incitement has no place in a reference work.
Ami Isseroff, Monday, July 21st
It came to our attention this morning that the first definition and an associated idiom for the headword entry "Jew" was offensive. I looked at the entry with our editorial team immediately. While the entry did note that the reference was "vulgar and offensive", we have decided that explaining the bias is not worth the risk of perpetuating it. Thus, we decided to take the definition and the associated idiom down from the site. In addition, there were some usage examples in the headwords occupation, apartheid and divest, which were inappropriate and we have taken those down as well. Those usage examples were not chosen by our editors (or any persons) but rather had been taken from a corpus of billions of words and sentences by computer and had not been flagged before. We are actively reviewing other entries and continuing to work to ensure that this doesn't happen again. If you find any other problems with yourdictionary, please send us an email to admin at yourdictionary.com. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and please accept our deepest apologies.
Howard Love, Monday, July 21st
sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The function of a Dictionary is to provide trustworthy ontological information that one can rely on. Your self defined "dictionary" hardly does that at all. it is instead a compendium of political slanders with referrals on Judaism whose intent is to distort the minds of innocent seekers of the meaning of words into anti-Semites, even if you have no entry for that very word . It is not enough to insert a disclaimer stating that the examples provided by you do not reflect the opinions of Yourdictionary.com . They convincingly do. It is a pity you stoop so low to veto knowledge.
Ellen Popper - teacher.
Buenos Aires - Argentina
Ellen Popper, Sunday, July 20th
Thanks for your alert comment, which has been incorporated in the text with a hat tip to your Web log.
In your comment, you had put a live hyperlink to the entry. Never, every, for any reason give live links to hate Web sites - it helps their visibility in search engines.
Ami Isseroff, Sunday, July 20th
This is a genuinely malign and invidious website vulgarly skewed against Jews and Jewish history.
Under the entry "holocaust" there is an attempt to provide the meaning of the term. In the examples of usage, here is what's offered:
"Jewish: Zionists relentless attempts for world domination may lead to a new Jewish holocaust"
This is antisemitism 101.
Noga, Sunday, July 20th
I know propaganda exists , but still i am surprised of how incredibly gross and stupid it can be in this site.
Do the maximum to make it stop .
Its a real shame.
emily serfati, Sunday, July 20th
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