Anti-Barak Web sites get graphic

NEW YORK, July 18 (JTA) — As Israeli and U.S. activists turned up their rhetoric in the days preceding the Camp David summit, they hurled some of their most incendiary language on the Internet.

Microsoft last week removed a Web site calling for the assassination of Prime Minister Ehud Barak from its MSN Web Communities.

After receiving a letter from the Anti-Defamation League, Microsoft removed the Web site, signed by the “Israel Liberation Army,” calling it a violation of MSN Terms of Use and the MSN Web Communities Code of Conduct.

According to the ADL, there is no known organization called the Israel Liberation Army.

The Web site called Barak “a traitor,” and said “someone MUST execute him” and any other Israeli prime minister that tried to trade Israeli land for peace.

It wasn’t the first time the Internet has been used to promote violence against the prime minister.

In December 1999, Israel Wire reported that a Tel Aviv court indicted Omer Klingman, 20, for establishing a Web site urging Barak’s murder. The site also referred to Barak as a traitor, and said his actions were “Nazi-like.”

It was later learned, the report said, that Klingman was actually a left- wing Israeli and signed a right-wing party’s name to the Web site in an attempt to discredit them.

Klingman’s site wasn’t the only one getting involved in Israeli politics.

In January, Israeli security agencies discovered the “Justice in Action” site, with an image of Barak alternating with a picture of Adolf Hitler.

A nearly identical site stands now, at madmanbarak.freeservers.com, where Barak’s head slowly replaces Hitler’s, then makes a “Heil Hitler” salute. A game follows where players line up Barak’s head with a cross hairs and shoot.

A note at the site, however, reads, “Remember that this is only a game.”

The Web site kahane.org, associated with the Kach and Kahane Chai movements in Israel, considered to be radical right-wing groups, contains games that attack both Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

Before the game “Whack-A-Barak,” where players try to hit a picture of Barak with the plastic hammers distributed on Israeli Independence Day, the Web site states, “This game in no way endorses the use of violence against fellow Jews. And we are not calling for the assassination of Mr. Barak. This is just our way of showing how much we love him.”

According to organization representative Mike Guzofsky, the games have been received “quite well,” with a reported 10,000 hits a few weeks ago.

“We mean to show opposition to Barak,” he said. “We’ve created a shtick to do that.”

Referring to Barak traveling to Camp David without the support of much of the Knesset, Guzofsky added, “If Barak can do that, we can play with plastic hammers hitting him over the head on the Internet.”

NEXT STORY