A window into the mind of an apartheid supporter

Some of you may be aware that in response to a recent post of mine, a vigorous supporter of Israeli apartheid named Eylon has appeared in the comments justifying the practice. To that single post, s/he has posted so far 70(!) comments, quite the feat, and I expect that number to rise. The arguments that s/he gives, such as they are, will be familiar to those who familiar with the politics of the Israel-Palestinian issue and follow a well-worn trajectory but they do provide an insight into how people can defend what, to most people, seems to be utterly indefensible. With Eylon, we get to see in real time how someone tries to justify the unjustifiable.

Such attempts are not new. When I was growing up at the time of South African apartheid, like many others I used to wonder how the white people there could justify their awful treatment of the black population. The white people considered themselves Christians and even claimed that the people of color were actually treated well by them. It was similar to the days of slavery in the US where people would claim that slaves were actually treated well and that they even loved their owners. The arguments they presented seemed so self-serving and fraudulent that one felt that no one could genuinely believe them.

I am aware that all of us can live with some level of hypocrisy where we compartmentalize different areas of our thoughts and lives, where we say that we believe in certain values but live in a manner that is contradictory to it. But it seemed like the cases of South African apartheid and slavery in the US were so extreme that no amount of mental gymnastics could possibly suppress the feeling at some level that those two institutions were wrong and that what supporters were doing was rationalizing their actions at the expense of an oppressed people.

We see the same thing now with the growing global realization that Israel practices apartheid policies with respect to the Palestinian people. As long as Israel continues to receive unqualified support from the US, it feels able to defy that tide, at least publicly. But we know that the Israeli government has serious concerns that important segments of US support are being eroded now that the actions of the Israel lobby and its pernicious effects on US foreign policy have come under close scrutiny. A significant chunk of rank-and-file Democrats are now openly critical of Israel, as are some liberal commentators. Most worrying is the loss of liberal Jewish voices and especially young Jewish people who see the dismantling of Israeli apartheid as part of the global struggle for human rights and justice. At a secret anti-BDS conference held in Jerusalem some years ago, Israeli leaders were told that focus groups suggest that most Jewish students in the US no longer see Israel as a democracy or even as civilized.

As a result, the Israeli government has initiated a program called ‘hasbara’ that I wrote about three years ago, where they actually recruit and pay people to scour social media sites and respond whenever they see criticisms of Israel by posting pro-Israel comments in order to give the impression of grass roots support for its apartheid policies. Some of these people are paid $2,000 to do five hours per week of this work from the “comfort of their home”, not a bad gig when you think of it, but also an indication of how seriously the Israeli government views criticisms.

In an article titled The Goyim’s Guide to Hasbara Trolls, Jonathon Blakeley breaks down how these hasbara farms operate.

Hasbara volunteers help to police social networks for Israel. The big media are dealt with through BICOM and AIPAC, whilst the social media are policed unofficially by the Hasbara troll brigade. Priority is to stop influencers being compromised by anti-Israel sentiment.

Hasbara trolls use internet alerts to warn them when hot keywords are mentioned. Keywords such as Israel, Jewish, Judaism etc. When those words are mentioned they are alerted and they go to investigate who is talking about what.”

The people hired for this work are instructed on how to flood message boards with multiple comments and what to say in an effort to wear down the critics. The hasbara troll strategy will be familiar to many: take a supreme point of view that the hasbara troll knows best, condescending and patronizing, claim to be socialist, be provocative, disruptive, etc.

Ultimately we cannot know what is really in the minds of people, so trying to figure out whether such people actually believe what they are saying or whether they are merely saying what their employers tell them to say, like workers in a call center, is irrelevant. But just as knowing how to identify junk callers is a useful time-saving skill, knowing how to identify hasbara trolls is also helpful.

Maybe Eylon really believes what s/he is saying. If so, we get an insight into the thinking of an apartheid supporter. If not, we get to see a hasbara troll performing for our benefit. A win-win!


  1. Eylon says

    Watch the first video and see how we never started any war. Five fucking times we offered them a state, they refused.

  2. Mano Singham says


    If you continue to flood the message boards with multiple repetitive comments and links to videos, I am afraid that I will have to ban you because I view such actions as disruptive to discussions.

  3. Eylon says

    No, I’m just tired of repeating the same things over and over again, so I thought for you to watch some videos would be better. And you can comment on them here of course, after watching.

  4. Eylon says

    Mano, I implore you, please watch the video I dedicated for you. And I dedicate another one as well: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ocNttZV4G_0
    I’ve read you post you dedicated for me, so watch the videos I dedicated for you.
    And no one is paying me, I’m a sole person. Just watch the videos.

  5. says

    If you are not being paid, what then is your day job that you have the time to sit here posting the same things over and over again, moving your goalposts, changing all your arguments in a slippery bad-faith way?

    You’re just a war-crime apologist, posting hardcore right-wing propaganda to explain why it’s okay to commit genocide.

    I was surprised nobody in the other thread called you out on how you use the words ‘Palestinian’ and ‘terrorist’ literally interchangeably, and repeatedly said Palestinians -- not Hamas, not any militant organization, the entire ethnic group -- ‘like to blow themselves up’. It’s not on; I think Dr. Singham has you pegged as a paid liar.

  6. Mano Singham says


    You have already made 10 of the 12 comments on this thread. As I have warned before, one person overwhelming comment threads with repeated postings is grounds for being banned.

    One more comment by you on either thread and you will be banned.

  7. Eylon says

    You can try and block me, I would agree not to post videos anymore, but I have every right to comment. I respect you and thus I won’t post videos repeatedly and I won’t make multiple comments, but I will comment and spread the truth. And if you want to ban me, go ahead and try. I know many ways to come back, so I’m saving you the trouble, don’t try. Respect me like I respect you.

    “I was surprised nobody in the other thread called you out on how you use the words ‘Palestinian’ and ‘terrorist’ literally interchangeably, and repeatedly said Palestinians — not Hamas, not any militant organization, the entire ethnic group — ‘like to blow themselves up’. It’s not on; I think Dr. Singham has you pegged as a paid liar.”

    You’re right, of course not every Palestinian is a terrorist. If it sounded like that in the comment, that was my bad. I, unlike you am actually listening and admitting if I’m making mistakes. Watch the videos and see your mistakes.

  8. Dunc says

    Pro tip -- this:

    And if you want to ban me, go ahead and try. I know many ways to come back, so I’m saving you the trouble, don’t try.

    is not what respect looks like. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of respect.

  9. Eylon says

    Yes it is. I just gave him no reason to ban me because I said I won’t do what he told me he wants to get me banned for. I have a right for free speech, he doesn’t have any right of denying me that, as long as I imply with the site rules.
    If he’ll ban me on purpose, even though I said I won’t post multiple videos and comments, I’ll come back on purpose.

  10. Owlmirror says

    @Mano: I’m more than a little leery of the educate-yourself site you linked to, above and also in 2016. I noticed “Vaccine Dangers”, and see that it’s frothing anti-vax stuff. There’s also chemtrails, and something called “Sodom-LGBT Exp’d”, where the first paragraph reads:

    This damning documentary was made by a Russian production company, but thankfully, the audio is in English (with Romanian subtitles). The promotion of homosexuality, bi-sexuality, and transgenderism is part of the Zionist agenda to destroy America and worldwide traditional societal values. The strategies for undermining the traditional Christian values of heterosexual marriage, family, home, rearing of children, Godliness, spiritual influences and morality are clearly spelled out in the Zionist world conquest manual, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, brought to light more than a 120 years ago.

    It looks like educate-yourself is nothing more than a conspiracy-spreading site, and actually promotes anti-semitism. Maybe don’t use them?

  11. Owlmirror says

    @Eylon: You don’t understand anything. You have a right to free speech; you do not have a right to exercise free speech on someone else’s forum. You have the privilege of doing so, and that privilege can be revoked. By posting after Mano asked you not to, you did not actually comply with the site rules, because the site rules are whatever Mano says they are, because it is his site.

    Is that simple enough for you to understand?

  12. Dunc says

    I have a right for free speech

    It’s not your blog, so no, you don’t.

    he doesn’t have any right of denying me that

    It’s his blog, so yes, he does.

  13. Eylon says

    Owlmirror I think he is anti semitic. Even though he doesn’t have any right to be one because he didn’t actually came and visit us, to see the so called “apartheid” himself.

    We are an “apartheid” country that has Israeli Arab citizens with full rights. Arabs in key government jobs, Arab judges, Arabs in the army (by choice of course) Arabs that live in Israel are considered as equal citizens, treated on the same hospitals, etc. Think that I’m lying? Come, visit us and prove me wrong. Provide first-hand testimonial of yourself. Do a proper research like an actual true atheist is supposed to do.

  14. Dunc says

    Seconding Owlmirror’s concerns about sourcing. That site looks less reliable than InfoWars.

  15. Mano Singham says


    You make a mistake when you say that you have ‘every right to comment’. Actually, you don’t. You are right that you have the right of free speech but where you are confused is in assuming that I have to give you a platform for that speech.

    I see my role in the blog comments as that of an editor and as such I can decide who gets to post. I am usually pretty lax but there are limits and you have crossed it. I am sure you will try to find ways to comment using different methods because that is, after all, part of the hasbara training.

    So goodbye Eylon. I would like to say that it has been nice knowing you but that would not be true.

  16. avalus says

    That … was certainly an experience. I wonder, again, why people do such things.

  17. file thirteen says

    avalus, it is tempting to wonder how Eylon could hold such blinkered, repellant views, but in Eylon’s case I wouldn’t concern yourself. It’s simply because Eylon was paid to.

  18. jrkrideau says

    24 avavlus
    That … was certainly an experience. I wonder, again, why people do such things.

    Could be hasbara or perhaps just an unhinged fanatic. Or possibly both?

  19. Dunc says

    If they were being paid, somebody should ask for a refund, and their handler needs to assign some remedial training.

    And now I’m wondering if some neo-Nazis have figured out that really, really bad hasbara encourages anti-Semitism…

  20. file thirteen says

    @Dunc #29

    It’s an idea appealing (only) for its irony, but I doubt neo-nazis could ever bring themselves to defend any jewish practices unless it was thoroughly clear they were being sarcastic. There is irony in the way that neo-nazis and hasbara trolls think along common lines though. They both mentally conflate any criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.

  21. file thirteen says

    The whole affair was eye-opening. I suspect that the switch to spamming video links occurs once the htroll realises further argument is a losing strategy. At that point, their training dictates that the best outcome is getting additional hits for the propaganda videos.

  22. ardipithecus says

    @27 Tabby Lavalamp.

    Yes he does understand how it works. Maybe you don’t.

    If you look at the first few posts, you will see where he has disseminated links to a bunch of his propaganda. The rest of it -- the drawing of attention to himself, the pseudomartyrism in demanding the right to free speech and so on is akin to the line of patter used by stage magicians to distract you from what their hands are doing.

    Some people will look at those links. Some people may be influenced by them. In this way, his message finds new listeners and, eventually, supporters.

    No matter how silly he looks, or crackpotty or whatever, he got his links posted on a new forum, with a potential new audience.

    That’s how it works.

  23. Mano Singham says


    I hesitate to do what you suggest because changing a comment (unless requested to do so by the commenter for legitimate reasons) would change the context of subsequent comments.

    I have confidence that the readers of this blog have the requisite discernment to not be overly influenced by propaganda links.

  24. says


    Regular readers of this blog? Absolutely.

    Newbies? Maybe, maybe not.

    Webcrawlers and other content scrapers that will subsequently associate your blog with those links? Definitely not.

  25. Roj Blake says

    Eylon #3

    Five fucking times we offered them a state, they refused.

    How noble of you, to steal their land and then offer them a tiny slice back. Maybe would have been better to have left the Palestinians in peace. Maybe would have been better if Israel had been established in Germany.

    You cannot right the wrongs done to one group by taking away the rights of another group. Israel IS an apartheid state, founded and maintained by terror. The Palestinians have every right to push Israel back to the sea and reclaim their land.

    And don’t give me any bullshit about “promised land”, that so-called promise was eons ago and the promissor and promissee are both long departed.

  26. file thirteen says

    abbeycadabara does have a point. Mano, I don’t doubt that you dislike the precedent it might set to redact someone’s links, but you can restrict the scope of that by making an exception to do so only immediately after someone has been banned.

    You refrain from banning users anyway as a rule, and a user really has to abuse the system and ignore warnings to get themselves banned. That certainly happened here. I personally believe leaving the links is not worth the risk, and dignifies Eylon’s comments beyond what they deserve.

  27. file thirteen says

    Also, bear in mind that hasbara trolls will be praying you don’t do this.

  28. John Morales says

    I think Mano has it right.

    abbeycadabra, re their indexing by search engines, anyone coming to this page via such a link will immediately see the post title and have the context of this comment thread.

    If anything, it will be salutary exposure.

  29. says


    Still exposure. And this sort of link-farming is also part of an SEO type operation, which is why the same links go up repeatedly. Leaving them, as file thirteen said, is indirectly supporting the hasbara effort.

  30. cartomancer says

    You’ve got to wonder at these people. Who do they think they are able to convince? Who, after all, is influenced into changing their views on a topic by the haranguing of a deranged zealot who wasn’t invited and won’t shut up about it? It seems utterly counter-productive. If anything it discredits the point of view put forward as the preserve of crackpots and maniacs.

    It’s rather like that strange militant vegan lady whom I occasionally have the misfortune to run across in Guildford of a weekend. Because most of us make important lifestyle choices based solely on the input of wild-eyed strangers with enthusiastically crayoned cardboard signs who interrupt us while we’re out shopping.

  31. blf says

    At @21 in this thread s/he flipped from being annoyed at the criticism of Israel’s policies to accusations of anti-semitism. That is a classic sign of what I called the “Israel is always right” individuals / groups — confusing being anti-semitic with opposing Israeli policy.

    Based on previous experience, once the loaded “anti-semitism” assertion is deployed, neither reasoning nor reasonable discussion seems possible: Points made by one side are usually dismissed as “anti-semitic” (with a few exceptions to maintain the “purity of bodily fluids” or whatever). In my experience, the side charging “anti-semitic” may make a point, but it usually has to be dug for in the deluge of daft nonsense, as seen in this case.

    The comparison between apartheid S.Africa and present-day Israel is one many people — including myself — have been making since the early 1990s. As an obvious result, I’ll been called “anti-semitic” by the Israel is always right brigade so often I’ve lost count, a baseless charge compounded by the “crime” of living in France (seen by the Israel is always right brigade as a facist / anti-semitic country, and worse (in their view), as pro-Palestinian).

    From memory, the only(?) other person Dr Singham has (publicly) banned was also an Israel is always right member, and an individual also banned by poopyhead (Dr Myers) and given very explicit warnings by some other FtB bloggers.

  32. file thirteen says

    @blf #43

    I was actually impressed that it took so long for the anti-semitic accusation to occur. I kept expecting it to surface, and it confused me that it didn’t. When it finally did, it was almost a relief.

  33. Owlmirror says

    They both mentally conflate any criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.

    At least some anti-semites conflate criticism of Israel with anti-semitic claims of world Zionist conspiracies, going by the educate-yourself site that Mano linked to.

    I was reminded, looking at the previous thread, that Elyon started by pointing out that Israel has some support for gay rights (in contradistinction to Gaza). By an odd coincidence, the homophobic and anti-semitic page I quoted in #18 claims that gay rights is a Zionist conspiracy.

    Roj Blake:

    The Palestinians have every right to push Israel back to the sea and reclaim their land.

    If you’re going to approvingly proclaim genocidal rhetoric, you’re supporting the case that opposing Zionist apartheid is the same thing as anti-semitism.

    What happened to a two-state solution? Or an admittedly unlikely joint egalitarian single-state?

  34. Pierce R. Butler says

    Some of these people are paid $2,000 to do five hours per week of this work…

    It must feel rather frustrating to our esteemed host that a pseudonymous troll has apparently made more money off his blog in a few days than Prof. Singham has in many years.

  35. says

    I just love this:

    Mano in #14: One more comment by you on either thread and you will be banned.

    Eylon in #15: [absolutely anything at all]

    I mean, seriously. Eylon had obviously read #14 b/c of reference to the willingness of Mano to block Eylon in the future. And yet…? I mean, couldn’t Eylon have at least waited a few comments so that their name wasn’t literally the very next word in the thread after Mano makes clear “one more comment … and you will be banned”?

    A gasted flabber is the absolute minimum response Eylon was going to get from readers with that arrogant entitlement. One wonders how and why Eylon concluded that they had a “right” to comment here. Truly bizarre.

  36. John Morales says

    Owlmirror is a commenter whom I trust, so, even without actual personal research for confirmation, I take the claims @18 as given.

    More worrisome than any links Eylon dropped, perhaps meriting correction.

  37. blf says

    One wonders how and why Eylon concluded that they had a “right” to comment here. Truly bizarre.

    That reminds me of an incident many yonks ago at Dr Ben Goodacre’s (he’s a good guy) Bad Science forums. Some physics kook had invaded the threads, and was eventually confined to one thread dedicated to their kookery. Where they were allowed to post, but also mercilessly mocked. I now do not recall precisely why, but eventually the kook blurted out something like “I started this thread so I decide what can be discussed”. Un-huh… it was, in that very robust way the British have, pointed out it wasn’t their blog and they were an eejit. The flames could be seen from Pluto and the smoke from Alpha Centauri — without a telescope.

  38. Roj Blake says

    @Owlmirror #45

    Should the French have settled for a “Two state solution” with the Nazis?

    Was the defeat of Nazi Germany “genocide”?

    I am not advocating genocide, I am advocating for the rights of people to reclaim their home.

    I don’t know where you live, but let’s say you were invaded by the Klingons. Would you settle for a “two state solution”? I know I wouldn’t.

  39. file thirteen says

    @Crip #47

    Eylon didn’t react to the threat of being banned because to them it was no worse than being gagged. Their purpose for being here was solely to spew forth their propaganda. If they couldn’t continue doing that then they had no reason to remain.

    @Roj #51

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  40. Roj Blake says

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    That, as an attempt at argument, is about the same level as Eylon’s ranting.

    Are you saying murder goes unpunished?
    Do we forgive and forget rapists?
    Should all criminals be given a gold star and told not to do it again?

    Or are you trying to mount an argument that Israel is a special case, that its conquest of other lands was justified?

  41. file thirteen says


    Nah, I just thought the statement “The Palestinians have every right to push Israel back to the sea and reclaim their land.” seems very excessive. I read it as meaning you think Israel has to be eliminated and its occupants dispersed to the four winds, which is basically a recipe for eternal violence as it will never happen, but maybe you don’t mean it like that? I agree with all the UN resolutions, if that helps.

  42. Owlmirror says

    I am not advocating genocide, I am advocating for the rights of people to reclaim their home.

    You are advocating for the rights of one people to commit genocide against another people.

    If you were advocating for the rights of “people to reclaim their home”, you would argue for returning the occupied territories to the control of the Palestinians, and ending embargoes and restrictions on movement, infrastructure development, and trade.

    I don’t know where you live, but let’s say you were invaded by the Klingons. Would you settle for a “two state solution”? I know I wouldn’t.

    The current country of Israel was not entirely “invaded” by military force. Jews settled there and bought property and developed land. Are you arguing that their mere presence in the country counts as an invasion? Only Palestinian land ownership is legitimate?

    Would you similarly argue that the original natives of the Americas, from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego, have a right to commit genocide to reclaim their homes through all of North and South America?

  43. Mano Singham says

    Roj Blake @#54,

    The fact that the Palestinians were unfairly displaced from their homeland does not mean that “The Palestinians have every right to push Israel back to the sea and reclaim their land” even though I am not sure what exactly you mean by ‘push Israel back to the sea’.

    Historical injustices that have taken root are very hard to reverse later and can cause new injustices. There are probably very few countries that are not founded on some historical injustice against its indigenous peoples or its neighbors. What we should strive for is to arrive at some solution now that tries to make things right as much as possible, with at the minimum giving equal rights to everyone who is currently there, and if necessary to provide resources to raise the standard of living of those who have been suppressed for so long.

  44. mnb0 says

    @Eylon: thanks for posting so many comments with that many links. Thus I know it’s not worth the time and effort to read any of them. I would have liked to ask you what your defense is of Israel mistreating its own war heroes though:


    Their people gave their lives for you. Defending the way they’ve become victims of Israëli Apartheid is rather thankless, I’d say. For me it’s the ultimate nail. The fate of these people shows that Israel is not a rechtsstaat.

  45. mnb0 says

    I side with Abbeycadabra too. Replace them with a comment of yours, going like “I deleted dozens of Eylon’s comments full of Israëli Apartheid apologetics”. Thus all the other comments following have all the necessary context.

  46. mnb0 says

    @RojBlake: “I am not advocating genocide, I am advocating for the rights of people to reclaim their home.”
    Interesting pov, followed by interesting questions. I have a few for you.

    Should all Caucasian Americans, Afro-Americans and Asian Americans leave the entire continent, so that the original people can reclaim their home? Should the Germanic people among them plus the Germanic Europeans go back to the Cis-Caucasian area, where their ancestors came from, so that the Celtic people can reclaim their land? Should all the Turks return to Mongolia, so that the Greeks (chased away after the Battle of Manzikert) can reclaim their land? Or perhaps you are the one guilty of special pleading?

  47. Roj Blake says

    Mano #57, with Israel/Palestine we are not talking historical injustices. The injustice is ongoing, the “settler movement” continually taking more land. It is an ongoing struggle for the Palestinians to hold on to the tiny sliver Israel has allowed them.

    The “‘push Israel back to the sea’.” was a snark at the Hasbara trolls who always use this line in trying to defend Israeli aggression, claiming the Arabs want to push them back to the sea.

    The whole situation is fraught, and one can never put the genie back in the bottle. IMHO, the establishment of Israel was a mistake. The British made a promise to various Jewish groups (Balfour Declaration) about land that the British had gained by conquest, not land that was theirs by right of settlement.

    Israel was Europe’s two-faced apology for the horrendous treatment meted out to Jews and an attempt to shift the remaining victims out of sight. Europe’s Jews should have been compensated with German territory, not Palestinian, but the European powers would never countenance that.

  48. Roj Blake says


    What you are saying amounts to telling the Palestinians “We won, you lust BOO YAH! sucks to be you”.

    You re quoting examples from hundreds, even thousands of years of human history.

    The dispossession of, the war against, Palestinians is happening here and now. You are dissing actual, living, breathing, feeling humans. This is not an exercise in historical rights, it is about supporting the rights of those now alive.

  49. DrVanNostrand says

    I can’t quite agree with “drive them into the sea”. Most of the former Palestinian property within the current 1967 borders of Israel has changed hands many times, and the original inhabitants have been scattered all over the world. The Palestinians have been the victims of a grave injustice, but forcibly removing 8 million Israelis also seems unjust. The establishment of Israel within the ’67 borders is essentially a fait accompli.

    However, the ongoing settlement of the West Bank is basically a war crime according to international treaty, and I have no problem removing all settlers and forcing them to go back to Israel. None of it matters, though, because Israel will never dismantle the settlements, and there is no viable Palestinian state while they’re there. The 2 state solution has become a fantasy, and the path to the 1 state solution is almost certain to be horrifyingly violent.

  50. file thirteen says

    I don’t like the idea of this thread turning into a debate about what should happen now to Israel/Palestine, not after the way it (this thread) began. Maybe Mano will make another where when can talk when our heads are cooler, but for now it’s sufficient that we all know what injustices are going on. Roj, I understand if you’re still angry, but Eylon is gone now, not to return (touch wood). Let’s not let them turn this thread into one of argument, talking at cross purposes to one another, deliberately misunderstanding one another to score points. Nobody here is on Eylon’s side.

  51. mnb0 says

    @RojBlake: when exactly become an injustice historical? After 75 years? After 200 years? When it suits your political ideology?
    Also note that the injustice regarding Amero-Indians and the Celts also is still going on. So thanks for confirming that all Germanic people should go back to Cis-Causasus asap.

  52. John Morales says


    @RojBlake: when exactly become an injustice historical?

    I’ll take that one. When the original participants are dead, and only records and recollections of them remain. That’s when.

    (See how non-literal I am? History can be what happened, or what was recorded)

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