Since the 2016 elections we have been hearing a lot about “fake news.” Fake news is defined as “a deliberately publish hoax, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news—often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect.” It differs from satire as fake news intends to mislead the public andn present itself as real news, whereas satire news articles are clearly for entertainment purposes only.
It is sad that in 2017 fake news and propaganda spreads like wild fire and people share and comment before reading the article.
Fake news and spreading fake news has quite a few halachic implications I wish to address in this article.
The Westboro Baptist Church, founded by infamous “pastor” Fred Phelps will be picketing Yeshiva University, one of the largest and most prestigious Jewish yeshivas in New York City on March 27, 2017 from 9:45 AM – 10:30 AM.
In a statement posted on their website, the Westboro Baptist Church stated: “The Lord God entrusted His Holy Word to the ancient Israelites long ago. Their modern descendants have sorely despised and disregarded that manna from heaven to their detriment”
The Westboro Baptist Church teaches that Jews are responsible for killing Jesus Christ and believe that 144,000 Jews will become Christians before the end times. This is one of the most re-occurring antisemitic libel throughout history and is responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews.
Although the WBC is few in number, antisemitism is alive and well. A poll back in 2013 found that more than 25% of Americans believed that the Jews are responsible for killing Jesus Christ. According to the ADL, more than 1.9 billion people harbored anti-Semitic beliefs.
Let us look forward to the day when the nations will come to the full understanding of G-d and will live together in peace and harmony.