Hackers Hit European Jewish News Site

Turkish hackers took down the site of the European Jewish Press news site overnight Wednesday.

David Lev ,

screenshot of the hacked site
screenshot of the hacked site

A group of Turkish hackers took down the site of the European Jewish Press, which provides news updates on Jewish communities in Europe, overnight Wednesday. The hackers replaced the content of the site with anti-Israel slogans, including threats to “take revenge” against Israel for “injustices to the Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, and Turkmen.”

According to Yossi Lempkowitz, chief editor of the site, the attack began immediately after he posted a news story about the criticism against actress Scarlett Johansen for her representing Israel's SodaStream drinks company.

Earlier Thursday, Johansen announced she was stepping down as an ambassador for Oxfam, over opposition to the NGO's policies of boycotting Jewish businesses in Judea and Samaria.

The site, said Lempkowitz, had more than a million users, and was quoted by dozens of news services around the world.

“We will not surrender to attempts to shut us down or to boycott us,” he said. “We will continue to distribute reliable information about Jewish life in Europe, to the whole world,” he said.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, General Director of the European Jewish Association (EJA), said that this was the first time hackers had managed to get control of the EJPress site, but far from the first time they had hacked Jewish sites in Europe. “Sites for Jewish students, as well as a database of Jewish communities in Europe, are constantly under attack,” he said. “The database has information about more than 700 communities.”

Whatever the hackers' arguments with Israel, said Margolin, they were targeting the wrong people.

“We have in recent weeks been working closely with Muslim leaders in several European countries in an effort to fight efforts by politicians to ban ritual circumcision and slaughter, issues that greatly concern both our communities,” he pointed out.