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Zionists dox West Seattle high school teacher

Distorted photo with man standing in front of billboard truck, with accuracy in media logo in the front
Accuracy in Media president Adam Guillet stands in front of a mobile billboard truck used to dox a Chief Sealth High School Teacher. Illustration by Guy Oron

Authors Note: Thank you so much for your tremendous support for Gossip Guy, it really means a lot. Here is a short bonus article about a recent doxxing incident I wanted to share. I decided not to name the teacher out of respect for his privacy and to not bring further attention to him.

On the morning of April 1, I awoke to a press advisory that I almost thought was an April Fools joke: Pro-Israel activists planned to show up at a local high school to put up a mobile billboard truck denouncing a teacher’s social media posts.

After all, on its face it seems absurd. Who cares what some random educator is writing online in their free time?

However, in the context of six months of intense harassment against Palestinian activists since October 7, the billboard no longer seems like a joke.

Here in Seattle, three far right influencers — Ari Hoffman, Jason Rantz and Jonathan Choe — have taken to Twitter to share personally identifying information about ordinary people, a practice commonly known as doxxing. Washington State Patrol staff have directly cited these doxxing social media posts in criminal referrals against 12 protesters who blocked I-5 earlier this year.

In 2023, the Washington State Legislature passed a law criminalizing the unauthorized publication of such information with malicious or fraudulent intent, though it remains relatively untested.

Accuracy In Media (AIM), the Zionist pressure group behind the billboard, has dispatched similar billboards targeting students at Harvard and Columbia universities for their pro-Palestine activism. Throughout its 55-year history, AIM has proven to be a deeply ideological organization, denying climate change and even receiving the applause of the CIA for helping sanitize massacres committed by death squads in El Salvador in the 1980s.

In 2022, the group raised more than $900,000 in donations. As a 501(c)3 organization, AIM’s donors are not publicly available, but it has previously received funding from the Trump-supporting billionaire Scaife family.

While AIM’s press advisory generated some buzz among a small bubble of leftist Seattle Twitter users, the attention did not materialize on the ground. According to Eli, an activist who visited Chief Sealth International High School where the billboard was being displayed on April 1, the only Zionists who showed up were AIM president Adam Guillet and his camera man.

“I was imagining this really coordinated, organized force or something,” Eli said. “It really seemed like it was just these two people [standing] awkwardly on the sidewalk … I didn’t see anyone else connected one way or the other. So I was the only person from the community that had come out, at least while I was there.”

Eli, who requested to use a pseudonym due to fears he could get doxxed himself, said he showed up to observe what was happening around noon. He said the two AIM staffers were there mainly to interview students and passersby to make a video for social media. The billboard itself was made up of LCD screens mounted on the back of a truck, displaying the teacher’s social media posts and accusing him of antisemitism.

Eli added that when he talked to a couple of high schoolers on their lunch break, they didn’t pay much attention to the mobile billboard.

“They were like, ‘yeah we know, these guys are full of shit, but also we like that teacher as well,’” Eli said.

In addition to the photo op, AIM also set up a form to send emails to the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors demanding the teacher be fired. 

Eli, who is Jewish, said he opposed Israel’s violence against Palestinians in Gaza. He wanted to show solidarity with educators who have faced increasing threats from the far right.

“I also feel really sensitive to all the targeting that public schools and teachers have gotten the last few years; [the] book bans and librarians and harassing teachers for what they’re teaching in school,” Eli said. “I don’t want him or any person to be alone, where one group can just harass them and then they might lose their job.”

While the express purpose of doxxing and harassment campaigns appears to be chilling pro-Palestine speech and discouraging criticism of Israel, the lackluster reaction to the mobile billboard raises questions about the effectiveness of these tactics. In this case, AIM didn’t actually have any on-the-ground supporters to join its photo op.

The threat of doxxing and harassment is real and can translate to direct violence, de-platforming, termination and more. However, it’s possible that there are times when we can imagine the risk to be far greater that what it is. Finding the right balance is a difficult and iterative process.