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  • Writer's pictureJeff Neuman

Open Letter to ICANN

I am posting this letter I just sent to ICANN's Chair and Vice Chair as well as to the CEO regarding the statements made by the founder of an organization that hosts an instance of the L-Root Server. I am not posting this to be critical of ICANN at all. ICANN has always done the right thing here and I am sure they will do what is right this time as well. I have faith in ICANN Org and their leaders. So if anyone posts anything about this open letter, please make sure to include that I do NOT fault ICANN for any of this.


Dear Tripti, Sally and Danko,

I wanted to thank you for your unequivocal statement at the ICANN78 Public Forum that certain political commentary has no place at ICANN and at ICANN meetings. As a Jewish person that lost much of my extended family in the Holocaust in Germany (where the meeting was hosted), it was truly upsetting to see a well-intentioned color-board ruined with words which represent a movement that stands for the eradication of Israel and the extermination of all Jews in the world. While I certainly do not want to stifle any free speech, at the same time, people need to recognize that their words have meaning and can be hurtful to others.

It is on this same matter that I want to draw your attention to the comments by Talal Abu Ghazaleh, the founder and chairman of the Jordan-based organization, Talal Abu-Ghazzaleh Organization. In these awful comments (https://www.memri.org/tv/jordanian-businessman-talal-abu-ghazaleh-gaza-losses-thousands-russia-millions-in-wwii-jews-holocaust), Talal engages in explicit antisemitic speech where he states: ""The Jews do not have any ideology. All they care about is money and interests. I had a friend who was a German cabinet member. I once asked him: 'When Hitler, may God forgive him, carried out the Holocaust, why didn’t he finish the job and kill all the Jews?’ He said to me: 'It's the other way around, but don't tell anyone I said this. He left a group of them on purpose, so that people would know why we carried out the Holocaust. When you would be tormented by them, you would know the reason.'"

I also recall that TAG-Org hosts an instance of ICANN's L Root in Jordan (https://www.agip.com/news.aspx?id=6292). I believe ICANN must take immediate action to remove this instance from TAG-Org and find a new home for this instance. In addition, ICANN should make an unequivocal statement ASAP that it does not condone such hate speech and that it will not have any partnerships whose founders or leaders espouse such views.

I do not consider myself a political activist by any means, but I care about ICANN and its future. And that future cannot associate itself with organizations that support antisemitism. Other Organizations have already come out against TAG-Org and ICANN should as well. See https://www.managingip.com/article/2cdiik8ybhxoc337hchds/managing-ips-statement-regarding-talal-abu-ghazaleh and https://www.iam-media.com/article/statement-removal-of-talal-abu-ghazaleh-the-ip-hall-of-fame.

Please feel free to post this message to the Correspondence page. I am going to post this on my blog in the spirit of openness and transparency.


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