Q: Do people really ask you enough repetitive questions to make it worthwhile to have a FAQ?
A: No, this is pure conceit.
Q: How did you choose your name?
A: It is meant to be ironic, of course. Now it makes it a little harder for me to be taken seriously by the media at large - on one occasion, the Jerusalem Post edited out a reference to me because it sounded too weird (the reporter told me that.)
Q: Why is Ziyon spelled that way?
A: Because when I made up that name, I was on the Yahoo! message boards, and someone else was "Elder of Zion." People liked it and the name stuck.
Q: How do you pronounce it?
A: I always pronounce it plainly as "Elder of Zion." I've heard people say "Elder of Tziyon" using the Hebrew word, but that just sounds wrong to me.
Q: Who is Ian, anyway?
A: Some guy from Australia who has been sending me linkdumps every day. Since I need all the help I can get, I have been posting them. He doesn't miss anything; his posts are quite comprehensive.
Q: So are you a rabid Islamophobe?
A: No. My main problems with Islam are in its political manifestations and in some specific practices (such as how women are often treated.) In many ways, I respect Islam.
Q: So are you a rabid Arab hater?
A: Not at all. But there are many parts of Arab culture, and specifically Palestinian Arab culture, that are huge problems and challenges for the entire world as well as for Israel. Just because I highlight those in the blog does not mean that I hate Arabs as a whole.
I am a firm believer that different groups of people tend to have completely different ways of thinking, and one of the West's major problems is a thorough ignorance of the Arab mindset and the naive assumption that everyone is the same. It is not true.
So, for example, while the honor/shame dynamic of Arab culture is terrifically important for Westerners to understand, it is not inherently bad - the Japanese also have a similar mindset but do not act on it in ways that Arabs tend to.
Q: So are you a radical right-wing ideologue?
A: My political beliefs are probably more to the right on defense issues, center-right on social issues. I certainly do not agree with the Right on things like gun control or prayer in schools or even abortion (although I don't agree with the Left on the latter, either.)
Q: Who is that in your profile picture?
A: It is supposedly a picture of Rashi, the Jewish commentator par excellence on the Torah and Talmud.
Q: What's with Spongebob in your logo? (no longer there)
A: I just want people to know that I do not take myself or my blog too seriously.
Q: What is your comment policy?
A: I try to be as tolerant as possible. I have on occasion banned people for threats, spam, trolling, antisemitism and abuse.
Q: I am very offended by a comment. What should I do?
A: You can flag it; but in general unless it really crosses the line it will not be removed. (Cursing is automatically banned by the comment system software.)
Q: I love a comment. What should I do?
A: You can click on the "Like" item underneath it and let the commenter know. Or you can reply back.
Q: What are the benefits of becoming a follower of the blog?
A: I have no idea, although it does boost my ego.
Q: I have a great idea for the blog. How can I let you know?
A: Just write a comment (I read most of them, but I do miss a few). Or email me. I can't guarantee I'll post it, but it does make my life easier and I appreciate all suggestions.
Q: What is your email address?
A: coolboardpresident -at- yahoo.com
Q: What does Coolboardpresident mean?
A: Another unimportant historical relic from my Yahoo message board days.
It is not that interesting a story, but...
At one point in the Yahoo message boards the pro-Israel crowd wanted a place that they could talk without being bothered by the hate-Israel crowd, and I found an obscure, never used board that we migrated to and I called the "cool board." For reasons that are now hazy, that Yahoo email ended up being my main one and even though I soon after I added the "elderofziyon" handle I could not change my email address to "elderofziyon" because it was an alias.
As I recall, the haters found the "cool board" anyway a few months later.
Q: Who else from the Yahoo boards you frequented are now bloggers?
A: A few of them became bloggers, most didn't stick with it. But Eye on the World and The Atheist Jew were both around in the old days, back around 2003.
Q: What is the International Zionist Web?
A: I started that as a joke in reaction to a statement made by the Iranian president. You can learn how to join the IZW in that post.
Q: How long have you been doing this, anyway?
A: Since August, 2004.
Q: What other media are you on?
A: My posts are automatically posted on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I will post things on Twitter besides blog posts, so far I do not spend much time on Facebook. I also have two video channels on YouTube, and on LiveLeak for videos that YouTube finds offensive. I was a regular columnist for NewsRealBlog but that site has disappeared. Sometimes, mostly for experimental purposes, I will post on the blog sections of the Algemeiner.
Q: What media have you been quoted in?
A: CNN, NYT, Fox, Commentary, Jewish Press, Jerusalem Post, Arutz-7, Algemeiner, TheBlaze, Times of Israel, FrontPage, and many more. I was also quoted in a book, "David and Goliath."
Q: Do you do this full time?
A: No, I have a full time job, a home business, a family and a life besides the blog. I don't sleep much, which makes my end-of-week posts a little more impatient sounding than the posts on Sunday.
Q: You should really do X (forward your posts to politicians or news agencies; create a database of all terror attacks of category Z, save all your Arabic articles, write a book...)
A: I do what I have time to do. If you want to do any of those things yourself, I will support you, but I only have so many hours in the day.
Q: How can I search your archives?
A: I have a Google search widget on the blog, but it is far from perfect. I wish I had a better search engine, especially for old material. Doing a search on Google of the format
is pretty good.
Q: Are you paid by any Zionist agency to blog?
A: I wish! I have made very little off the blog, and in fact have spent a bit (domain name that I don't really publicize, paying for some articles that are not free, paying for the karaoke version of Richard Cory for my Rachel Corrie video parody, paying for access to the Time Magazine and NYT archives....)
In 2011 I did some extra-blog stuff, mostly in graphics design on similar issues that the blog tackles, and made little money that way. This is especially funny because I have no background in graphic design.
Some of my readers have been generous in their donations, and I thank them.
Q: How old are you? How many kids do you have? Where do you live?
A: I am not keen on giving out personal details, although long time readers would figure some of the answers out. I have mentioned Mrs. Elder, my children, the beautiful and talented Daughter of Ziyon and Junior Elder, and Elder Brother of Ziyon in comments sometimes. I do not, unfortunately, live in Israel.
Q: Why do you want to remain anonymous?
A: It is not because of fear of death threats or anything that dramatic. It is simply because I have a regular professional job in a high tech field and I don't want any prospective employers to Google me and find tens of thousands of posts about the Middle East; they would assume (correctly) that at least some of those are written during work hours. If I am still blogging when I retire (seems doubtful, but it is a fun hobby), then maybe I'll start using my name.
Q: Where do you get your Arabic translations from?
A; I use Google Translate, and over the years I've gotten pretty good at interpreting it.
Q: What is your comment policy?
A: No policy at this time, but here are some guidelines:
* Avoid personal attacks and insinuations altogether. Period.
Q: Where else have you written?
A: It isn't always easy to publish without using your name, but I have written articles for NewsRealBlog (now part of FrontPage Mag), the Algemeiner, the Times of Israel and Young Israel Viewpoint magazine (print.)
Q: What was your most popular post?
A: #1 is my "Apartheid? poster" page. After that was my finding the cartoons that were offensive to Muslims in French satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo, and two separate posts about media bias/lies in Operation Pillar of Defense.
Q: Where can I hear your talks?
A: On my YouTube channels you can hear my talks to YU and a couple of others. But if you want to see me in person, it can be arranged as long as I can keep my anonymity - contact me.
If you have any other questions I missed, just contact me.