ISRAELI OCCUPATION EXPANDS TO TWITTER

Twitter closes down my account for ‘hateful conduct’

According to Twitter, wishing Jewish anti-Zionists had died in Auschwitz is not a breach of rules whereas comparing the siege of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto is.

On November 17th I was informed by Twitter that my account was suspended permanently. No reason was given. However Jack Mendel @mendelpol who describes himself as a web editor and ‘so-called journalist’ at the Jewish News was soon boasting that he had made a complaint.

This is not the first time that Twitter has targeted my account. In February, at the height of the campaign to free Ahed Tamimi, 17, from Israeli jail, Twitter locked my account. My offence? As part of my profile I had a photo of Israeli soldiers violently attacking Ahed and other Palestinian children. ‘Remove’ they demanded.

Showing the truth of what Israel’s Occupation means was too much for these defenders of free speech.

On 29th August my account was locked for having offended a Zionist poster. For the past two years a link to my blog has been blocked as ‘spam’ by Twitter. However, I have managed to get around this.

In September fellow blogger, Richard Silverstein was suspended for having described Ari Fuld as the armed settler thug he was before he was killed by Palestinians. This was apparently ‘promoting violence’ and violated their ‘equalities’ policy.

So it wasn’t a great surprise when my account was suspended again. Jack Mendel took exception to tweets I had posted which compared the siege of Gaza to Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto, and cited Jewish leader Marek Edelman.

Edelman’s Open Letter of 2002 to the Palestinian resistance was full of ‘comparisons between the Palestinians’ fight and that of the ghetto residents.’ Edelman addressed “the commanders of the Palestinians armed organizations and the partisan organizations, and the soldiers of the armed Palestinian organizations.”

For this Marek Edelman became a non-person in the eyes of the Israeli government. When Marek Edelman died in 2009 he was given a state funeral by the Polish state.  Not even the lowliest clerk from the Israeli Embassy attended. Anti-Zionist resistance to the Nazis was an embarrassment to the myth of Zionist heroism.

Mendel took exception to my ‘despicable remarks… comparing Israel’s recent actions in Gaza, after a barrage of 400+ rockets, to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in WW2.’

Mendel was being mendacious. Hamas’s ‘barrage’ of rockets (in reality oversized fireworks) took place after the murder of 7 Palestinian in a botched Israeli raid on Gaza.  Far from Israel ‘reacting’ to the Hamas rockets, as is the normal BBC news story, what happened was that Hamas reacted to Israel’s armed aggression.

I observed humorously that the same had been said when Nazi Germany invaded Poland: ‘Let’s go back 80 years ‘today Nazi Germany came under repeated attack by Poland as its troops attempted to keep the peace.’

As students of history will know Nazi Germany dressed up its invasion of Poland as self defense. It even dressed up some of its own soldiers in German uniforms to maintain the pretense. World opinion saw through these lies. Unfortunately all too many people, including apologists like Mendel, continue to see Israel’s occupation and attacks on Gaza as a ‘retaliation’.

This despicable reversal of the actual situation is how Israel justifies its half-a-century occupation of Gaza and its genocidal blockade. In suspending me Twitter is a party to these lies. (On the earlier occasion, my account was locked for one week as a punishment. On this occasion, Twitter has said that my account will not be restored.)

I also responded to another Mendel tweet justifying the murder of over 200 unarmed protesters in Gaza by comparing ‘the decade long starvation siege’ of Gaza to the starvation of the Warsaw Ghetto. Of course they are not identical.

The Zionists carefully count the calories of food allowed in to ensure that Gaza’s population is kept on the brink of starvation. That is why it attacks Gaza’s fishermen. The Nazis too counted the calories of food allowed in to the Warsaw Ghetto. The difference is that the Nazis deliberately ensured that the number of calories was below that needed to survive, as a result of which some 80,000 Jews died, whereas the number of Gazans who have died from the Israeli blockade, the weak, the sick, the old, is probably in the hundreds. However the actions of Israel are certainly comparable to that of Nazi Germany.

Mendel’s alleged that my tweet was ‘filled with anti-Semitic tropes.’ and that being Jewish isn’t a free pass to say things which are anti-Semitic. I agree.

Take one such individual, George Yousef. In April 2016 he sent me a tweet ‘shame your family survived world can do without cunts line (sic) you.’ It was a clear reference to the Nazi concentration camps.

I therefore made a complaint about this and other abusive tweets from this individual. As I had never contacted him before this was a case not only of hate speech or hateful conduct but targeted abuse.

It was, you might think, an open and shut case. Not so. On 20th April 2016 Twitter informed me that Yousef’s account was ‘not in violation of the Twitter Rules (https://twitter.com/rules) on abusive behavior.’ The only possible explanation for this decision is that Yousef is a Zionist and I am not. I was told that if I felt threatened or in danger I could always contact the local Police!

This isn’t the only example of such abuse. One Mark Haringman, going by the name of Newsdude took to accusing me of a variety of offenses: being a thief, liar, fraudster, anti-Semite, ex-Labour member, child abuser, a crocodile and worst of all, being a socialist!

When I made a formal complaint, Twitter informed me, on 14th May 2018 that ‘We have reviewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior’.

On 19th October @maxpaws accused me of being a ‘racist anti-Semite’ but a complaint I made was also rejected.

It is clear that there is a pattern of rejecting complaints against abusive Zionists. Twitter rules seem to amount to this: If you say something that Zionists object to you will be found guilty of ‘hateful conduct’ or ‘abuse’ but if you are a Zionist you have carte-blanche to abuse your opponents. You can even express the desire that it would have been better if they had been murdered in the gas chambers, which is a common form of Zionist abuse of their Jewish opponents. It also gives us an insight into the Zionist mind.

Twitter offers a platform for the most powerful and hateful individual of all, Donald Trump. No doubt it thinks this is good for business. The idea that Twitter is seriously concerned about racism or hateful behaviour is for the birds. What Twitter does is to use the language of anti-racism and equalities in order to exercise political censorship.

As Arthur J Balfour, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, explained nearly a century ago “Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is… of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.” Zionism is the agreed-upon policy of Western governments and that is what Twitter is really concerned to defend.

Equality policies, which were meant to deal with prejudice and racism, have been co-opted and adopted by supporters of imperialism and racism. When you describe language as ‘hateful’ then you are depoliticising racism, sexism and homophobia. We have the right to hate racism, sexism and bigotry. But if you are concerned with ‘hateful’ language then opposition to capitalism and the 1% can easily be subsumed under ‘hate speech’.

Above all we should recognise that Twitter, like Facebook, is not an impartial platform. It is very much part of Western capitalism and imperialism. It defends the values of oppression and imperialism and it does so in the depoliticised language of equalities. In essence this is an outgrowth of identity politics whereby any identity, even those of Zionists and capitalists is protected because there is no means of differentiating between identities of oppression and the oppressed.

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