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.

KUDOS TO TWITTER

Twitter temporarily suspended the account of Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich after he posted on the weekend that a Palestinian teenager who slapped an Israeli soldier should have been shot in the kneecap.

“In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life,” Smotrich said.

They are calling her the ‘fearless girl’.

Jewish Home MK says jailed Palestinian teen ‘deserved a bullet’ in the kneecap

Bezalel Smotrich says he is ‘very sad’ Ahed Tamimi is only in an Israeli jail and wasn’t maimed by the soldiers she slapped

Jewish Home lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday said he was “very sad” that a Palestinian teen protester who was filmed slapping Israeli soldiers was jailed and not shot, saying Ahed Tamimi deserved a bullet to the kneecap, “at the very least.”

Responding to a tweet from ex-Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal, Smotrich lamented that IDF troops did not maim the 17-year-old in the December 2017 incident.

“I am actually very sad that she is under arrest, Yinon,” Smotrich tweeted at Magal, who had expressed satisfaction Tamimi was still behind bars four months after her arrest.

“In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life,” Smotrich said.

Smotrich has a history of making controversial remarks, including encouraging draft-dodging in protest of the IDF’s “radical feminist” agenda; comparing the evacuation of an illegal settlement outpost to a “brutal rape,” and claiming that “illiterate” Arabs are granted university admission thanks to affirmative action.

He has also called himself a “proud homophobe,” and was involved in organizing an anti-gay “Beast Parade” in Jerusalem, in response to the city’s annual Gay Pride parade.

Tamimi is currently serving an eight-month prison term — the result of a plea deal — for slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers outside her West Bank home in mid-December.

Under the terms of the deal, Tamimi confessed to aggravated assault of an IDF soldier, incitement to violence and disrupting soldiers on two other occasions. The 17-year-old was also filmed encouraging attacks against Israelis, including stabbing attacks.

In her version of the incident, Tamimi told a military court in the West Bank, the same soldiers featured in the video had shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet an hour prior to the filmed encounter.

Tamimi’s arrest and prosecution by Israel has garnered international attention. It has also touched on broader issues, such as the detention of Palestinian minors by Israeli — currently 356 — and the debate on what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel’s rule over millions of Palestinians.

Earlier this month, the IDF said the Justice Ministry was investigating a video released by Tamimi’s family that shows an Israeli interrogator threatening the teen with the arrest of her relatives if she refused to cooperate.

The interrogator, who at times moved within centimeters of the Tamimi’s face, also commented on the teen’s body, fair skin, and “eyes of an angel.”

TWITTER STORM OVER TAMIMI SUPPORT

It all started on February 16 when Silverman tweeted in support of Ahed Tamimi – the Palestinian teenager who was detained by Israel in December after she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier. She has since become a global symbol of the Palestinian resistance movement.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Sarah Silverman Gets Furious Pushback For Supporting Ahed Tamimi

Comedian Sarah Silverman is at the center of a Twitter storm after tweeting in support of detained Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi over the weekend.

Silverman, of course, is no stranger to controversy, politics or Israel. She has long been active in progressive Democratic politics – campaigning for Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders – and throws comic barbs at the Trump administration.

On the Israeli front, she has been a cheerleader for her sister Rabbi Susan Silverman’s activism on behalf of Women of the Wall, and her battle against the expulsion of African asylum seekers, and joined her last year in contributing to a Passover Haggadah for a group called Save Israel: Stop the Occupation, which advocated for an end to the occupation on its 50th anniversary.

But in recent days Silverman has plunged into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on an unprecedented scale.

It all started on February 16 when Silverman tweeted in support of Ahed Tamimi – the Palestinian teenager who was detained by Israel in December after she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier. She has since become a global symbol of the Palestinian resistance movement.

Her tweet was intended to support the Amnesty International campaign lobbying against the 17-year-old’s detention (Tamimi faces five counts of assaulting security forces) and calls on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to release her.Predictably, Silverman’s pro-Tamimi tweet inspired an avalanche of responses – both praise from Tamimi supporters, and harsh criticism from pro-Israel advocacy groups chiding her for supporting Tamimi. Critics called Silverman “irresponsible,” told her to “stick to comedy and stay out of politics,” and charged that she is “unwittingly complicit” in Palestinians’ “child abuse.”

Among those replying to Silverman were Frimet and Arnold Roth – the parents of Malki Roth, who was killed at age 15 in Jerusalem’s Sbarro terrorist attack in August 2001.

They tweeted: “Entertainers exploiting their fame are often a poor choice for clarifying what’s moral or good. Sarah, did you stand up for our daughter Malki and the other 15 Jewish lives extinguished by Ahlam Tamimi, Ahed’s cousin and role-model-in-life? Do you stand with Ahed’s call to kill?”Ahlam Tamimi assisted the Hamas terrorists who carried out the attack on the pizza restaurant in 2001. She was arrested by Israeli authorities, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to multiple life sentences. However, she was released in 2011 and sent to Jordan as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas.

In the spirit of her recent TV series “I Love You, America” – in which she meets citizens from across the political spectrum, in an attempt to prove that patriotism exists on both sides of the divide – instead of simply hitting back at her detractors and embracing her supporters, Silverman has been retweeting many of her critics, and responding with questions and comments.

In one exchange, conservative pundit Noah Pollak attacked her advocacy on behalf of Tamimi, He called it “narcissistic Hollywood political posturing at its vilest and most ignorant,” and added Silverman was “pimping for a notorious terrorist family. What a disgrace.”

Silverman responded: “Life is very black and white for you. It’s not for me. You’re easy with labels brother. But I don’t see you sticking your neck out. You judge from your perch. My family is in Jerusalem. My nephew in the IDF. Shits complicated. Peace.”

Last month, Silverman came under fire on social media after she posted an Instagram photo of her nephew Adar – her sister Susan’s 19-year-old son – in his Israeli army uniform, wishing him a happy birthday.

 

See related post HERE

 

OBAMA COFFEE ‘JOKE’

25-Barack-Obama-Coffee-Art

As posted on Twitter ….

Q. Do you know what Obama coffee is?

A. Black and weak.

That’s supposed to be funny?

Well it’s NOT!

Nothing more, nothing less

Nothing more, nothing less

After removing the ‘joke’ the poster said in an apology to the President, “I like people no matter about their race and religion.”

Brings to mind the classic anti Semitic comeback of  “Some of my best friends are Jewish”.

Israeli Minister’s Wife Tweets Offensive ‘Obama Coffee’ Joke

The wife of Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom apologized after tweeting a tasteless joke about U.S. President Barack Obama.

Judy Shalom Nir Mozes posted the joke Sunday and removed it shortly after, but not before unleashing a storm of criticism.

“Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak,” read the offensive tweet.

After deleting the tweet, Mozes apologized in a second tweet, which said: “I apologize, that was a stupid joke somebody told me.”

A second apology posted a half hour later was directed at the U.S. President: President Obama I shouldnt have written the inappropriate joke I heard. I like people no matter about their race and religion.

A third apology read: “Sorry if I caused any offence to anyone. I hope I will stay married when my husband will land and hear what I did.”

Mozes, an Israeli talk-show host, has nearly 75,000 Twitter followers.

Shalom, of the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also is a vice prime minister.

PRESIDENT OBAMA LEARNS TO TWEET

It’s not even close to Halloween, but President Obama is already  ‘Twick or Tweeting’ ….

obama-twitter

Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.

 

The White House
@WhiteHouse
President Obama.
In the Oval Office.
Tweeting.
#WelcomeToTwitter, @POTUS!
go.wh.gov/POTUS-twitter
View on Twitter
Followed by David Baldinger and K. Petersen-Overton.
 Here are a few of the Tweets he received on his very first day ….
Carlos Latuff
@LatuffCartoons
Glad you have a Twitter account, Mr. Obama. Now I may share my Obamatoons with you 🙂 @POTUS
View on Twitter
Followed by David Baldinger and Ayman Qwaider.
Glenn Greenwald
@ggreenwald
Beautiful, Cozy Bipartisanship: Hillary Clinton Paid by Education Company Partially Owned & Managed By …. Jeb Bushfirstlook.org/theintercept/2…
View on Twitter
Followed by K. Petersen-Overton.
Max Blumenthal
@MaxBlumenthal
51 Day War #galleyselfie – preorder the book here: amazon.com/The-51-Day-War…
View on Twitter
Followed by David Baldinger, K. Petersen-Overton and Ayman Qwaider.

 

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO SPREAD RACISM ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supposed apology for his incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel during Israel’s recent election campaign, his government continues to spread anti-Arab hatred.

Israel’s verified Arabic-language Twitter account and Facebook account, titled “Israel speaks Arabic,” published the caricature below on Sunday, which asks “Which is better, relying on yourself, or relying on someone else?”

It includes two stereotyped and demeaning figures, one representing a Japanese person, and the other an Arab. The headline says “Attitudes to work.” The text next to each figure, respectively, states: The Japanese attitude to work: “If there is someone else who can do a job, then I can do it too. And if there is no one else to do the job, then without doubt I will do it.” The Middle Eastern attitude to work: If there is someone else to do a job, then let them do it. And if no one else can do it, then dude, how do you think I can do it?!”

It includes two stereotyped and demeaning figures, one representing a Japanese person, and the other an Arab.
The headline says “Attitudes to work.” The text next to each figure, respectively, states:
The Japanese attitude to work: “If there is someone else who can do a job, then I can do it too. And if there is no one else to do the job, then without doubt I will do it.”
The Middle Eastern attitude to work: If there is someone else to do a job, then let them do it. And if no one else can do it, then dude, how do you think I can do it?!”

Israeli government spreads racist caricature of Arabs on Facebook, Twitter

THE PHOTO TWEET THAT WENT VIRAL AROUND THE WORLD

Selfie with the greatest threat

to Israel

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How a tweet about Gaza children went viral round the globe

Three days ago Dan Cohen tweeted this photo from Gaza with seven words, “Selfie with the greatest threat to Israel,” and the tweet went viral, retweeted 16,000 times. I spoke to Cohen yesterday by Skype in Gaza to ask him about the photo and its resonance.

Where did you make the shot?

I was in Khuza’a, right on the border, east of Khan Younis. The village got destroyed this summer– not entirely but major parts of it. And there were just these cute kids and these kids– as I know you’re aware– are referred to as the demographic threat to Israel. I wanted to invoke that openly-racist language that is used by mainstream political leaders all over the world, including by President Obama.

When did the idea come to you?

It wasn’t like a big plan. There are hordes of adorable children all over the place here. I try and take a lot of photos throughout the day on my phone and then 12 hours later I was going through my pictures in Gaza City. The tagline came to me later, and I tweeted it. I thought I would get 50 retweets. But within 24 hours, it had 10,000 retweets, and it continues to go up.

Has this ever happened to you before?

No I’ve never had anything like this resonance before.

How do you explain it?

I got a notification from some kind of company that tracks trending. A few hours after I tweeted it, it was trending in London, then a few hours after that in Malaysia. So I mean obviously there’s a huge Muslim population in Malaysia, I think that explains why… But in terms of why it went viral, there are a couple things that come to mind to me. The racist language– the very racist concept of children being called a threat simply for their existence– people know about that, that’s not lost on people around the world. And the devastation that Israel just wrought on Gaza that killed 500-plus children, that also doesn’t go unnoticed. The Bakr boys image on the beach, or the father who was shown crying as he holds his child with his head blown off, those images are burned into people’s brains.

I think there were a couple of other factors. People really want to see something happy from Gaza. There’s so much devastation here, it pains people to wonder what the devastation is really like and what people are going thru, so to see sweet innocent children smiling helps.

And there’s one more thing. To be honest, I think people are happy to know that not all white Jews support Israel. So when they see a white guy with the name Dan Cohen whether they know I’m Jewish or think I’m Israeli, that it’s possible for a white Jewish man to recognize that these children are called threats– people respond to that.

What does it feel like to be in Gaza?

Right now it’s cold, it’s windy, it’s rainy and there are tens of thousands of people who have no real shelter. I just got back from Shuja’iyeh and it is really cold out there, a little above freezing, and there are children everywhere, and it’s devastating. Even just to go into Gaza City, where buildings are mostly intact– I’m in an apartment with the windows blown out, and I’m fine, I can leave. But sometimes, my head spins: just the fact that I’m in this prison for mostly children who have been reduced by the world to rubble people, and then I can come and go freely. I don’t have any way to explain that feeling. The dissonance is massive.

As a journalist, can you set out to do another tweet that will get this kind of attention?

No. I was surprised when it got a couple hundred retweets in like 15 minutes. I was really surprised by that.

Is it a grassroots trend or are there major nodes and celebrities? 

I did see that the foreign minister of Venezuela retweeted it. I think; I have to check that. But in terms of celebrities– no, I’m not aware of any.

Dan, you used to do rope access on big buildings in New York for a living. How long have you been a journalist?

Eleven months.

I’ve been a journalist a long time; and I can tell you you’ll remember this for the rest of your career. So do you think that’s the heroin of being a journalist, to have a hit like this? 

No. I have to say, my focus especially when in Gaza, is really not on myself. I’m surrounded by devastation all the time, so any great feelings about myself and what I’m doing is just passing, if there’s even a moment.

NETANYAHU TWEETS FOR VENGEANCE ~~ SOLDIERS DO THE SAME AND GET PUNISHED

portrait_400x400

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Could the term “We were only taking orders” be applied to the following?

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Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created. Neither has vengeance for the blood of 3 pure youths who were on their>

HITCHCOCK’S REMAKE OF ‘THE BIRDS’ ~~ TWEETING IN TURKEY

Image by Amos Biderman

TWEETING IN TURKEY

Horror Oldtimer revisited 🙂
hitchcock

TIMELY TOONS — KILLING TWITTER WAS A DUMB MOVE IN TURKEY

Images ‘Copyleft’ By Carlos Latuff

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Yesterday’s Image

Related Post

TURKEY’S FAKE DEMOCRACY EXPOSED

Looks like the number of Democracies in the Middle East is dwindling …

Twitter went dark in Turkey, just hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “wipe out” the social network which, along with others, was highlighting corruption allegations against his inner circle.

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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Turkey blocks Twitter after PM’s threat to ‘wipe out’ service 

After recordings published on social media network reveal illegal schemes between Erdogan and his son, authorities ‘technically blocked access to Twitter’.

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Twitter went dark in Turkey, just hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “wipe out” the social network which, along with others, was highlighting corruption allegations against his inner circle.

The state-run Anatolia news agency said authorities “technically blocked access to Twitter” because the service had ignored various Turkish court orders to remove some links deemed illegal.

Twitter responded by saying on its official @policy feed that Turks could get around the block by tweeting through mobile telephone text services.

In early reaction, the EU commissioner for digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, tweeted that the block in Turkey “is groundless, pointless, cowardly”.

She added that the “Turkish people and international community will see this as censorship. It is.”

The restriction of access to Twitter came after Erdogan told a rally drumming up support for March 30 local elections that he would eradicate Twitter access in the country.

“We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says,” he said.

Turkish PM Erdogan (Photo: AP)
Turkish PM Erdogan (Photo: AP)

Erdogan’s office said in a statement that Twitter had remained “indifferent” to Turkish court rulings demanding “some links” be removed, and that the premier therefore had turned his attention to the matter.

The website for the country’s telecommunications authority (TIB) turned up four separate court rulings referencing “twitter.com”.

One of them said: “The protection measure has been taken for this website (twitter.com) according to the decision… of the Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office and has been implemented by the TIB.”

Anatolia ran a report saying a Twitter block was the only solution to “address the unjust treatment of our citizens”.

Graft allegations tweeted

Erdogan, Turkey’s charismatic and increasingly autocratic leader since 2003, has come under mounting pressure since audio recordings spread across social media that appeared to put him at the heart of a major corruption scandal.

Recordings include an apparent discussion between Erdogan and his son about hiding money, as well as others in which he appears to be interfering in business deals, court cases and media coverage.

Some of the most damaging information has come from a Twitter account under the name Haramzadeler (“Sons of Thieves”), which appears to have access to a huge trove of secret documents and police wiretaps linked to the investigation.

Erdogan has dismissed most of the recordings as “vile” fakes concocted by his rivals, and threatened to ban YouTube and Facebook after crucial local elections on March 30.

“This has nothing to do with freedoms. Freedom does not mean the right to intrude on someone’s privacy, or to pass the state’s secrets to the international arena,” Erdogan said on Thursday.

The prime minister is openly suspicious of the Internet, and last year called Twitter a “menace” for helping organize mass anti-government protests.

A vast corruption probe launched in December saw dozens of people rounded up, including close business and political allies of the prime minister.

The Turkish strongman has accused associates of a former staunch ally – US-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen – of being behind the graft probe that claimed the scalps of four ministers.

Gulen has denied any involvement.

Turkey recently tightened government control of the Internet and the judiciary, generating criticism from rights groups.

The country, which has more than 10 million Twitter users, has seen access to thousands of sites blocked in recent years.

YouTube was banned for two years up to 2010 because of material deemed insulting to the country’s revered founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The Internet Publishers Association, a body representing online and media companies, said the move to block Twitter was an attempt to “destroy freedom of expression”.

“The prime minister having the power to shut down Twitter will be the confirmation of dictatorship,” it said in a statement published by local media.

Source

TWITTER AS A VEHICLE FOR ISRAELI ISLAMOPHOBIA

As Tweety would say …. ‘I tawt I taw an Islamophobe.’
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tweety-A
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This morning, the official account of the Israeli embassy in Washington tweeted this astonishingly racist image. It appears designed to tap in to common tropes of Muslims as angry, irrational anti-American mobs.
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Israeli embassy in Washington tweets Islamophobic image

Ali Abunimah 
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*This morning, the official account of the Israeli embassy in Washington tweeted this astonishingly racist image. It appears designed to tap in to common tropes of Muslims as angry, irrational anti-American mobs.

This is precisely the kind of image whose dominance and role in American media Edward Said traced in his classic 1981 book Covering Islam.

The context is the US-Iranian rapprochement and diplomacy that has enraged Israel and its regional allies including Saudi Arabia. Having failed to win the argument that the US should go to war against Iran over its nuclear energy program, the Israelis are turning to even cruder, more emotive propaganda than usual.

It’s ironic that Israel would hope to convince anyone that an image like this – however one interprets it – can represent the whole of Iran, when Israel always insists any negative images of Israel are exceptional and non-representative.

Written FOR

MY PERSONAL VIEW OF THE ‘ANTI’ SOCIAL MEDIA

ATT000011

ISRAEL CLEARED OF WRONGDOINGS IN GAZA … THIS TIME ONLY

A correction to yesterday’s post …. BUT Israel is still to blame for the overall suffering in Gaza today.
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The shortage of safe water in Gaza is an extremely real and serious issue, and Oxfam continues to campaign for an end to the blockade, which we believe is in violation of international law and has devastated the lives of people in Gaza and severely restricted the movement of goods and people. However, in this case the delay in receiving equipment was not due to the blockade.
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Correction: Oxfam water equipment delayed by manufacturer, not Israel

 Ali Abunimah 
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A Palestinian boy waits near a water purification station to fill up bottles of potable water, in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, on 11 July 2012.

 (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

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A story The Electronic Intifada published yesterday citing a senior official from Oxfam saying that Israel had prevented water disinfection equipment from entering Gaza was incorrect.

The Electronic Intifada received the following email today from Alun McDonald, Media and Communications Officer for Oxfam, explaining the error:

Thanks for continuing to raise the extremely important issue of water shortages in Gaza. However, the tweet from an Oxfam staff member which was included in the post was incorrect.

Ben was visiting Gaza and there was a mistranslation or misunderstanding in one of his meetings with local communities. In this particular case the delay in receiving the chlorometre was in fact due to delays in with the manufacturer and third party supplier, rather than a delay in bringing it from Israel or caused by the blockade.

I’m sincerely sorry for the mistake and confusion. I’d be grateful if we could issue a correction to the story

The shortage of safe water in Gaza is an extremely real and serious issue, and Oxfam continues to campaign for an end to the blockade, which we believe is in violation of international law and has devastated the lives of people in Gaza and severely restricted the movement of goods and people. However, in this case the delay in receiving equipment was not due to the blockade.

Original post

Israel has blocked the international development organization Oxfam from bringing vital equipment into the Gaza Strip to help make drinking water safe.

“The blockade on Gaza prevented Oxfam’s public health programme bringing in a chlorometer to help get right chlorine levels to clean water,” Ben Phillips, the organization’sCampaigns and Policy Director tweeted from Gaza today.

More than 90 percent of Gaza’s water supply is unfit for human consumption due to years of Israel’s deliberate destruction of sewage and water infrastructure, its ban on imports of equipment and pollution and over-extraction of the only underground aquifer.

As a consequence waterborne illnesses are widespread.

Phillips said that Oxfam “made an application [to Israel] to import” the equipment, but “[A]fter 8 months without agreement we had to use less effective processes instead.”

These apparently did not work. The equipment was to be shipped via Israel from a German manufacturer, Phillips added.

on Twitter

 

No water to wash your face

In addition to the poor quality of water, only a quarter of households receive running water every day, during several hours only.

The permanent electricity crisis means that water can frequently not be pumped and many Palestinian households must buy expensive bottled water.

“There is no water at all. I don’t even find a drop to wash my face,” Gaza student and writerMalaka Mohammed tweeted yesterday. “As a result [I] had to buy it!”

on Twitter

 

Life conditions for Gaza’s almost 1.7 million residents have deteriorated sharply since the 3 July military coup in Egypt.

Since the coup, the Egyptian military regime has destroyed dozens of underground tunnelsthat have provided the only alternative route into Gaza for many basic supplies banned or severely restricted by the Israeli siege.

 

 

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TWEETING FOR ZION

“In light of the success in the battle for awareness during the Pillar of Defense Operation [the Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip in November of last year] and the experience gained in activating a large number of situation rooms on university campuses and work with students in general, it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country.”
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Israel setting up “covert units” to tweet, Facebook government propaganda

 Ali Abunimah
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Screenshot shows Israelis in an organized digital “war” room posting tweets against the flotilla to Gaza in the summer of 2011. (Source)

The Israeli prime minister’s office is organizing Israeli students in “covert” and “semi-military” style units to tweet and post pro-Israel messages on social media without revealing they are doing it as part of a government propaganda campaign, Israeli media reported today.

But as The Electronic Intifada has previously revealed, this effort is not entirely new.

Haaretz reports today:

The Prime Minister’s Office is planning to form, in collaboration with the National Union of Israeli Students, “covert units” within Israel’s seven universities that will engage in online public diplomacy (hasbara).

The students participating in the project, who would post on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter on Israel’s behalf, will be part of the public diplomacy arm of the PMO [prime minister’s office], but would not identify themselves as official government representatives.

It is clear that the Israeli government views universities and students as tools in its international propaganda, as a government document, cited by Haaretz, reveals:

“In light of the success in the battle for awareness during the Pillar of Defense Operation [the Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip in November of last year] and the experience gained in activating a large number of situation rooms on university campuses and work with students in general, it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country.”

Haaretz adds that it is apparent from the document “that a diplomacy group will be set up at each university and structured in a semi-military fashion.” The person in charge of the initiative is Daniel Seaman, former director of the Government Press Office, who has used his personal Facebook page to post racist, Islamophobic and violent material.

Israel’s covert use of social media not new

But this effort is not new. Last year, The Electronic Intifada revealed that the National Union of Israeli Students was already a full-time partner in Israeli government propaganda and set up a project to pay Israeli university students up to $2,000 to spread propaganda online.

As The Electronic Intifada also reported, the National Union of Israeli Students sent its members for government propaganda training and described students as Israel’s “pretty face,” to be deployed as a propaganda auxiliary force.

The union set as one of its organizational goals, working “in cooperation with government ministries and additional organizations, to improve the explanation [hasbara] of Israel’s position around the world.”

At the time, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jillian C. York compared Israel’s online propaganda efforts to those of China, Syria and Bahrain.

“I have seen considerable efforts, both by Israeli companies like Ahava and–apparently–government-supported groups, to utilize some of the same techniques as Syria and Bahrain, particularly on Twitter,” York also previously wrote.

Such Israeli government efforts, which attempt to disguise official propaganda as the work of ordinary concerned citizens and students, date back at least to December 2008, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza.

Every computer user is a “kind of soldier”

At that time Israeli social media strategist Niv Calderon wrote that he was hired by the foreign ministry for a first of its kind effort to create a digital “war room” to promote Israel’s propaganda message internationally.

Calderon was later involved in similar organized social media efforts to discredit the Gaza flotillas, and in one report on Israeli TV from June 2011, Calderon can be seen managing a social media “war room” working against that summer’s flotilla to Gaza

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“There is a media war here,” Calderon explains, “and every citizen, every computer user, is a kind of soldier.”

“Equipped with laptops and iPhones,” the report says, government social media propagandists go to war using “tweets as their weapons.”

The report even shows social media propagandists being trained to find random images of market places in Gaza to post online to obscure the fact that Israel’s siege has caused severe hardship to the civilian population there.

Calderon has also previously worked on the social media campaigns of the anti-Palestinian group StandWithUs.

Desperate

The new “covert” social media push comes as surveys confirm Israel’s status as one of the most negatively viewed countries in the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrugged off these findings, declaring, “it’s not about the facts, it’s about the defamation of Israel and our portrayal as peace rejecters, war mongers instead of an enlightened nation that is fighting against aims to destroy us.”

Netanyahu, like the Israelis behind these various covert schemes, seems to think Israel can still market, sell, cheat and tweet its way out of being seen, rightly, as an apartheid-practicing, colonizing occupier, violently depriving millions of Palestinians of their most fundamental rights.

One obstacle the Israeli campaigns must overcome is the fact that Israel’s biggest social media hits have been entirely negative – a result of the tendency of many Israelis, especially soldiers, to post violent, hateful and outright racist material on their social media accounts, especially on Facebook and Instagram.

Strengthens case for academic boycott

The recruitment of universities and their complicity in government propaganda efforts aimed at justifying Israeli violations of Palestinian rights will likely strengthen arguments in favor of the Palestinian call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

This call received a boost this week – unrelated to these social media campaigns – from dozens of international faculty calling on their peers to boycott an upcoming conference on oral history at the Hebrew University.

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ERDOGAN; ‘TWITTER IS THE MENACE, NOT ME’

Image’Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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raid-on-occupy-taksim-park-in-istambul-turkey-e
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is depicted as a vampire in a picture pinned on the back of a protestor during a demonstration of several thousand Alevites in the western German city of Bochum 17 March 2012. (Reuters)
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Erdogan rejects ‘dictator’ claims, says Twitter is a ‘menace’
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Full report HERE

THE NOOSE TIGHTENS AROUND GRETA BERLIN’S NECK

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Suicide by hate? I can’t think of a better term for what Greta Berlin has done to herself. My only wish in this matter is that she doesn’t take the entire Free Gaza Movement down with her, we need them!
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I wasn’t aware of the fact that almost the entire group of the Free Gaza board members resigned from their positions in August of this year leaving Greta to lead (actually mislead) the Movement.
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Here is a statment issued by the group, thanks to Ali Abunimah ….
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Statement from former board members of Free Gaza movement

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

I received the following statement from the undersigned former board members of the Free Gaza movement:

As former board members of the Free Gaza movement (our terms ended in August, as outlined in a 22 September statement released by Free Gaza, though this was not immediately reflected in parts of the Free Gaza website), we are disappointed and frustrated by the message and video posted on the Free Gaza Twitter account entitled: “Zionists Ran the Holocaust and the Concentration Camps” and by the subsequent messaging posted by Greta Berlin on behalf of the new board of Free Gaza II. Although the tweet was deleted and Free Gaza II clarified that the posting was a mistake and pertinent context overlooked, we believe that the responses posted by Greta on behalf of Free Gaza II have been inadequate. Consultations and efforts made by some of the former members of the board with the current board members were either rejected or set aside, which has added to our disappointment. We had hoped that Greta would provide evidence of the context in which she says she posted the video, but her failure to do so has led us to now publicly voice our deep concern.

We unequivocally reject and distance ourselves from the tweeted video. Such anti-Semitism was never tolerated by Free Gaza or any of the people or groups with which we have worked.  We condemn all forms of racism and prejudice, including anti-Semitism.

We continue to support initiatives to end Israel’s illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip and its occupation and colonial apartheid practices in Palestine as a whole. It is imperative to be vigilant against racism in all its forms. It is also vital to work for the freedom of all people, and in our efforts to support Palestinians, it is the universal struggle for freedom that has motivated, sustained and guided the efforts of Free Gaza.

  • Huwaida Arraf
  • Caoimhe Butterly
  • Eliza Enshire
  • Alex Harrison
  • Fathi Jaouadi
  • Ewa Jasiewicz
  • Niamh Moloughney
  • Adam Shapiro
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Mondoweiss offers the following update …
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Free Gaza Movement Twitter controversy leads Jewish Voice for Peace to distance itself from group

by Alex Kane
FGM
A Free Gaza movement boat as it approaches a port in Gaza (Photo: Free Gaza Movement/Flickr)
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Greta Berin, a co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) has sparked a raging controversy by publishing Twitter posts linked to anti-Semitic material. The episode has been damaging to the Free Gaza Movement, which came to prominence after it repeatedly sent ships to break the blockade of Gaza.

Yesterday, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) distanced itself strongly from Berlin and the Free Gaza Movement. In its statement, JVP, which had sponsored an October 11 book event featuring Berlin in Los Angeles, said Sunday that “we are disassociating ourselves from sponsorship of Berlin’s current book tour in the U.S. or future endorsements of Free Gaza Movement actions.”

Naomi Klein, who served on the Free Gaza advisory board, tweeted on October 5,“I have resigned from the Advisory Board of the Free Gaza Movement. Still support mission but leadership has changed since I signed up.”

The debacle started when the Free Gaza Twitter account sent a message to thousands of followers that read: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.” Berlin controls the account. The same Twitter message linked to a video showing Eustace Mullins, a known anti-Semite.The video shows Mullins saying things like Hitler “allied with the Zionist Party and the mission of the Nazis was to force the anti-Zionist Jews to accept Zionism…So the concentration camps were run by the Zionist Jews in order to punish and get rid of the anti-Zionist Jews, which they did.”

Though FGM deleted the message after it generated attention, Avi Mayer, the head of social media for the Jewish Agency for Israel, saved a copy of the message andcreated a Storify piece on the controversy. The story blew up from there, with media outlets like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the Jerusalem Post covering the controversy. 

A series of apologies from Free Gaza followed, with Berlin claiming that she meant to send the video to a private Facebook group of people who “were discussing propaganda and racism.” The apology, from the Free Gaza Movement, continued: “This link was an example of the terrible propaganda that could be spewed on websites. For some reason, Facebook connected our Free Gaza account to [Berlin’s] personal Facebook account, and the link was posted.”

While JVP’s statement said they “appreciate Greta Berlin’s statements in response to the furor,” the group also said that “we unfortunately don’t think her responses adequately address our concern about circulating anti-semitic materials…We have been endorsers of the Free Gaza Movement and are proud to have been associated with their non-violent efforts as part of the Palestinian solidarity movement. We do not believe that the Free Gaza Movement is anti-semitic and understand that Greta Berlin’s tweets were her own and not representative of Free Gaza.”

+972 blogger Larry Derfner defended Berlin in a post, and also published an article detailing an interview he conducted with Berlin. In an email to Mondoweiss, Berlin claimed that the anti-Semitic video in question “was never posted in the group. because I didn’t change the settings to send it to that group and ended up posting it on my wall instead.” She pointed to a statement of 37 people published on 972which “verif[ied] that we have a small group and those are the things we talk about.”

The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah has cast doubt on Berlin’s apologies. The context that Berlin refers to “does not exist,” Abunimah writes. He based his claim on his access to a Facebook group that Berlin was the administrator of and where the video was posted.

Another 972 contributor, Tom Pessah, has also strongly criticized Berlin, pointing to a “pattern” of disturbing behavior from Berlin, including endorsing Gilad Atzmon, who has been denounced in numerous quarters, including the Palestine solidarity movement, for anti-Semitism. In her endorsement, Berlin said that Atzmon’s Jewish journey “makes me awfully glad I was raised a Methodist.” 

The Free Gaza Twitter account, which Berlin controls, also sent out a separate post linking to an anti-Semitic film. Adam Holland, a pro-Israel blogger, discovered aSeptember 21 tweet from the Free Gaza account that read: “1943- Im Wald von Katyn,” with a downloadable link. Im Wald von Katyn is a film that was made by the Nazis. It was a propaganda tract that sought to blame Jews for carrying out a 1940 massacre of Polish nationals.

In an interview with Derfner, Berlin says that she doesn’t “recall seeing the movie or sending the tweet.” But a screenshot posted by Holland shows that Berlin shared it on Facebook.

The Free Gaza Twitter account has also tweeted out links to websites that claimed that “Mossad was behind ‘Sam Bacile’”, the name associated with the anti-Islam movie that lately caused such outrage in the Middle East.

WHAT AND WHEN TO TWEET FOR PALESTINE

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 Let’s TREND tonight! Welcome to Palestine 3 Mission

Dear tweeps,

The Welcome to Palestine Mission 3 will start its activities in Palestine (the West Bank) tomorrow, Sunday. In case the activists will be denied access to West Bank (as might actually happen), they will have extensive visits to the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan.

 

In this respect, these are few themes to tweet about on twitter:

1) the freedom of movement for Palestinian in/outside the occupied west bank.

2) the right of Palestinian people to receive international visitors without any constraints  (even prisoners have the right to receive visitors).

3) One of the core objectives of welcome to Palestine mission is to assist schoolchildren to peruse their new schooling year.

4) the daily life of Palestinian under the Israel system of injustice which suffocates their daily life.                    

5) in case the activists will be denied entering the west bank (as might actually happen), they will conduct intensive visit to the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. Therefore, we need to underpin the issue of the Palestinian refugees in our twitter campaign.

 

For more details, check this the campaign’s website:

Www.airflotilla2.Wordpress.com (English)

http://palestinejn.org/ (English & Arabic)

http://bienvenuepalestine.com/ 

(Needed information:

Timing: 10 pm Palestine time.  (3 P.M. EST)

 

Trending Palestine Team

Welcome to Palestine 3 Mission

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Yesterday’s post about the arrivals …

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FLOTILLA 3 ACTIVISTS ARRIVE IN AMMAN

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 Welcome to Palestine: Delegates arrive in Amman

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The delegates of the International Welcome to Palestine Mission began arriving in Amman, Jordan today. The activists are arriving from several European countries and North America.

More than a hundred activists, aged 9 to 82 years, are participating in the Welcome to Palestine International Mission. The volunteers are determined to arrive to the West Bank (Occupied Palestinian Territories) through Allenby Bridge – which connects Jordan and the West Bank – to reach their final destination in Bethlehem.

The Welcome to Palestine Mission emphasizes the importance of the right of passage to and the right of movement within Palestine and to express solidarity with the Palestinian schoolchildren as they are set to begin the new school year.

Meanwhile, our friends are getting acquainted with Jordan, a country with a large number of Palestinian refugees driven from their homes by Israel since 1948.

Welcome to Palestine Mission

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Follow the activists on Twitter

Tweet your messages of support.

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My personal message to the activists:

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#Airflotilla3 / A Message of Support from Occupied Jerusalem to Welcome to

Palestine Mission

Humanitarian Israelis welcome the initiatives of the activists planning to come to the Occupied West Bank (Palestine). Only by constant struggle against the Israeli government will all of Palestine be free one day. On that day, Israelis will also become free of being the occupiers. 

International Solidarity helped to destroy the apartheid system in South Africa … it will certainly help in Israel/Palestine as well.

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The best way to open the doors to Democracy and Freedom in Palestine is to get your own governments to recognise the evils of Apartheid. The West Bank MUST be liberated from the evil yoke of zionism.
Thanks to all of you for doing your part.

Shalom-Saalam to all the participants.
Steve Amsel, Occupied Jerusalem

The Website

ISRAELI MILITARY INDUCTS BIG BROTHER TO MONITOR INTERNET

Anything you write can and will be held against you in a court of law’ …
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Facebook, Twitter and Blogs will soon be monitored in Israel …  “The censor can only touch things that are likely to harm the security of the state, and these incidents are few.”
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Chief censor says new system will not infringe on personal information nor scrutinize private Facebook accounts.
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? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
So why bother? Just to let us know that Big Brother is watching?? We already knew that.
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Looks like we will have a censor that does not censor, and a monitor that does not monitor …. What then will we have? Perhaps the beginnings of a police state? Nah….. that can’t be possible in the ‘Only Democracy In The Middle East’, can it?
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From HaAretz
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Israel’s military censor to monitor Facebook, Twitter, blogs

Chief censor says new system will not infringe on personal information nor scrutinize private Facebook accounts.

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Israel’s military launched a new system this week to monitor information on the Internet, the chief military censor said on Tuesday.

Col. Sima Vaknin-Gil said that the new system will monitor visual and textual information on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, on blogs and on traditional news sites.

Speaking at the Digit 2012 conference at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Vaknin-Gil explained that the new system will examine information using key words labeled in advance. The system will be able to monitor information that was previously difficult to reach. “I think that you can’t try to catch everything,” she said, “because that will make the censor lose its relevance, and furthermore – its morality.”

Vaknin-Gil added that “as the chief censor, I have no intention of going into people’s personal diaries, and it important for me to note that we do not ‘sit’ on private Facebook accounts.”

Referring to recent incidents of censored information being published on social networks and blogs – notably by Jewish-American blogger Richard Silverstein – Vaknin-Gil said that “the censor is perceived as a body trying to control the Internet, to no avail. This is mistake – we try to operate within the Internet only in terms of elements related to us.”

“The censor cannot reject everything,” she added. “The censor can only touch things that are likely to harm the security of the state, and these incidents are few.”

 

HOW THE SOCIAL MEDIA BRINGS ATTENTION TO THE PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM

The online activism proved “the power of a different kind of media, one that uses corporate media’s silence to create a different kind of noise,” said Peter Hart, the activism director for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a media watchdog group. Hart authored a piece for the FAIR blog that chastised the corporate media’s silence on this “Palestinian Gandhi.” “It was a real moment where people created a kind of media sensation online that I think you have to be encouraged by,” he said.
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Social media ‘tidal wave’ helped turn world’s focus to Khader Adnan

CarlosLatuffAdnan
Carlos Latuff’s drawing of Khader Adnan (Via Gaza TV News)

By the time the Western press first noticed the hunger strike of Khader Adnan, the Palestinian baker whose struggle against Israel’s administrative detention policies captivated the world, the 33-year-old had endured 44 days without nourishment. A LexisNexis search shows that it took a week and a half after that first Agence France-Presse story for the Associated Press to publish on AdnanCNN soon followed.

But in the early days of Adnan’s protest, and as the Western press largely ignored the story, a new kind of media activism was making waves and bringing awareness to his struggle. Led by online activists, many of them Palestinian, a sustained campaign on Twitter to publicize Adnan’s stand against administrative detention turned up the pressure on Israel. Perhaps the biggest coup for the activists came when Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former Obama administration official, condemned Adnan’s detention without charge on Twitter.

The online activism proved “the power of a different kind of media, one that uses corporate media’s silence to create a different kind of noise,” said Peter Hart, the activism director for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a media watchdog group. Hart authored a piece for the FAIR blog that chastised the corporate media’s silence on this “Palestinian Gandhi.” “It was a real moment where people created a kind of media sensation online that I think you have to be encouraged by,” he said.

As Adnan’s hunger strike continued into its 65th day, online activists managed to trend the hashtag #HungerStrikingfor65days at #1 worldwide for forty minutes. (For an explanation of Twitter trends, click here).

“Twitter has got millions of people to pay attention to Khader Adnan’s case online,”wrote Jalal Abukhater, a Jerusalem-based Palestinian blogger for the Electronic Intifada.

Abukhater authored a piece for Al Akhbar English that documented the “global protest” online in support of Adnan. Last Saturday, activists also trended #CoverKhader worldwide in a direct effort to shame mainstream media into covering Adnan. Activists also targeted Nicholas Kristof for his silence on Adnandespite a 2010 article opining for a “Palestinian Gandhi.”

According to statistics on the website Topsy, tens of thousands of people have mentioned Adnan’s name on Twitter over the past month, with many of the mentions coming well before the mainstream media covered the story.

The question of whether the online activism for Adnan played a direct role in convincing corporate media outlets to cover the story is a difficult one to answer definitively. Robert Mackey, the New York Times blogger who was the first NYTwriter to cover Adnan, said that he first heard about the story elsewhere, and not on Twitter. “I dislike the use of Twitter to press journalists to cover events, because I use the social network to find reports or commentary on the news from bloggers, journalists and eyewitnesses,” Mackey wrote in an email. “Organized efforts to make certain subjects more prominent seems to make Twitter less useful to me by changing the signal to noise ratio.”

But Jillian York, a writer and the director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has a different take on the connection between social media campaigns and mainstream media coverage. In general,“you have this discussion, debate on social media which then parlays itself into campaigning of some sort which then explodes into media coverage,” York said in a phone interview. “A lot of the discussion last year [during the Arab uprisings] was about people organizing around social media. I actually argue that the real value of social media is getting international coverage, international attention to your cause.”

But even if the online activism didn’t lead directly to mainstream media coverage, it did, at least, shine a light on the silence on Adnan’s hunger strike from corporate media. This silence largely held until the climax of Adnan’s case, which culminatedin a deal in which Adnan is to be released April 17 and not have his detention order renewed. Adnan has ended his hunger strike.

“The fact that these people didn’t write about it is an indictment of their previous supposed commitment to Palestinian nonviolence,” said FAIR’s Hart. “In a sense, their silence spoke more powerfully than one or two news articles. I think we learned something fundamental about the media, and we learned something fundamental about working around the media–deciding that if people tweet enough, and I know that sounds corny, but if you can do that and create kind of a tidal wave, maybe Tom Friedman is someone you don’t need.”

 

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