September 1, 2020 | Paul Craig Roberts | Institute for Political Economy |
“Israel Is In Charge of FaceBook’s Censorship of American Free Speech
Facebook has hired Emi Palmor, former director-general of Israel’s justice ministry, as a member of its new oversight board which will censor content on the site. The company’s chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg has also declared that FaceBook is using “…the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition ‘in informing [its] own approach and definitions,’ that its new policy ‘draws on the spirit—and the text—of the IHRA,’ and that under Facebook’s policy, ‘Jews and Israelis are treated as “protected characteristics.’”
Protected characteristics has meant in practice that criticism of the activities of either Israelis or Jewish groups will not be acceptable on the site. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Facebook is also now censoring any material that might lead to legitimate criticism of the Jewish state and its policies. On August 18th the site removed a picture and article showing a road filled with dead Palestinian-owned sheep that were reportedly killed by an Israeli settler driver. The Israeli deliberately ran over the animals with his car as part of a campaign to destroy the livelihoods of Palestinian farmers on the West Bank.
When the Israel Lobby complains that portraying Israel negatively is thinly veiled anti-Semitism, one might well respond that terrible things are being done in the Middle East in the name of Jews and of Israel. Silencing critics by accusing them of a hate crime is little more than a perversion of justice to serve the demands of a powerful and wealthy minority as well as a denial of constitutional rights for all Americans. When confronted by accusations of “anti-Semitism”, just recall what the Israeli minister admitted: “It’s a trick, we always use it.””