Deborah Danan


Twitter came under fire at Israel’s Knesset Wednesday for flagging President Donald Trump’s tweets while allowing those by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei calling for Israel’s destruction to remain untouched. Incredibly, a Twitter official said Ayatollah Khamenei’s tweets do not violate the company’s rules against hate speech.

During a Knesset hearing on antisemitism in social media, international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky asked Twitter’s regional policy head Ylwa Pettersson why the U.S. president’s tweets were labelled as violating the social media giant’s rules on “glorifying violence”, and on a separate occasion “abusive behavior”, but not those of Khamenei, who “literally called for the genocide of Israel and the Jewish people.”

The news came amid a Twitter storm that included the suspension of Donald Trump Jr.’s after he tweeted a video promoting hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 cure and a 48-hour Twitter boycott by Jewish people and allies over online antisemitism.

In her response, Pettersson said Khamenei’s calls for genocide against Israel were merely “foreign policy saber-rattling.”

“We have an approach toward leaders that says that direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on military-economic issues are generally not in violation of our rules,” she told the Knesset via video conference.

MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh, who initiated the hearing, interjected: “I just want to fine-tune [Ostrovsky’s] question: Calling for genocide on Twitter is okay, but commenting on the political situation in certain countries is not okay?”

Twitter attached a warning label to Trump’s May 29 tweet warning people that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” about the George Floyd riots. Twitter’s label said the tweet “violated Twitter’s Rules about glorifying violence.”

Then in a June 23 tweet, Trump said there would never be an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, and that “if they try they will be met with serious force!” That tweet was accompanied by a warning that it “violated Twitter’s Rules about abusive behavior… specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group.”

“If a world leader violates our rules but there is a clear interest in keeping that up on the service we may place it behind a notice that provides some more context about the violation and allows people to click through if they wish to see that type of content,” Pettersson told the Knesset.

Twitter disabled the “like” button on the George Floyd post, but decided not to remove it “so the citizens can see what their political figures are commenting [on] and hold them accountable for it online,” said Pettersson.

“And that is what happened for the Trump tweet, that tweet was violating our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line of that tweet and the risk that it could possibly inspire harm and similar actions.”

After the session ended, Cotler-Wunsh tweeted, “Wow. Twitter just admitted that tweets calling genocide against Jews by Iranian leaders DON’T violate its policy!”

“This is a double standard. This is antisemitism.”

Speaking to Breitbart, Ostrovsky said Pettersson’s words constituted “serious chutzpah.”

International human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky attending Wednesday’s Knesset hearing on antisemitism in social media (Supplied).

“It took some serious chutzpah to look a room full of Jews and Israelis in the face and say that the Iranian leader’s call for genocide against us is acceptable ‘commentary on political issues of the day’,” Ostrovsky, who is also the executive director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress, said.

“As long as Twitter and social media companies continue to turn their backs to such lethal antisemitism and apply blatant double standards in the manner in which they monitor material posted on their platforms, they will only continue to empower Jew hatred and enable the incitement to violence that inevitably follows,” he added.

“Enough is enough.”

Hours later on Wednesday, Khamenei flexed his muscles again, tweeting that the U.S. was “Satan” and Israel its “chained dog.”

The same month Trump posted the George Floyd tweet, Khamenei in his own Twitter post compared the state of Israel to a “cancerous tumor.” He also invoked Nazi Germany by calling for a “Final Solution.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed his remarks.

“The United States condemns Supreme Leader Khamenei’s disgusting and hateful anti-Semitic remarks,” Pompeo wrote. “They have no place on Twitter or on any other social media platform. We know Khamenei’s vile rhetoric does not represent the Iranian people’s tradition of tolerance.”

The Knesset session, which was led by the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, comes after Twitter came under fire over its delay in removing a series of antisemitic posts written by British rapper Wiley, in which he compared Jews to the Ku Klux Klan and claimed they were behind black slavery.

As Breitbart News reported, Wiley stated he is the reason “Jews are rich” and said, “Jews make me sick.”

He also wrote: “Jewish people are cowards, do something to me, I’m waiting,” and added that “Jewish people act rough but they hide behind the police.”

“I don’t care about Hitler, I care about black people.”

After his account on Twitter and Instagram were suspended (but not removed), Wiley took to Facebook to continue his antisemitic rants.

Author: Deborah Danan

Source: Breitbart: Twitter Under Fire for Flagging Trump Posts but Not Iran Ayatollah Demanding Israel’s Genocide

TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the first steps towards building “Trump Heights” on Sunday, coinciding with the 74th birthday of the American president for whom the Golan Heights town is named.

“Today, we will begin practical steps in establishing the community of Ramat Trump on the Golan Heights, Israel’s sovereignty over which was recognized by President Trump,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.

Members of the cabinet voted in favor of the town’s initial budget of NIS 8 million ($2.3 million).

Netanyahu also expressed his thanks to Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their decision to sanction the International Criminal Court.

“The court in the Hague is a political body that is hostile toward Israel, the US and other democracies that respect human rights even as it ignores other countries that violate human rights, especially – of course – the terrorist regime in Iran,” the prime minister said.

“The court invents absurd accusations against the State of Israel, including the scandalous claim that the presence of Jews in the heart of our homeland constitutes a war crime. This contravenes common sense, it contravenes international law since the San Remo Conference 100 years ago and it contravenes justice” he went on, referring to the event in which the Allied nations declared their support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

“I thank President Trump and the American administration again for their stand on the side of truth and justice,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu’s announcement comes exactly one year after he inaugurated “Trump Heights“ in recognition of the U.S. president’s formal recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

At that ceremony, Netanyahu said that Trump‘s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and his support in the fight against a nuclearized Iran proved him to be a “true friend” of Israel.

Trump’s March 2019 decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights came in the wake of what he said were “aggressive acts by Iran and terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, in southern Syria [that made] the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks on Israel.”

Author: Deborah Danan

Source: Breitbart: Netanyahu Announces First Steps to Building Golan Town Named After Trump

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