Facebook: Calls for genocide = ok, Calls for autonomy = terrorism

In a shocking double standard that will leave you reeling, Facebook has apparently agreed to let the Israeli Minister–who explicitly calls for the genocide of Palestine on Facebook–to dictate to Facebook which Palestinian pages were “controversial” and had to be removed.

In a controversial move, the Israeli government and Facebook reportedly agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on social media, aimed primarily at Palestinians.

Not long after Facebook’s agreement, several Palestinian pages with millions of readers found themselves closed and administrators locked out, in a move believed to be directly connected to the agreement between Facebook and the Israeli government.

By last Friday, however, Palestinian journalists and activists said they had had enough and announced a temporary boycott of Facebook, protesting what they call the company’s complicity in Israeli censorship and putting up an upside down Facebook sign as their profile photo.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is the main figure behind the controversy. Earlier this month, she boasted that the social network had been overwhelmingly happy to comply with Israeli demands. 

“Over the past four months, Israel submitted 158 requests to Facebook” and Facebook had accepted 95 percent of those cases, said Shaked, who is best known outside Israel for herinfamous comments against a Palestinian state. It is believed that over the years, Facebook and Twitter have deleted thousands of posts, pages and accounts in response to demands from the Israeli ministry of justice.

Facebook claims the pages were removed in error and has restored them, however the agreement with the Israeli government remains, leaving the possibility that even peaceful calls for autonomy could be censored* as they are characterized as destabilizing.

I am baffled as to how anyone can continue to support Israeli occupation. They’re worse than American cops. They’ve been caught on film framing victims. I’ve heard the word “apartheid” used and the more evidence comes out of Israel the increasingly apparent that is the case. It is not anti-Semitic to criticize the actions of a government, and certainly not anti-Semitic to even post photographs or videos catching Israeli troops acting in bad faith.

I mean, “Facebook sells out” is hardly newsworthy at this point, seriously. Genocidal minister = free speech. Calls for autonomy = terrorists? We should all recognise the potential for our governments to strike such similar agreements with Facebook–if they don’t have them already.

Don’t let the calls for Palestinian peace and independence be conflated with terrorism.



*Because the “recommendations” for removal are from the Israeli government, it is in fact censorship.


  1. Jake Harban says

    I’ve heard the word “apartheid” used and the more evidence comes out of Israel the increasingly apparent that is the case.

    Gaza and the West Bank are inhabited primarily by the native people of the region prior to colonialism. They are politically controlled by Israel despite even Israel nominally sovereign. Their inhabitants are denied full Israeli citizenship and barred from leaving, while Jewish Israelis are not only free to enter but also granted special rights while present.

    In short, they are basically Bantustans— an arrangement widely practiced in, you guessed it, apartheid South Africa.

  2. StevoR says

    trigger WARNING for below link – real life violence, confronting and disturbing footage, sorry.

    Doco Netanyahu at War by Frontline circa 2015.

    Slightly off topic but related tangent here :

    Former Israeli Prime Minister and President POI?) Shimon Peres died earlier today (yesterday in my Aussie timezone) -and what a legacy he came agonisingly close to accomplishing but didn’t with the Oslo Accords. He was a good man who really tried to make peace with his Palestinian enemies and took over after Netanyahu (among others) incited Yitzak Rabin’s murder before the 1996 Israeli election.* Which Netanyahu then won in a very close fight and which was a very unexpected result. (Wiki the 1996 Israeli elections. I remember them well though I don’t live there.)After which the prospects for serious peace slipped away taking so many lives and hopes and possibilities for better with them.

    Like the 200 Bush vs Gore vs Nader election in the United States; I think that will go down as a tragic turning point where had things gone just a tiny smidgin differently things in the world generally would have been so different and very likely much better.

    That Israeli-Arab/ Palestinian conflict is an ongoing horrific tragedy, the triumph of hate and fear and trauma and pain and refusal to recognise the humanity of the other side on both sides. It needs to end but can only do so when both sides want it to end. Both are too hurt and trapped in deep gouged ruts of antagonism and cyclical violence and hate to do so. Yet?

    * See : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhMF30VLZCA

    [merged your two comments, StevoR] -Shiv

  3. StevoR says

    The situation with Israel / Palestine is incredibly complex and unique. (Well all countries are unique in their own history but still.)

    Thing is the Jewish people are also indigenous to the region and, arguably, as much victims of colonialism as perpetrators of it. Got any ideas of what Jewish folks have been through & how badly that might’ve stuffed them up & why now esp. they might be particularly .. reactive ..against the rest of the world pushing them up against a metaphorical wall even if they did help build it themselves?

    There’s an awful long, lo-ong history here :


    And if you know anything about the Jewish / Israeli people and their history, you’ll know they’ve lived in what was Judea-Israel-Davidic Kingdom and that it’s meant a lot more than can really can be said to them for a few flippin ‘millennia.

    They’re NOT your average colonialists.

    Must it end as does in that linked clip in blood, fire and mutual (global?) genocide?

    I hope not. Too many real lives at stake. Everywhere.

    There’s so much pain, hate, love, grief, trauma and history and people there.

    Have y’all ever read / watched Daniel Derronda among so many other works and thought about that context & more? Will you please look at all sides here with minimal scapegoating and maximum understanding and empathy and mea culpa I’ve failed at this myself before and prob’ly will again?

    Oh & Israel actually is really tiny. Really. Please look at a globe.

    No that does NOT excuse any bad stuff they do – but yegods there have been plenty of atrocities on both sides to point fingers at. Wa-aay more than enough atrocities and wrongs (& rights & cases and points) on both sides. yeah?

    So what now?

    Can there be peace and some sort of compromise? and recognition of mutual humanity – some sort of acceptance of sharing?

    I hope so and, I’d say, Shalom, Salaam, Peace – but then I’d be repeating myself. Those three words, I gather, mean the same thing. Same wish. Be nice if we could make it so wouldn’t it?

    Of course “we” here are not in charge of either side and have little hope of seeing what we’d like happen.

    I wish there was more hope I could offer. So wish that.

    What would you have and see done to Israel and its millions of real lives? Realistically, what now can we hope for and see happen? I don’t know.