Feb 26, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

An internal email from Facebook was leaked, revealing a possible policy to limit anti-Israel hate speech. A wave of opposition resulted in a petition from a left-wing anti-Israel group, claiming the real threat of Jew-hatred today comes from pro-Israel Christians.

Facebook Email: Zionist Hate-Speech

An email written by a Facebook employee was leaked to the media in which it was implied that the social media company would be reviewing its policy concerning posts that use the word “Zionist.”

The email, dated November 10, was published on The Verge, on Sunday with the names of the source and the recipient redacted: 

“We are looking at the question of how we should interpret attacks on ‘Zionists’ to determine whether the term is used as a proxy for attacking Jewish or Israeli people. The term brings with it much history and various meanings, and we are looking to increase our understanding of how it is used by people on our platform.”

JVP Petition

The potential policy change generated a wave of opposition resulting in an online petition hosted by the anti-Israel left-wing extremist group, Jewish Voices for Peace. The petition, which has garnered over 30,000 supporters, called on Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, and his wife, Sheryl, to refrain from blocking posts that use the term “Zionist” as a euphemism for “Jewish” in order to mask anti-Semitic intentions. While admitting that hate speech was a growing problem, the organization asked that in the name of free speech, hate speech targeting Zionists and Zionism be allowed.

”The proposed policy would too easily mischaracterize conversations about Zionists – and by extension, Zionism – as inherently antisemitic, harming Facebook users and undermining efforts to dismantle real antisemitism and all forms of racism, extremism, and oppression,” the petition wrote.  

JVP Claims Real Anti-Semites Are Evangelical Christians

The group then claimed that the biggest threat to Jews today lay among the pro-Israel evangelical Christians:

“This is the wrong solution to a real and important problem: those who fuel antisemitism online will continue doing so, with or without the word ‘Zionist,’” the JVP petition read. “In fact, many antisemites, especially among white supremacists and evangelical Christian Zionists, explicitly support Zionism and Israel, while engaging in speech and actions that dehumanize, insult, and isolate Jewish people.”

JVP went on to emphasize the imperative of allowing “Palestinians” to describe their experiences. JVP did not offer an explanation as to why these posts, which would clearly be denouncing Zionism and the right of Israel to exist, would not be considered racist hate speech. They also said that a ban on anti-Zionist posts “would prevent Jewish users from discussing their relationships to Zionist political ideology.”

Coming dangerously close to perpetuating the anti-Semitic trope of a cabal of nefarious Jews seeking global domination, the petition claimed the anonymous email was the work of “the current Israeli government, and some of its supporters.”

Among the signers of the petition were Hana Ashrawi, Omar Barghouti, Linda Sarsour, Marc Lamont Hill, and Noam Chomsky. 

It is interesting to note that among the supporters of this “Jewish” group’s petition were 7amleh-the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement based in Haifa, Mpower Change founded by Linda Sarsour, pro-BDS Independent Jewish Voices (Canada), American Muslims for Palestine, Adalah Justice Project, Christian-Arab group Friends of Sabeel North America, Palestine legal, and BDS, the Boycott Divestment Sanctions group. 

JVP: “The Jewish Wing of the Palestinian Movement”

On its website, JVP describes itself as “the ‘Jewish wing’ of the Palestinian solidarity movement” and seeks to “end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.” The Anti-Defamation League has described JVP as “the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the United States. It has received millions of dollars in donations and has vastly expanded its operations. It has 35 chapters across the US including at several campuses. It has nearly a half-million followers on Facebook and 75,000 followers on Twitter. The organization has openly declared itself to be anti-Zionist and advocates for Boycott Divestment Sanctions, a movement that has been defined by the US State Department as anti-Semitic. JVP regularly justifies and excuses Palestinian violence.

NGO Monitor states that the group has embraced and advocated on behalf of Palestinian terrorists such as Ahmed Sa’adat and Rasmea Odeh. Similarly, JVP regularly justifies and excuses Palestinian violence.  JVP is not transparent about funding sources but NGO Monitor discovered that it is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and several other organizations that focus on funding anti-Israel groups.

Journalist Caroline Glick wrote in 2018 that “JVP doesn’t only attack Jewish supporters of Israel. It also attacks Judaism. JVP’s “rabbinical council” issues resolutions and publications in the name of the Jewish religion that are inherently antisemitic.”

JVP has a history of promoting anti-Semitism in the guise of battling Jew-hatred. In December, JVP co-sponsored a panel discussion titled “Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice: A Panel Discussion”. The panel featured Rep. Rashida Tlaib from Michigan’s 13th congressional district known for advocating a one-state solution that obviates the existence of Israel. 

The panel also included Marc Lamont Hill who signed their petition. Hill was fired in 2018 from his contributor position at CNN after calling for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.

Facebook: Finally Dealing With Holocaust Denial…Or Is It?

It should be noted that Facebook released a new pop-up last week aimed at combating Holocaust denial on the platform. Despite banning former President Trump, the platform still hosts two groups named “Death to Israel” which post explicit calls for genocide targeting Jews and Israel. 

“Under our current policies, we allow the term ‘Zionist’ in political discourse, but remove it when it’s used as a proxy for Jews or Israelis in a dehumanizing or violent way,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge. “Just as we do with all of our policies regularly, we are independently engaging with experts and stakeholders to ensure that this policy is in the right place, but this does not mean we will change our policy.“