What is YouTube afraid of? They’ve taken down Max Blumenthal‘s stunning video, Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem because it’s offended the sensibilities of some frightened Jews who believe it stirs anti-Semitism. Imagine that, showing the world that there are Jews who actually hold hateful, racist views of Arabs and their own African-American president might provoke anti-Semitism. And the best way to confront this hate is not to denounce it or combat it or even address it. The best approach is to kill the messenger and suppress the video. Of all the stupid things I’ve heard Jews do this is one of the stupider, and alas, more predictable ones.
Here’s how Max describes what’s happened to the video:
it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with Youtube. At the same time these elements have attempted to paint me as a self-hating Jew determined to foment anti-Semitism.
In a way, these timorous souls have given Max a gift. Instead of the hundreds of thousands who’ve seen it on Youtube before it was banned, now millions will see it thanks to the publicity they’ve inadvertently generated.
Jewish Voice for Peace, whose members discovered the video had been taken down by YouTube, has just begun a mass petition campaign to protest YouTube’s censorship. Tell YouTube that you’re not frightened of a little dose of truth; that you can handle hate by acknowledging it and fighting back against it. Tell YouTube that no matter how many timid Jews there are out there who are offended by this video, that it serves an important educational purpose. We want the video back!
If you’re able to do more call David Drummond, chief legal officer of Google at 650-253-0000 to complain about YouTube’s overreaction. E-mail YouTube’s press office to demand an explanation. Ask them to talk to Max about the video before banning it.
UPDATE: Other YouTube members have uploaded Max’s video via their own accounts and they are available for viewing. But Max’s original video is still banned. Our goal is for YouTube to unban Max’s account and his video. I presume that the other videos may be removed at any time.
Michael Levin made me aware of another YouTube controversy during the Gaza war in which the service banned a series of IDF videos of air strikes against Gaza targets. After the Israeli government and the hasbara crowd organized a campaign on behalf of the videos they were reinstated.
It would seem to me that if YouTube can reinstate videos portraying possible Israeli war crimes (targeting civilian targets) that the least they can do is reinstate a video which contains nothing more offensive than a few drunken American Jews spouting racist taunts.