APPEAL: In light of the attacks described below, I urge you to consider supporting the important work I do here exposing the seamy underbelly of the Israeli national security state. You may donate by Paypal or the Network for Good buttons in the sidebar.
This website suffered a large-scale DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack this afternoon. During a twelve minute period, 90 unique IP addresses flooded the server with requests which overloaded it and caused it to either shut down or provide intermittent access. After I reported the outage, my host activated mitigation measures which prevented the bots from accessing the server and this permitted the site to come back online. Those measures remain in place now.
Separately, a post I published on Facebook this afternoon, promoting a blog post I wrote two days ago about a Palestinian mother of eight who was murdered by settler youth, was designated as “spam” by the social media platform (see accompanying photo). The article was censored and not accessible to anyone other than me. I responded that it was not spam, which caused a human review. Some time afterward, I received word that the article was not spam and was restored to my timeline.
I have no doubt that both of these incidents are tied together. Pro-Israel hackers–offended that I violated a Shin Bet gag order and identified not just the murder victim, but each of her three murderers–decided to take revenge by bringing down my site. They may even have purchased the DDOS attack, as this sort of mischief now has its own dark marketing niche on the web. There are Israelis who do this for a living, believe it or not. Until the FBI exposes and arrests them, that is.
I believe the same or a related group which perpetrated the current attack also targeted the Facebook post and flagged it as spam, which caused the algorithm to censor it temporarily.
These people are very stupid. Because these sorts of attacks only draw more interest and sympathy to the victim. The “offending” post now has 400 Facebook Likes and over 700 Likes from several subreddits where it’s gone viral. And I wear these attacks as a badge of honor.
The irony, of course, is that I wasn’t the first one to break the gag order and name the murder suspects. A settler Facebook group did that!
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.