Yesterday, I published a post consisting of translations of verbatim video recordings of two senior Israeli settler rabbis. They justified the Holocaust, said “Hitler was right,” advocated that Palestinians become servants of Israelis, and claimed Jewish genetic superiority over other “races.” After publishing I posted links to my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
Today, I discovered that while two of the accounts seem to have survived my supposedly ‘disrespectful’ post, Facebook has acceded to a mass reporting of this comment I published, by pro-Israel trolls. Mind you, I published this on my Facebook timeline several times and each of those posts is still accessible.
Unlike in the past, Facebook seems to have removed any means of appealing a suspension (there were ways to do this in the past). There also used to be e mail addresses to which you could turn to appeal such suspensions. But those addresses are discontinued. Here is what I tried to send to Facebook:
My account, https://www.facebook.com/richards1052, was suspended for three days due to a post I published recounting verbatim statements by Israeli rabbis which were racist and advocated making Palestinians servants of Israeli Jews, and declared that Hitler was right in his genocidal approach to races which were genetically inferior. The statements also justified the Holocaust.
I am a journalist. These rabbis made these statements and my goal was to criticize their views. I don’t know how FB can justify suspending an account for reporting accurately statements made by prominent, senior Israeli rabbis. In effect, you’ve censored legitimate speech opposing racism and violence. I urge you to remove the suspension from my account.
Here is the blog post I linked to in my FB account. This post was not removed, though it recounts the same statements.
If you know how to file an appeal with Facebook, know any executives at Facebook, or have any suggestions about how to approach this, be in touch. But be sure to offer current solutions, since many past ways of dealing with suspensions are no longer valid.
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.