In Palestine, USA

This is an attack on free speech

By James Wright, originally published on thecanary.co.

Pro-Israel lobbyist director Jonathan Greenblatt said in a leaked phone call “We really have a TikTok problem” in the US.

The Anti Defamation League (ADL) CEO was speaking about the difficulty the colonialists face in controlling the narrative for young people. Greenblatt suggested that the warmongers had been wrongly focusing on left-wingers who sympathise with Palestine:

Cause again like we’ve been chasing this left/ right divide. It’s the wrong game. The real game is the next generation.

Polling shows US youth are particularly dissatisfied with the nation’s approach to Israel.

TikTok: see the “raw news”

Some US lawmakers have been pushing anti-TikTok sentiment for awhile. But the recent bill potentially banning TikTok in the US, which passed the House, seems to be a pressing issue because of Israel and Palestine.

President Joe Biden is under increasing pressure over covering for the genocide of Palestinians, where Israel has killed over 11,000 children. The difficulty in pretending children are terrorists has put the US in a tricky spot.

This is especially so when the US provides Israel with $3.3 billion in annual funds and continues to sell the state weapons. That’s while the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has found it’s “plausible” Israel is committing genocide.

In November, 25 Republicans signed a letter denouncing what they called a “deluge of pro-Hamas content” on TikTok. Republican senator Josh Hawley, meanwhile, said there’s “ubiquity of anti-Israel content on TikTok”.

Another Republican representative complained about the “raw news” young people were getting on the platform. Republicans control the house with a slim majority. And Biden has said he will sign the bill if it reaches him.

Under the bill, TikTok can only remain legal in the US if the app’s Chinese owner ByteDance sells it. The legislation will now face the senate.

ADL’s long-term silencing of critics of Israel

The ADL has long attempted to shutdown critics of Israel. Professor Noam Chomsky wrote in 1983 that the ADL:

specializes in trying to prevent critical discussion of policies of Israel by such techniques as maligning critics, including Israelis who do not pass its test of loyalty, distributing alleged ‘information’ that is often circulated in unsigned pamphlets, and so on.

In Israel, the ADL is casually described as ‘one of the main pillars’ of Israeli propaganda in the United States.

Meta’s “systemic censorship” of pro-Palestine content

A reason the pro-Israel lobby has called out TikTok could be the attitude of its competitors. Human Rights Watch has documented Facebook and Instagram censoring Palestinians and their supporters.

The organisation captured a snapshot of the pro-Israel censorship on these sites when it asked people to report their experience.  It found 1049 cases of Facebook and Instagram taking down or suppressing peaceful pro-Palestinian content.

Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, has also banned anti-colonial accounts with up to and over 5 million followers.

TikTok, meanwhile, stands accused of pro-Palestine content. But the app insists it’s not the algorithm, pointing to data that shows young people have long sympathised with Palestine.

It seems the US and Israel are finding it difficult to control the narrative. So the US is simply planning to ban TikTok. That’s an assault on people’s freedom of speech and expression, as well as an attack on a multipolar internet.

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