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Lies My Media Told Me
Facebook Is Collaborating With the Israeli Government to Determine What Should Be Censored PDF Print E-mail
Sep 12, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Last week, a major censorship controversy erupted when Facebook began deleting all posts containing the iconic photograph of the Vietnamese Napalm Girl on the ground that it violated the company's ban on child nudity. Facebook even deleted a post from the prime minister of Norway, who posted the photograph in protest of the censorship. As outrage spread, Facebook ultimately reversed itself acknowledging the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time but this episode illustrated many of the dangers I've previously highlighted in having private tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google become the arbiters of what we can and cannot see.

Having just resolved that censorship effort, Facebook seems to be vigorously courting another. The Associated Press reports today from Jerusalem that the Israeli government and Facebook have agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on the social media network. These meetings are taking place as the government pushes ahead with legislative steps meant to force social networks to rein in content that Israel says incites violence. In other words, Israel is about to legislatively force Facebook to censor content deemed by Israeli officials to be improper, and Facebook appears eager to appease those threats by working directly with the Israeli government to determine what content should be censored.

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UNJPPI: Palestine/Israel Media Watch PDF Print E-mail
Feb 04, 2016 at 10:30 PM

Feeling frustrated, alone and helpless when you read Canadian media about Israel and Palestine?  If so, then you may want to join together with others across the country to share and learn as we work to hold our media accountable.

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A Declaration of Independence from Israel PDF Print E-mail
Jul 03, 2007 at 02:22 PM

Israel, without the United States, would probably not exist. The country came perilously close to extinction during the October 1973 war when Egypt, trained and backed by the Soviet Union, crossed the Suez and the Syrians poured in over the Golan Heights. Huge American military transport planes came to the rescue. They began landing every half-hour to refit the battered Israeli army, which had lost most of its heavy armor. By the time the war was over, the United States had given Israel $2.2 billion in emergency military aid.

The intervention, which enraged the Arab world, triggered the OPEC oil embargo that for a time wreaked havoc on Western economies. This was perhaps the most dramatic example of the sustained life-support system the United States has provided to the Jewish state.

Israel was born at midnight May 14, 1948. The U.S. recognized the new state 11 minutes later. The two countries have been locked in a deadly embrace ever since.

by Chris Hedges, author of “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.

Published on Monday, July 2, 2007 by TruthDig.com

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Editorial Delusions at the Globe and Mail - Hamas and the Missing Video PDF Print E-mail
Feb 23, 2006 at 12:00 AM

On February 15, 2006 the Globe and Mail newspaper printed an editorial. Its title was: “See Hamas for what it is”. The purpose of the editorial was to convince the reader that “The international community should have no truck with a group that embraces such loathsome views”. The “evidence” for the loathsome views was an alleged Hamas video supposedly newly posted on its website, and the content being speeches by two “suicide bombers”.

Samah Sabawi, a writer and activist in Ottawa, read the editorial and found the lack of a url for the video and the extensive quotes of the speeches off-key. So she began an investigation to test her suspicions. Samah recounts some of these efforts, which led her to write an article on what she discovered. A brief account of her efforts and the article published February 23 on Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/sabawi02232006.html) follow the Globe and Mail editorial.

Subsequently a columnist for the Toronto Star took up the issue of the journalistic ethics and practices of the Globe and Mail in this instance.

Samah Sabawi was interviewed by the Redeye program on Vancouver Cooperative Radio 102.7 FM and the audio of the interview “See Hamas for what it is” can be heard on the Rabble podcast website (http://www.rabble.ca/rpn/rey/47365/).

This matter is far from ended.

But enough is known to suggest that the Globe and Mail could “re-post” its original editorial on Hamas with a new title: “See the Globe and Mail for what it is.”

Lost In Translation on CTV PDF Print E-mail
Feb 01, 2006 at 12:00 AM

As I learned several Saturdays ago, tuned in to the 11pm CTV News with my husband, watching the English language news in Canada with an Arabic-speaker can be an instructive experience. Hamas had just won the Palestinian elections; much of the international news coverage of the previous days had focused on what this would mean for the politics of and prospects for peace in the Middle East. As a Palestine solidarity activist here in Canada, I watched the CTV coverage intently, trying to make sense of this new political reality. At the end of a soundbite with a young Palestinian man, my husband let out a bitter laugh. The following correspondence with CTV News explains why.  

Our humanity in the balance PDF Print E-mail
May 04, 2003 at 12:00 AM
By Carel Moiseiwitsch, Gordon Murray and Drew Penland
[Winnipeg Free Press, Sun May 4 2003]

We recently returned from the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza where we volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Upon returning to Vancouver, we were shocked by the disconnection between our experience of Palestine and its portrayal in the Canadian media. During our stay there, we accompanied and supported people whose daily lives were being interrupted, interfered with and strangled by the Israeli military. We saw humiliation, pain and death inflicted on ordinary Palestinians.

Back in Canada, we saw newspaper stories about the heroic Israeli victims of barbaric Palestinian terrorists. Our point is not that Israeli suffering is irrelevant or that Israeli deaths are inconsequential, but that the North American media treat Palestinian suffering and death as irrelevant and inconsequential.

In the West Bank and Gaza, we observed soldiers beating medical personnel and using them as human shields, taunting young children to throw rocks at their tank so they could respond with live ammunition, forcing women with infants to stand for hours in the cold a few metres from their homes, destroying food and water systems, and firing heavy machine guns into residential streets and buildings.

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Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy

Final Statement of the Palestinian Civil Society Conference,
Cyprus, 16–18 October 2007

As part of the effort by the Palestinian civil society organizations to overcome the state of forced Palestinian fragmentation and consolidate the national role of the Palestinian NGOs in all their places of residence, a conference titled "Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy" was held in Agros, Cyprus, between 16 and 18 October 2007 at the initiative of Ittijah-The Union of Arab Community Based Associations. Forty-four participants representing a broad sector of Palestinian civil society networks, coalitions, and associations in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Kuwait, in addition to a number of international partner organizations supporting Palestinian rights, attended the conference. The Israeli occupation authorities banned the travel of a delegation representing civil society organizations in Gaza.

The conference discussed a number of issues, notably: The Palestinian situation and Palestinian, regional, and international developments, including the Annapolis conference; the collective Palestinian strategy against the forced fragmentation; the endeavors to rebuild terms of reference and assert the constant Palestinian principles; the strategy of collective Palestinian advocacy; Palestinian media strategies; and local and international coordination on the Palestinian question.

The participants in the conference set bases that would help strengthen the overall Palestinian struggle for liberation in all its contexts: the occupation, the displacement and uprooting, and the assault on Palestinian existence in the 1948 areas.

A draft of a collective organizational structure and an action plan were also devised, and a follow-up committee to implement this plan and lead the agreed process was set up.