Rifai: We oppose silencing Palestine on Facebook

al rifai

Iyad al-Rifai, the spokesperson for ‘Facebook Censors Palestine’ campaign, called for intensifying the public and official efforts to face the Facebook policy of censoring Palestinian content.
Rifai stressed that Facebook’s suspension or closure of any pro-Palestinian pages was not due to breaching any of its policies, but rather as a consequence of the agreement Facebook had reached with Israel to block Palestinian content under the pretext of incitement.
He cited the Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked’s statements that Facebook complied with 95% of Israel’s requests to delete Palestinian content.
#FBCensorsPalestine campaign
Rifai said that #FBCensorsPalestine campaign has been launched to reject the Facebook policy of blocking Palestinian content. The campaign was launched on 30 September, 2016, and received enormous interaction from social media users that reached 300 million participants, he added. On the following Sunday, a call was announced to refrain from posting on Facebook for two hours.
Effectiveness of the campaign
Rifai stated that Facebook executives have contacted those in charge of the campaign and apologized for the closure of some news accounts, in addition to the large media coverage and electronic interaction.
He insisted on keeping the campaign up until the Facebook secret agreement with Israel is dismissed, or at least revealed to the public.
There will also be further steps to confront the new policy in the next few days, he went on.
According to Rifai, Facebook policies are a reflection of the Israeli practices that include prosecution and detention of activists and sentencing them over social media posts and comments. This is an attempt to obliterate the Palestinian side of the story.
Demanding official participation
“We need the Palestinian official institutions to contact the international institutions,” said Rifai. And he called upon the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate to reach out to the International Federation of Journalists, as a large number of the Palestinian journalists have been blocked from using Facebook.
He added, “If the ministry of communications would contact Facebook executives and threaten to block Facebook from Palestinian territories, it would put more intense pressure on Facebook.”
He concluded, “Unfortunately, the Israeli users have managed to widely ‘report’ Palestinian pages on Facebook for exposing Israeli crimes, while millions of Arab users have failed to ‘report’ a single Israeli page that incites hate.”

(Source / 18.10.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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