Facebook might censor criticism of Zionists. That’s dangerous

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Facebook graphic. photo: Dado Ruvić / Reuters
By making ‘Zionists’ a de facto protected category, Facebook would shield the Israeli government from accountability and harm efforts to dismantle antisemitism.

By Rabbi Alissa Wise | The Guardian  | Feb 11, 2021

…Facebook is weighing whether “Zionist” should be considered a proxy for “Jew” or “Israeli”.

Scrolling through images of the white nationalists who overran the US Capitol last month, I was horrified, if not entirely surprised, to see so much flagrant Nazi paraphenelia. One man wore a sweatshirt reading “Camp Auschwitz”; another wore a T-shirt printed with the slogan 6MWE, which stands for “6 million wasn’t enough”, referring to the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust. There’s no denying Trump’s presidency stoked a profound resurgence of antisemitism in this country. Even with a new administration in Washington, antisemitism remains a real and growing threat in America, and the world.

A broad coalition of progressive organizations, activists, and faith communities are working to dismantle antisemitism along with all other forms of racism and oppression. I was incredibly moved by the Muslim communities that lovingly guarded synagogues in a circle of protection and raised money to repair vandalized Jewish cemeteries. I’m heartened by those who do the work of rejecting racist politicians who rely on division and fear for their political power. Over and over, it’s been made clear: we are not alone in this struggle.

But not everyone claiming to work against antisemitism has Jewish safety at heart.

The Israeli government and its rightwing allies are using this moment to double down on their campaign to equate all forms of anti-Zionism – the moral, political or religiously based opposition to an ethnic Jewish nation-state in historic Palestine – with antisemitism. This is not a sincere attempt to end anti-Jewish bigotry and violence. It is a breathtakingly cynical gambit to limit our ability to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing human rights abuses against Palestinians. And Facebook might take the bait.

Read the full article here →

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