IPT News, Feb. 23, 2021
“… the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign posted a meme on Facebook-owned Instagram instructing students to “start Zionist shaming.” The image showed a young man burying his face in his arms, surrounded by terms including, “racist!”, “colonizer!”, and “go back to Brooklyn.”
The group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) claims to oppose bigotry and to support security and self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians. But a new campaign JVP has joined aims to block rumored plans by Facebook to add the term “Zionism” to its hate speech policies. Zionism is the belief in Jewish self-determination in their ancestral homeland: In other words, supporting Israel’s right to exist.
“@Facebook is considering whether to treat ‘Zionist’ as proxy for ‘Jew’ in its hate speech policy,” JVP tweeted last week during a Twitter town hall. “This would make ‘Zionist’ a de facto protected category, letting FB shut down critical conversations about Zionists under the guise of fighting antisemitism.”
“If @Facebook restricts use of the word ‘Zionist’ on its platforms, already severe censorship will grow,” the anti-Semitic BDS Movement also wrote during the Twitter town hall. “Palestinians will be blocked from describing our daily lives under Israeli apartheid, and our family histories of dispossession and military occupation.”
An anonymous Facebook employee sent out an email detailing how the social media company should moderate anti-Semitism on its platform, technology news website The Verge reported in November. A Facebook spokesperson told The Verge that the term Zionist is removed from its platform if and when it is used as a proxy for anti-Semitism. … [To read the full article, click here]