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DEAR FRIENDS,

WE CALL ON YOU TO SHARE INFORMATION SOUTHFRONT AND SHARE SOUTHFRONT CONTENT ON YOUTUBE AND FACEBOOK AS WIDE AS POSSIBLE

In the situation of the increasing censorship of SouthFront on YouTube, Facebook, our unity is our main strength. Only together, we will be able to overcome the wide-scale censorship campaign run by the Euro-Atlantic establishment against independent media.

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The Open Society and its Giant Enemies

twitter.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

 A few days ago I received this warning message from Twitter: 

 “Hi Gilad Atzmon, 

Your account, @GiladAtzmon has been locked for violating the Twitter Rules. I was accused by this anti social network of “violating” their  “rules against hateful conduct.”

The message took me by surprise as hatred is foreign to me. In fact, I dedicate a considerable amount of my energy to exposing the racism, racial supremacy and biological determinism that are found in many identitarian discourses. 

Twitter wrote to me “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

Here is my 5 year old tweet that prompted action by twitter:

 @GiladAtzmon

_What can Jews do about #Antisemitism? Simple– look in the mirror– introspect. #Palestine #Zionism #Israel #BDS

what can jews do.png

 It seems that Twitter considers it  ‘hateful’ to  ask people to “look in the mirror”, to “introspect,” to consider the ‘remote’ possibility that maybe some of the Jewish State’s policies and practices may reflect badly on the Jews as a whole. I would like Twitter to explain to us how calling on people  to “introspect”  “promotes violence” or “threaten[s] or harass[es] people on the basis of race?” 

Twitter must have known that I didn’t commit any ‘hateful speech’ and offered me the chance to erase my 5 year old tweet that no one except my devoted Zionist stalkers would notice and who managed to pinpoint four other ‘hateful’ statements by me.  

Apparently sarcasm isn’t well received by Twitter’s moderators. They demanded that I also delete this 4 year old tweet:

@GiladAtzmon

I suggest instead of referring to the Swastika we just call it ‘Star of Adolf,’ it sounds friendly and it puts David’s in context…”

I accept that some Jews are upset by my dark cynicism, but considering the disastrous crimes that are committed by the country that decorates its tanks and airplanes with Stars of David, this is another call for Jews to introspect, to look in the mirror, to self-reflect. It by no means “promotes violence”, “threatens”, or “harasses” anyone. If anything it replicates the early Zionist insight which I agree with, that before anything else, Jews must first find their way to become ‘people like all other people.’ 

 Twitter also asked me to remove this exchange with an ardent Zionist: 

“@GiladAtzmon

@Saul_Freeman because the real holocaust is what you People do to Palestinians.”

I understand that I violated a tenet of the holocaust religion that no one is allowed to apply the H-word to any other people’s suffering. Certainly, no one is allowed to point at the slow genocide of the Palestinians. 

I don’t intend to bore you with each statement Twitter finds hateful. It doesn’t take much  to figure out that  Twitter was subjected to a Zionist blitz aimed at silencing me.  To some extent it was reassuring that my detractors couldn’t find a single remotely hateful statement in my entire Twitter oeuvre. And it was amusing to see how upset this caricature Zionist was to find out that my Twitter account was still active.  https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1291278513534902281&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fgilad.online%2Fwritings%2F2020%2F8%2F8%2Fthe-open-society-and-its-giant-enemies&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

 What is clear to a growing number of people, perhaps most Westerners, is that Twitter, like FB and  Google are not what they initially promised to be. It took little time for these internet platforms to morph into authoritarian and draconian thought police. If there was an initial promise to emancipate us through the internet, it is gone, the internet giants have become the most rigid oppressive and totalitarian forces leading us into the next dark age. 

The chutzpah, and I indeed deliberately use the Yiddish word in this context,  exceeds former totalitarian oppressive measures. This time it is not our rulers, tyrants or monarchs who make us fearful of our own thoughts. It is not political parties who make us walk on our tiptoes. In 2020 Internet companies even suspend the activity of democratically elected  leaders if they don’t fit with the Zuckerberg agenda or Twitter’s ‘progressive’ goals. In 2020 Zuckerberg and a few of Google’s directors decide what scientists are allowed to say about Covid 19. In August 2020 the internet giants claimed to know what eradicated Beirut before even the Pentagon or the Lebanese produced an explanation.  

Once again I find myself  reiterating that the Tyranny of Correctness is at the very heart of the Jerusalemite ethos. While Athens introduces us to philosophy, science, logos, beauty – Jerusalem, is considered the city of revelation,  is all about obedience. In Jerusalem, we follow mitzvoth and commandments. In Jerusalem, ethics (the making of moral judgments)  is replaced by rules that dictate an image of morality. Jerusalem decrees what we can say, Athens teaches us how to think for ourselves. 

The USA was born as an Athenian realm. It was the Land of the Free, not because it has ever been free, but because it was inspired by the notion of freedom.  Not much is left out of this aspiration.  America, like Britain, France and other Western countries is now a Jerusalemite colony, its regime of correctness is defined by foreign sensitivities. 

For the West to stop its rapid decline, it must –  and right now, before it is too late, to reinstate its fidelity to the Athenian creed. If the West wants to survive, it must ensure that it isn’t a Zuckerberg, in whatever form, who defines the boundaries of the Covid-19 debate. It should not be Youtube that decides which doctors and scientists are kosher enough to deserve airtime.  

For us to have a prospect of hope, Jerusalem must be reduced into its natural magnitude.  The Zionists who are upset by such  thoughts should bear in mind that Zionism succeeded in achieving its early objectives because its Zionist founders rejected Jerusalem. Their aim was to make Zion into an Athenian province. Their mission ultimately failed, but not before it inspired some Jews to believe in the possibility of a metamorphosis.  

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EMPEROR TRUMP NOW STANDS PARTIALLY NAKED

Source

 A

A child exposing the nakedness of the emperor by speaking truth to power?

Not these days.

More than half of the United States — not just liberals and the left but also the mainstream media and some Republicans — has been shouting at Emperor Trump for months on end that he has no clothes. These declarations have fallen on deaf ears, for Donald Trump is constitutionally incapable of acknowledging his own flaws.

Also, there are still plenty of people telling Trump what he wants to hear. The president is surrounded by family members, advisors, and careerists who have refused to acknowledge the simple truth that the White House has been occupied for more than three years by a person that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson once called King Moron (oops, I misquote: he actually said a “f**king moron”).

In the last week, however, this picture has begun to change. Three important clothiers of the president have said that maybe the commander-in-chief has been experiencing a wardrobe malfunction all along.

Twitter, Justin Trudeau, and James Mattis all took their turns in the spotlight recently to challenge the American president. Representing three important constituencies — social media, the Pentagon, and the international community — all three in their own way have chipped away at Trump’s power.

True, they have all provided important cover for the naked leader in the past. Also, their statements could have been clearer calls to arms. But now, all three can help precipitate the “run for the exit” moment that will spell Trump’s downfall.

We’ll have to wait until November to be sure, but the president might have effectively lost his reelection bid this month, well before Election Day.

Social Media

Donald Trump once wooed the mainstream media. He chatted up gossip columnists. He pretended over the phone that he was his own publicist, singing the praises of his boss. He so desperately wanted to be on the cover of Time that he created dummy versions of the magazine proclaiming that “Trump is hitting on all fronts” and hung them in at least five of his golf clubs. Throughout, he groused that the media was not sufficiently flattering.

Twitter provided Trump with the ideal solution to his chronic need for attention. He no longer had to rely on the media and instead could communicate directly to his followers. He could simultaneously disparage the mainstream media as “fake news” and dispense his own fake news by tweet.

In the first three years of his presidency, Trump fired off more than 11,000 tweets. Many of them were rambling attacks on his opponents (somehow Trump manages to be rambling in under 280 characters). But some of them were actual policy announcements or served some other tactical purpose.

Twitter wasn’t simply a tool of the presidency. It became the presidency.

According to this New York Times analysis of this incessant Twitterstorm:

Early on, top aides wanted to restrain the president’s Twitter habit, even considering asking the company to impose a 15-minute delay on Mr. Trump’s messages. But 11,390 presidential tweets later, many administration officials and lawmakers embrace his Twitter obsession, flocking to his social media chief with suggestions. Policy meetings are hijacked when Mr. Trump gets an idea for a tweet, drawing in cabinet members and others for wordsmithing. And as a president often at war with his own bureaucracy, he deploys Twitter to break through logjams, overrule, or humiliate recalcitrant advisers and pre-empt his staff.

Twitter has helped Trump. And Trump has helped poison Twitter.

Although the social media giant has had no problem deleting praise for the Islamic State, it hasn’t shown comparable due diligence toward white nationalism. According to an account of a discussion at a Twitter staff meeting, a technical employee explained that “on a technical level, content from Republican politicians could get swept up by algorithms aggressively removing white supremacist material. Banning politicians wouldn’t be accepted by society as a trade-off for flagging all of the white supremacist propaganda.”

With the compliance of social media platforms, Trump and his coterie of Republican extremists have helped to mainstream otherwise marginal content.

But that tide might be turning. At the end of May, Twitter took the unprecedented step of labeling two of Trump’s tweets, directing readers to accurate sources of information on mail-in balloting and announcing that Trump had violated its policies on glorifying violence. Then, last week, Twitter took down an account that retweeted all of Trump’s utterances, again for violating its policies.

Trump, predictably, went ballistic. He lashed out on Twitter (the man is impervious to irony). He retaliated with an executive order to lift some of the liability protections on social media companies.

It’s not as if Trump is going to abandon his principle mode of communication. This last weekend, after all, he broke his own Twitter record by sending out 200 Tweets in a 24-hour period, including 74 in one hour. By increasing the outflow of his firehose, Trump seems to be daring Twitter to keep up with its labels.

Twitter hasn’t deplatformed Trump, as it has some other darlings of the alt-right. It let slide Trump’s latest Twitter outrage — promoting a conspiracy theory about a Buffalo protestor injured by the police — because the use of a question mark marked it as “speculative” (Really? Really??).

But with its labels, Twitter is finally saying that no one is above the law — the admittedly loose laws of the internet — not even the president of the United States.

Justin Trudeau

In the United States, we are still talking about the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that a cop knelt on George Floyd’s neck, killing him.

In Canada, they’re talking about 21 seconds.

That’s the pause that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to answer a question on Trump’s threat to use the military against those protesting Floyd’s death. Trudeau could have used that time to criticize Trump directly. Instead, after his long pause, he chose to speak of the problems facing people of color in his own country. “There is systemic racism in Canada,” he said.

Trump has never hesitated to lambaste other heads of state. He called Trudeau “two-faced” as well as “very dishonest and weak.” He labeled comments by Emanuel Macron “very, very nasty.” He criticized comments of Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen as “nasty and inappropriate.” With comments about friends like these, you can imagine how Trump tongue-lashes his enemies.

For the most part, the international community has quietly tolerated Trump. They’ve delivered tersely worded rebuttals. They’ve made fun of him behind his back. But they haven’t directly or personally criticized him.

Given the power of the United States, it’s unlikely that the leader of an allied country will take the president to task. So, perhaps the best we can hope for is 21 seconds of silence, during which the rest of us can voice the thoughts we think are going through Justin Trudeau’s mind.

Maybe it’s because I worked for a Quaker organization for many years, but I think that sometimes silence can speak volumes.

James Mattis

Former Pentagon chief Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis was one of the more prominent “adults in the room” who were supposed to rein in Trump. He failed. He resigned in December 2018 after disagreeing with Trump’s push to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. When he resigned and later when he published his memoir the following year, Mattis kept his thoughts on Trump to himself.

Last week, Mattis broke his silence with a remarkable statement in The Atlantic criticizing the president’s threatened use of the military against protesters. He said, in part:

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.

In all my years as a protester, I have never witnessed someone of Mattis’s background and standing actually side with folks on the street. “The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation,” he said.

It wasn’t just Mattis. Former chair of the joint chiefs of staff Mike Mullen wrote a similar condemnation of Trump as did former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan John Allen. It was the journalistic equivalent of D-Day, with the generals landing their forces on Omaha Beach in the hopes of dethroning their adversary several months hence.

Yes, yes, I know: Mattis, Mullen, and Allen are no leftists. You can’t even call them liberals or moderates. Andy Kroll is right to point out in Rolling Stone that these are “the same military leaders who endorsed and defended a policy of forever war that has led to tens of thousands of American deaths, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghans and Syrians and Yemenis and Pakistanis, hundreds of thousands of injuries physical and mental suffered by U.S. service members, and many billions of taxpayer dollars poured into endless conflict.”

Kroll is both right and spectacularly off the mark. After all, Donald Trump similarly dismissed Colin Powell’s endorsement of Joe Biden by linking him to America’s failed wars.

The fact that these old establishment figures have blood on their hands is precisely the point. Noam Chomsky denouncing Donald Trump is not news. Everyone expects the leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter movement to criticize the president. I’ve been slamming Trump from day one of his presidency (and many months before), but I doubt my preaching goes very far beyond the choir.

All the attacks on Trump from left and center are what journalists call “dog bites man.” It’s no surprise. But “Mad Dog bites man”? That’s a different story altogether.

The military has been the most trusted institution in U.S. society for decades. According to Gallup, it enjoyed a 73 percent approval rating in 2019 — compared to 38 percent for both the presidency and the Supreme Court, 36 percent for organized religion, and 11 percent for Congress.

People listen to the military. And by people, here I mean folks who voted for Donald Trump, continue to support the president, and are still thinking about voting for him in November.

As importantly, these generals are willing to take enemy fire — from Fox News, from crazy Internet trolls, from the president himself—so that other former Trump enablers might be more willing to stand up and speak their minds.

Immediately after Mattis waded into the debate, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) confessed her concerns about Trump and said that she hasn’t made up her mind about who to support in November. Francis Rooney, a Republican member of Congress from Florida, is now leaning toward Biden. A number of prominent Republicans won’t vote for Trump, but they also are reluctant to say so in public.

This doesn’t exactly constitute a surge. A solid core of the party remains firmly behind the president. The more telegenic version of Trump, Tom Cotton (R-AR), is enjoying a swell of support after The New York Times criticized its own handling of the senator’s incendiary and inaccurate piece, “Send in the Military.” So far, Mattis has not played the role of the journalist Edward R. Murrow taking down the demagogue Joe McCarthy.

But you have to believe that statements from Mattis and others are at least going to introduce an element of doubt into the minds of some true believers. Active duty soldiers and veterans who voted for Trump — he received 61 percent of the veteran vote compared to Hillary Clinton’s 34 percent — might just heed the generals. And the latest polls suggest that both older Americans and white Americans are starting to abandon Trump.

I don’t expect Mitch McConnell or Tom Cotton to denounce Trump. Much of the Republican Party will loyally follow the president into his White House bunker. But thanks to the truth-telling of Mattis and others, everyone else will be laughing all the way to the polls at the emperor stripped bare by his enablers.


By John Feffer
Source: Foreign Policy In Focus

Google blocks access to YouTube accounts of Iran’s Press TV, Hispan TV

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Google renews attacks on accounts of Iranian media outlets. (Illustrative image)

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 3:03 PM

Google has targeted Iranian broadcasters Press TV and Hispan TV once again, blocking access to their official YouTube accounts without any prior notice.

Over the past years, the US tech giant has recurrently been opting for such measures against Iranian media outlets. It has taken on Press TV more than any other Iranian outlet given the expanse of its viewership and readership.

The most recent move came on Tuesday. Users shortly flooded both the networks with messages asking why the international networks’ YouTube channels had been put out of service.

The two networks were last targeted in April, when Google similarly shut their YouTube and Gmail accounts.

The previous attack also denied the networks any advance notification, sufficing to cite a nebulous “violation of policies.”

Previously, Press TV’s YouTube channel was closed in September and November 2013 and April 2014.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting — which runs Press TV and Hispan TV as part of its World Service — has called such attacks clear examples of censorship.

‘Paying price for giving voice to the voiceless’

Reacting to Tuesday’s move, Press TV’s Website and Social Media Director Habib Abdolhossein said, “We have been adhering to Google policies, including those concerning user content and conduct policy. Even if we had violated any rules, they could have let us know.”

“Social media outlets were supposed to be a platform for the alternative views, but unfortunately they are rather politicized than socialized!” he said. “I think we are paying the price for being the voice of the voiceless.”

Following Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president in 2016, Washington ramped up its efforts to target the Islamic Republic.

The campaign even assumed the self-styled title of “maximum pressure” under the current US president. The drive has seen the US leaving a multi-party nuclear agreement with Iran last year, and returning the nuclear-related sanctions that the deal had lifted.

As part of the campaign, the US State Department has called on social media companies Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to block the accounts of Iranian government leaders, and iOS — a mobile operating system created by US company Apple Inc. — disabling Iranian applications.

Western media excited about ‘new Iran revolution’, but polls tell a different story about protests

Sharmine Narwani

Sharmine Narwani is a commentator and analyst of Middle East geopolitics. She is a former senior associate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and has a master’s degree in International Relations from Columbia University. Sharmine has written commentary for a wide array of publications, including Al Akhbar English, the New York Times, the Guardian, Asia Times Online, Salon.com, USA Today, the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera English, BRICS Post and others. You can follow her on Twitter at @snarwani

Western media excited about ‘new Iran revolution’, but polls tell a different story about protests

Reuters/WANA/Nazanin Tabatabaee

Data from two foreign polls tell a very different story about protests in Iran. The economy is tough, but a majority of Iranians back their government’s security initiatives and reject domestic upheaval.

On November 15, angry Iranians began pouring onto the streets to protest sudden news of a 50% fuel price hike. A day later, peaceful demonstrations had largely dissipatd, replaced instead by much smaller crowds of rioters who burned banks, gas stations, buses and other public and private property. Within no time, security forces hit the streets to snuff out the violence and arrest rioters, during which an unconfirmed number of people on both sides died.

Western commentators tried in vain to squeeze some juice out of the short-lived protests. “Iranian protesters strike at the heart of the regime’s legitimacy,” declared Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution. France 24 asked the question, is this “a new Iranian revolution?” And the LA Times slammed Iran’s “brutal crackdown” against its people.

They grasped for a geopolitical angle too: protests in neighboring Lebanon and Iraq that were based almost entirely on popular domestic discontent against corrupt and negligent governments, began to be cast as a regional insurrection against Iranian influence.

ALSO ON RT.COMIran has quashed ‘extensive & very dangerous conspiracy’ perpetrated by foreign enemies, Khamenei saysAnd despite the fact that the internet in Iran was disabled for nearly a week, unverified videos and reports curiously made their way outside to Twitter accounts of Iran critics, alleging that protestors were calling for the death of the Supreme Leader, railing against Iran’s interventions in the region and calling for a fall of the “regime.

Clearly, the initial protests were genuine – a fact that even the Iranian government admitted immediately. Reducing petrol subsidies on the cheapest fuel in the region has been an issue on Iran’s political agenda for years, one that became more urgent after the US exited the Iran nuclear deal last year and began to tighten the sanctions screws on Iran again.

To try and understand Iranian reactions in the past twelve days, let’s look at two opinion polls conducted jointly by the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and Toronto-based IranPolls in the immediate aftermath of the 2017/2018 protests/riots – and in May, August and October 2019, when the US “maximum pressure” campaign was in full gear.

What leaps out immediately from the earlier 2018 poll is that Iranians were frustrated with a stagnant economy – and 86% of them specifically opposed a hike in the price of gasoline, the main impetus for protests this November.

Ironically, this month’s gasoline price hike was meant to generate upward of $2.25 billion earmarked for distribution to Iran’s 18 million most hard-hit families. In effect, the government was softening the fuel subsidy reduction with payouts to the country’s neediest citizens.

The 2018 poll also lists respondents’ single biggest woes, ranging from unemployment (40%), inflation and high cost of living (13%), low incomes (7%),financial corruption and embezzlement (6%), injustice (1.4%), lack of civil liberties (0.3%), among others.

These numbers suggest the 2018 protests were overwhelmingly in response to domestic economic conditions– and not over Iran’s foreign policy initiatives or “widespread repression” that was heavily promoted by western media and politicians at the time.

The same Suzanne Maloney quoted above on this month’s protests, insisted in a 2018 Washington Post article:“The people aren’t just demonstrating for better working conditions or pay, but insisting on wholesale rejection of the system itself.”

In fact, in the 2018 poll, only 16% of Iranians agreed with the statement “Iran’s political system needs to undergo fundamental change,” with a whopping 77% disagreeing.

ALSO ON RT.COMIranian protesters should be angry at the regime in Washington, not Tehran

 

Like protests this month in Iran, the 2017-18 demonstrations also morphed into small but violent riots, and Iranian security forces hit the streets to stop the chaos. But in the aftermath of those events – and despite endless foreign headlines about the “brutality” of the security reaction – Iranians overwhelmingly sided with their government’s treatment of rioters.

Sixty-three percent of those polled in 2018 said the police used an appropriate amount of force, and another 11% said they used “too little force.” Overall, 85% of Iranians agreed that “the government should be more forceful to stop rioters who use violence or damage property.”

This Iranian reaction must be understood in context of Iran’s very insecure neighborhood, region-wide terrorism often backed by hostile states and a relentless escalation against Iranian interests after Donald Trump became US president. His “maximum pressure” campaign has only worsened matters, and Iranians consider themselves in a state of war with the United States – on constant guard against subversion, sabotage, espionage, eavesdropping, propaganda, border infiltration, etc.

Earlier this decade, the US military declared the internet an “operational domain”of war, and cyber warfare has already been widely acknowledged as the future battle frontier in conflicts. Iran was one of the early victims of this new warfare, when the suspected US/Israeli Stuxnet virus disrupted its nuclear program.

The US military has set up war rooms of servicemen dedicated to manipulating social media and advancing US propaganda interests. The British army has launched a “social media warfare” division, its initial focus, the Middle East. Israel has been at the online propaganda game forever, and the Saudis have recently invested heavily in influencing discourse on social media.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the Iranian government shut down the internet during this crisis. Expect this to become the new normal in US adversary states when chaos looms and foreign information operations are suspected.

The western media themes of corruption, violent repression, popular rejection of the Islamic Republic and its regional alliances have been consistent since the 2009 protests that followed contentious elections in Iran. They flared up briefly in early 2011, when western states were eager for an “Iranian Spring” to join the Arab Spring, and became popular narratives during 2017-18 protests when social media platforms adopted them widely.

This November, those narratives sprung to the surface again. So let’s examine what Iranians thought about these claims in October when CISSM/IranPolls published their latest, extremely timely survey.

Iran’s regional military activities

Sixty-one percent of Iranians support retaining military personnel in Syria to contain extremist militants that could threaten Iran’s security and interests. Polls taken since March 2016 confirm the consistency of this view inside Iran, with a steady two-thirds (66%) of respondents supporting an increase in Iran’s regional role.

Asked what would happen if Iran conceded to US demands and ended the US-sanctioned Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) activities in Syria and Iraq, 60% of Iranians thought it would make Washington demand more concessions – only 11% thought it would make the US more accommodating.

Moreover, the October 2019 report says negative attitudes toward the United States have never been higher in CISSM/IranPoll’s 13 years of conducting these surveys in Iran. A hefty 86% of Iranians do not favor the US, and those who say their view of the US is very unfavorable has skyrocketed from 52% in 2015 to 73% today.

They could care less that Washington has sanctioned the IRGC and its elite Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who is the most popular national figure of those polled, with eight in ten Iranians viewing him favorably. If anything, a hefty 81% of Iranians said the IRGC’s Mideast activities has made Iran “more secure.

As for the IRGC’s role in Iran’s domestic economy – a favorite subject of western foes who cast the military group as a malign and corrupt instrument of the state – today 63% of Iranians believe the IRGC should be involved “in construction projects and other economic matters,” as well as continuing their security role. In times of crisis, they’re viewed as a vital institution: the IRGC and Iranian military scored top points with the public (89% and 90% respectively) for assisting the population during crippling floods last Spring, which displaced half a million Iranians.

Economy and corruption

Seventy percent of Iranians view their economy as “bad” today, a figure that has stayed surprisingly consistent over the past 18 months, despite the imposition of US sanctions last year. The majority blame domestic mismanagement and corruption for their economic woes, but a rising number also blame US sanctions, which is possibly why 70% of Iranians prefer aiming for national self-sufficiency over increasing foreign trade.

Asked about the “impact (of sanctions) on the lives of ordinary people,” 83% of Iranians agreed there was a negative impact on their lives. Oddly, since the US exited the JCPOA, economic pessimism has dropped from 64% in 2018 to 54% last month-mainly, the poll argues, because Iranians feel the US can’t realistically pressure Iran much further with sanctions. Accordingly, 55% of Iranians blame domestic economic mismanagement and corruption for Iran’s poor economy versus 38% who blame foreign sanctions and pressure.

The blame for much of this mismanagement and corruption is pinned on the administration of President Hassan Rouhani, whose favorability numbers dropped under 50% for the first time, to reach 42% this August. Fifty-four percent of Iranians think his government isn’t trying much to fight corruption.

In contrast, 73% believe the Iranian judiciary is much more engaged in fighting economic corruption, up 12% since May.

On the economic front, it appears that Iranians have largely been disappointed by the promises and vision of this administration, which could benefit its Principlist opponents in upcoming parliamentary elections. The fuel tax hike two weeks ago was a necessary evil and a brave move by Rouhani, despite the mismanagement of its public rollout. Unfortunately, Iranians, who have railed against subsidy removals for years, are unlikely to be forgiving anytime soon.

On the political front, Iranians appear to be largely in lockstep with their government’s foreign policy and military initiatives, viewing the IRGC’s activities – domestic and regional – very favorably, and supporting Iran’s involvement in neighboring Iraq and Syria, both for security reasons against terrorism and because they believe in an active regional role for Iran. In terms of support for their leaders, a majority of Iranians view favorably the IRGC’s Soleimani (82%), followed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (67%) and Judiciary Head Ebrahim Raisi (64%), which covers an unexpectedly broad spectrum of political viewpoints in the country.

In light of these numbers, it is fair to say that there is no “second revolution” on Iran’s horizon, nor any kind of significant rupture between government and populace on a whole host of key political, economic and security issues. Foreign commentators can spin events in Iran all they want, but so far Iranians have chosen security and stability over upheaval every time.

*Poll numbers in this article have been rounded up or down to the nearest unit.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

قاطع الطريق وداعمه ومساعده مجرمو حرب

ابراهيم الأمين

الثلاثاء 26 تشرين الثاني 2019

متلازمة السوشال ميديا صارت مرضاً يسيطر على غالبية الجمهور. لكنها أصابت مقتلاً حتى من فئات تعتبر نفسها في موقع متقدم عن الناس ثقافياً ومعرفياً. المشكلة، هنا، ليست في أن تقول كلاماً صحيحاً، وليست في أن تقول الحقيقة، ولا في أن تكذب أو تخفي وقائع قاسية. المشكلة هنا متوقفة فقط عند عنوان واحد اسمه: الانطباع!

يعني، لا يهمّ أي نوع من التدقيق في طبيعة المواجهات التي تحصل بين وقت وآخر في الشارع بين جمهور المتنازعين سياسياً. ولا ينفع التدقيق في إقناع هذا أو ذاك بتعديل موقفه. المهم، هنا، هو الانطباع الذي سيزرع في عقول الناس وقلوبهم. لذلك، يسيطر الانطباع على العقل. وحتى من يريد وضع خطة عمل لفريق أو جهة، أو من يريد القيام بعمل له حساباته الواقعية، لا يقف الا عند الانطباع. الجملة السحرية التي تسيطر على ألسنة الجميع هي: ماذا سيقول الناس عنا؟ والناس، هنا، ليسوا سوى لاعبين افتراضيين على منصّات التواصل الاجتماعي الذين باتوا قادرين على إطلاق الأحكام على الجميع ومنع محاكمتهم في الوقت نفسه.

ولأن الانطباع هو المسيطر، تجد نفسك في موقع غير الراغب في الشرح والتدقيق. بل في موقع اللامبالي إزاء ردود فعل مهما كبرت أو تحولت الى وقائع، لأن النقاش يصبح من دون فعالية إذا كان من يقف على الضفة الاخرى غير مهتم إلا بالانطباع. وهذا مصدر نجاح كبير لمن يقود ما يسمى في عالمنا اليوم «الحرب الناعمة». هذه الحرب التي لا تستهدف خلق وعي معرفي عند الاصدقاء أو الخصوم، بل هدفها الوحيد هو تطويق هؤلاء بفكرة الانطباع: أنت جميل، هو قبيح، أنت واضح، هو متذبذب، أنت طائفي هو علماني، أنت آدمي هو حرامي… وهكذا الى نهاية السلسلة من لعبة زرع الجزئيات التي تنتهي عادة على شكل صورة لشيء وحيد هو: الانطباع!

والانطباع سرعان ما يصبح أسير قوانين اللعبة الافتراضية، أي أسير أدوات العمل على مواقع التواصل. والمهم، هنا، كيفية تحويل الانطباع الى «ترند»، أي رفع قيمته من لحظة انفعال عاطفي الى لحظة نمط تعامل. أي إن الـ«ترند» هو المرحلة التالية في تحويل الانطباع الى حقيقة. وهذا وحده كفيل بجعل الكذاب في حالة زهو غير مسبوقة إذا حصد المرتبة الاولى. كما من شأنه أن يدفع صادقاً الى الانتحار، لأنه فشل في الدفاع عن نفسه أو وجهة نظره. ومن يرد التجاهل والتجاوز ما عليه سوى اختبار نفسه ضمن مسابقة النقاط، التي تحصر في هذا العالم بلعبة «لايكات»، تتحول الى علامات نجاح أو رسوب، وهي ما تجعل من الانطباع قوة رئيسية في التفكير بالقول، كما تجعل من الـ«ترند» قوة رئيسية في الفعل… وهكذا!

في لبنان اليوم، وعلى هامش الأزمة القائمة، ثمة حشد مقبول، من أشخاص وجمعيات وجهات وقوى ومؤسسات، يديرون يومياتهم السياسية على أساس الانطباع القائل بأن جمهور المقاومة في لبنان صار عدواً لكل من يطالب بالإصلاح. وهؤلاء يتصرفون على أساس ان غالبية لبنانية تقف الى جانبهم، وأن أقلية تقف في جانب جمهور المقاومة الذي يتعرض لعملية عزل متواصلة. والبعض من هذه الفئة يتصرف على أساس أنه قادر على تحديد وجهة التفاعل على الارض، ولا يهم بقية الناس، لان الانطباع هو الأقوى. لكن هذه الفئة لا نعرف كيف تتصرف عندما تصدم بحقيقة الوقائع، التي تنسف الانطباع، وتفرض صورة معاكسة تماماً، حتى ولو حصل ما حصل من إشكالات وخسائر!

بناءً على لعبة الانطباع، التي يمكن تحويلها الى حقيقة، لا الى «ترند»، وجب اليوم قول الآتي:
كل مشارك في الحراك لا يخرج الى العلن، ويدين صراحة قاطعي الطرق، هو شريك فعلي في جريمة اغتيال المواطنين حسين شلهوب وسناء الجندي على طريق الجية.
كل ناشط في الحراك لا يخرج الى العلن، ويذيع بياناً يدين بالاسم مرتكبي هذه الجريمة، هو شريك في سفك دماء الأبرياء.

كل إعلامي، مؤيّد للحراك، لا يكتب أو يذيع موقفاً واضحاً، جهاراً نهاراً، يشتم فيه قاطعي الطرق هو شريك مساهم في الجريمة.
كل سياسي مؤيّد للحراك بكل صنوفه، طوعاً أو غصباً، وعن حق أو عن دجل، لا يسارع الى إيجاد وسيلة إعلامية لإذاعة بيان يدين بالأسماء المسؤولين عن قطع الطرقات هو شريك في هذه الجريمة.

كل جمعية مدنية، أو منظمة غير حكومية، تشارك في الحراك، لا تصدر بياناً واضحاً، فيه إشارة واضحة الى المسؤولين عن قطع الطرقات، وتحميلهم مسؤولية الجريمة، شريكة في الجريمة وتتحمل مسؤولية الدماء التي سفكت.

كل قوة سياسية أو حزب أو حركة تشارك في الحراك، وتملك الجرأة على المطالبة بإسقاط النظام، ولا تخرج وتعلن على لسان قيادييها أنها تدين قطع الطرقات وتهاجم المرتكبين بالأسماء، هي قوة وحركة وحزب شريك في الجريمة.

من يتوهّم نقل البلاد الى جبهة الغرب هو أسير انطباع لن يكون حقيقة، ولو تحول الى تراند عالمي!

ولمن لا يعرف، أو يتذرع بعدم المعرفة، فإن زعران سعد الحريري وسمير جعجع وسامي الجميّل ووليد جنبلاط هم من يتولى قطع الطرقات، ومن يتولى مهاجمة المارة وشتمهم، ومعهم كل المجموعات التي تعمل طوعاً أو غصباً مع مخابرات الجيش اللبناني، ومع فرع المعلومات في قوى الأمن الداخلي،

أما من يعتقد بأن هناك طبقات اجتماعية عند ضحايا فوضى الحراك، ويعتقد أن إعلاماً حقيراً ومشوّهاً منذ نشوئه، يمكنه التمييز بين هذا أو ذاك، ويمكنه تجهيل الفاعل وتحييد الناس، وتركهم ضحايا الانطباع إياه، وأسرى الـ«ترند» إياه، فمن المفيد تذكير هؤلاء بأننا سوف نلاحقهم، اسماً اسماً، وناشطاً ناشطاً، وجمعية جمعية، ومنظمة منظمة، وجهة جهة، وحزباً حزباً، وحركة حركة، وإعلامياً إعلامياً، وإعلامية وإعلامية، ولن نترك منهم أحداً من دون مساءلته يومياً عن مصدر أمواله ومرجعيته، وسنلزمه، الآن وكل يوم، بأن يقدم لنا جردة يومية بكل ما قام ويقوم به، وسنروي للناس ما حرصنا على كتمه من أجل الصالحين في الحراك..

أما من يهربون من مسؤوليتهم في تنظيف الحراك من هذا الوسخ، فهم اليوم أمام استحقاق أساسي، لأن من يريد التلطّي خلف شعارات عامة ومطالب مفتوحة، عليه أن يعرف أن نتائج الأفعال تقع على عاتق من بيده الأمر من بين هؤلاء، ومن لا يزال يتوهم أن بإمكانه نقل البلاد الى جبهة الغرب، فقط لأنه قرر ذلك، إنما هو أسير انطباع لن يكون حقيقة، ولو تحول الى «ترند» عالمي!

يجب أن يعرف هؤلاء أن دموع الصبية الناجية من محرقة الجية أمس، وحرقتها على من فقدته أمام عينيها، هي أهم من كل شعار يرفع في أي ساحة من ساحات لبنان.

Related

Social Media Censorship Reaches New Heights as Twitter Permanently Bans Dissent

Mnar Muhawesh speaks with journalist Daniel McAdams about being permanently banned from Twitter, social media censorship and more.

Most recently, it was revealed that Twitter’s senior editorial executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is an active officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations.

In other words: he specializes in disseminating propaganda.

The news left many wondering how a member of the British Armed Forces secured such an influential job in the media.

The bombshell that one of the world’s most influential social networks is controlled in part by an active psychological warfare officer was not covered at all in the New York TimesCNNCNBCMSNBC or Fox News, who appear to have found the news unremarkable.

But for those paying attention and for those who have been following ’MintPress News’ extensive coverage of social media censorship, this revelation was merely another example of the increasing closeness between the deep state and the fourth estate.

Amazon owner, and world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos was paid $600 million by the CIA to develop software and media for the agency, that’s more than twice as much as Bezos bought the Washington Post for, and a move media critics warn spells the end of journalistic independence for the Post.

Meanwhile, Google has a very close relationship with the State Department, its former CEO Eric Schmidt’s book on technological imperialism was heartily endorsed by deep state warmongers like Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair.

In their book titled, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, Eric Schmidt and fellow Google executive Jared Cohen wrote:

What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century…technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first.”

Another social media giant partnering with the military-industrial complex is Facebook. The California-based company announced last year it was working closely with the neoconservative think tank, The Atlantic Council, which is largely funded by Saudi Arabia, Israel and weapons manufacturers to supposedly fight foreign “fake news.”

The Atlantic Council is a NATO offshoot and its board of directors reads like a rogue’s gallery of warmongers, including the notorious Henry Kissinger, Bush-era hawks like Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, James Baker, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security and author of the PATRIOT Act, Michael Chertoff, a number of former Army Generals including David Petraeus and Wesley Clark and former heads of the CIA Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell.

39 percent of Americans, and similar numbers of people in other countries, get their news from Facebook, so when an organization like the Atlantic Council is controlling what the world sees in their Facebook news feeds, it can only be described as state censorship on a global level.

After working with the council, Facebook immediately began banning and removing accounts linked to media in official enemy states like Iran, Russia and Venezuela, ensuring the world would not be exposed to competing ideas and purging dissident voices under the guise of fighting “fake news” and “Russian bots.”

Meanwhile, the social media platform has been partnering with the U.S. and Israeli governments to silence Palestinian voices that show the reality of life under Israeli apartheid and occupation. The Israeli Justice Minister proudly revealed that Facebook complied with 95 percent of Israeli government requests to delete Palestinian pages. At the same time, Google deleted dozens of YouTube and blog accounts supposedly connected to the government of Iran.

In the last week alone, Twitter has purged several Palestinian news pages, including Quds News Network — without warning or explanation.

Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah wrote, 

This alarming act of censorship is another indication of the complicity of major social media firms in Israel’s efforts to suppress news and information about its abuses of Palestinian rights.”

 

Alternative voices not welcome

The vast online purge of alternative voices has also been directed at internal “enemies.”

Publishers like Julian Assange and whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning are still being held in solitary confinement in conditions that international bodies and human rights groups call torture, for their crime of revealing the extent of the global surveillance network and the control over the media that Western governments have built.

As attempts to re-tighten the state and corporate grip over our means of communication increases, high-quality alternative media are being hit the hardest, as algorithm changes from the media monoliths have deranked, demoted, deleted and disincentivized outlets that question official narratives, leading to huge falls in traffic and revenue.

The message from social media giants is clear: independent and alternative voices are not welcome.

One causality in this propaganda war is Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, a public advocacy group that argues that a non-interventionist foreign policy is crucial to securing a prosperous society at home. McAdams served as Senator Paul’s foreign affairs advisor between 2001 and 2012. Before that, he was a journalist and editor for the Budapest Sun and a human rights monitor across Eastern Europe.

McAdams, who spent much of his time on Twitter calling out the war machine supported by both parties, was recently permanently banned from the platform for so-called “hateful conduct.” His crime? Challenging Fox News anchor Sean Hannity over his hour-long segment claiming to be against the “deep state,” while simultaneously wearing a CIA lapel pin. In the exchange, McAdams called Hannity “retarded,” claiming he was becoming stupider every time he watched him.

Yes, despite that word and its derivatives having been used on Twitter over ten times in the previous minute, and often much more aggressively than McAdams used it – only McAdams fell victim to Twitter’s ban hammer. Something didn’t make sense about this ban. One only needs to read the replies under any of President Trump’s tweets to see far more hateful speech than what McAdams displayed to suspect foul play.

I spoke with McAdams about the ban and began by asking him if he accepts the premise of the ban, or if he believes something else was afoot.

Feature photo | Spirit Boom Cat | Shutterstock

Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups.

Republish our stories! MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Saudi Arabia Recruits Twitter Employees Charged For Spying

Saudi Arabia Recruits Twitter Employees Charged For Spying

By Staff, Agencies

The Saudi government, frustrated by growing criticism of its leaders and policies on social media, recruited two Twitter employees to gather confidential personal information on thousands of accounts that included prominent opponents, prosecutors announced on Wednesday.

Twitter

The complaint unsealed in US District Court in San Francisco detailed a coordinated effort by Saudi government officials to recruit employees at the social media giant to look up the private data of Twitter accounts, including email addresses linked to the accounts and internet protocol addresses that can give up a user’s location.

The accounts included those of a popular critic of the government with more than one million followers and a news personality. Neither was named.

Two Saudi citizens and one US citizen worked together to unmask the ownership details behind dissident Twitter accounts on behalf of the government in Riyadh and the royal family, the US justice department said.

According to a court filing, they were guided by an unnamed Saudi official who worked for someone prosecutors designated “Royal Family Member-1,” which The Washington Post reported was Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or MBS as he is commonly known.

Those charged were Twitter employees Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo, along with Ahmed Almutairi, a marketing official with ties to the royal family.

“The criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Saudi agents mined Twitter’s internal systems for personal information about known Saudi critics and thousands of other Twitter users,” said US lawyer David Anderson.

“US law protects US companies from such an unlawful foreign intrusion. We will not allow US companies or US technology to become tools of foreign repression in violation of US law,” he said in a statement.

The lawsuit comes as US-Saudi relations continue to suffer strains over the brutal, Riyadh-sanctioned murder one year ago of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote for, among others, The Washington Post newspaper

A critic of MBS, Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

According to the Post, US intelligence has concluded that the prince himself was closely linked to the murder.

The criminal allegations reveal the extent the Saudi government went to control the flow of information on Twitter, said Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher with Human Rights Watch.

Two Former Twitter Employees Accused of Spying for Saudi Arabia

Next? After Iraq, Saudi Social Media Bots Deployed to Influence Lebanon Protests

Next? After Iraq, Saudi Social Media Bots Deployed to Influence Lebanon Protests

By Staff

Less than a month after exposing the involvement of Saudi Arabian social media bots in the protests that engulfed Iraq, today’s analyses revealed the same electronic hands behind provoking hatred during Lebanon protests.

A study published by Tansikeyah News on Tuesday revealed that 78% of the accounts using hashtags to incite hatred in the Lebanese society were Saudi.

Additionally, Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies and Digital Humanities Marc Owen Jones studied the suspicious hashtags that were used during the still ongoing protests in Lebanon.

In a thread of tweets he published on his Twitter account, Owen said I looked at suspected influence campaigns criticizing Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

“I analyzed around 6,500 tweets from around 4,494 unique accounts. There were a few things I found quite striking. Firstly, the spike in accounts created in September 2019, which was obviously before the escalation of protests in Lebanon. Again this might not be unusual for suspicious accounts, which will become active when required and high suspension rates means usually they are ‘newer’,” Owen noted.

“The 180 accounts created in September 2019 compares to around the 31 per month average – a large difference. Although I assume it goes without saying (perhaps I shouldn’t) it is also common for dramatic events to drive people to creating Twitter events. Although I am not sure why September 2019 outstrips October 2019,” he added.

He went on to explain that “many of the new accounts have tell-tale signs of spam accounts – such as usernames that look like random strings. Much of the content on the hashtags are the type of crude cartoons you’d expect on influence campaigns.”

A brief locational analysis of the tweets also suggested that most of the accounts are based in Saudi Arabia, Owen stated.

“Around 35% of the 2,297 accounts with location data were from Saudi.”

While Saudi has the highest Twitter population in the world, Owen said he usually sees this kind of turnout on hashtags criticizing Iran and Hezbollah. Some of the almost brand-new accounts created in Sept/Oct 2019 are ‘very spammy.’

A couple of them, which RT a lot of Saudi loyalist accounts have as many as 10,000 + tweets, despite only being a month and a half old.

Owen concluded that there is certainly some sort of Twitter campaign afoot to demonize Nasrallah. 

“So yes, as has become the custom on Twitter, different forces are trying to inflame tensions in other countries, polluting organic discussions with inorganic content.”

Earlier in the month, analytics revealed that the trending hashtag that was most used regarding rallies in Iraq was used by only 6% users in the country, while 79% were from Saudi Arabia.

The hashtag was precisely used by 58000 Twitter users based in Saudi Arabia, who definitely caused more escalation in the already tense situation.

Relatively, 200 robots retweeted 13000 related tweets at the time.

Now the question is which country will be the next target of Saudi Arabia’s continued hatred-spreading propaganda? And the repeated question is why Saudi Arabia is deploying its social bots to do this dirty job?

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Other Side (Part 2): This Is How He Followed Social Networking Sites & Prepared His Speeches

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Other Side (Part 2): This Is How He Followed Social Networking Sites & Prepared His Speeches

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Other Side (Part 2): This Is How He Followed Social Networking Sites & Prepared His Speeches

Fatima Salami

Beirut – When we read about the personality of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, we find ourselves immersed in the finer details. We may read the text a second time and not get bored.

One reader commented on the first segment of this article series noting that the more we read about this extraordinary figure, the more attached we become.

Meanwhile, a politician who stands in stark contrast to Sayyed’s political views expressed in private correspondence his admiration for Sayyed’s charisma and personality, describing him an extraordinary leader. This is the opinion of an opponent.

There is no doubt that many like him think the same way, even if they do not declare it. For you cannot dive into Sayyed’s distinctive personality and not find yourself captivated by those exemplary qualities.

Behind the character of a strong and capable leader, a leader who knew how to twist the arm of the Zionist enemy, a leader who terrified the enemy into keeping up with each and every single appearance he makes, Sayyed Nasrallah hides a great deal of humanity, kindness, compassion and love for his people.

In the last part of the interview with the Al-Ahed news website, Sayyed Jawad, the son of Hezbollah’s secretary general, talks about the love His Eminence has for the people. He has infinite compassion for his supporters in his heart. He asks about their situation and matters that concern them, follows up on their issues and grieves over their pain.

Jawad also points out that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah who is today Hezbollah’s secretary general is the same person he was before he took up this post. He has great adoration for the Grand Ayatollah Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei and has a strong relationship with the Mujahideen.

He makes sure to read most of the reports and articles, and he follows with distinction what is published on social media. He underscores the need for civilized communication, calling on everyone to disagree with respect.

His Eminence regards money and legitimate rights as a red line that should never be abused. Jawad talks about an incident that he experienced personally in this regard.

As for Sayyed’s speeches, he has them in his head as they are on paper. Let us assume that he went somewhere to deliver a speech and forgot the papers, nothing changes at all.

Sayyed the human being

Jawad elaborates on Sayyed the man, who has not been changed by the world and has not been taken by the glamor of the podiums. He talks about Sayyed, who was only made more modest by the pride and people’s cheers.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah today, is the same person he was before he assumed the post. Not only that, but with time he become more modest.

“My father takes pride in the people’s love and trust. He loves them so much. Of course, he does not love them for love’s sake only, but he is also concerned about their interests. He fears for their life in the afterlife [Akhira] more than in this world,” Jawad says.

The first trait that comes to mind when Jawad talks about his father is humanity. He elaborates on this bright side in Sayyed’s personality. In his view, the term “human being” applies to his father in every sense of the word.

This characteristic is further exemplified by the relationship between His Eminence and the most honorable people. We see him carry passion, love and understanding in his heart. He always advises that one should conform with people.

“He calls on us to restore (things). If someone makes a mistake, we have to right it and try to understand it. When two people disagree, we must look for a way to reform it, not to fuel sedition between them.”

“Sayyed Hassan has a high and elegant morality. He has many of the attributes of Amir al-Mu’minin [Commander of the Faithful] (PBUH),” says Jawad. “He has a great ability to control himself. This ability always makes him look into God’s eyes, speak his tongue and act with his hand.”

According to Jawad, “all his dwellings and movements revolve around the pleasure of Allah.

There are red lines in life as there are in politics. His Eminence regards the rights of the people as a red line, without which everything else falls by the waist side. He has endless generosity, and at the same time he does not make anyone feel they owe him gratitude. We, his children, do not know what his exchanges are with the people closest to us. It is forbidden.

The dignity of the people as well as their comfort are a top priority. He is eager to insure the comfort of those around him to an extent that no one expects. For example, he does not stay too late so as not to exhaust the young men [resistance fighters] or embarrass them, even though sitting with him is extremely dear to them. According to his convictions, anything that causes others’ exhaustion is unacceptable.

Sayyed’s concern and fear for the people is not limited to their dunya [temporal world] but rather for their afterlife.” Jawad says. “One time, I asked him, ‘If you were an intercessor, would you intercede for me?’ He replied, ‘I would not only intercede for you, but I would intercede for all the believers.’”

“If we look at these positions and sayings over the years, we see in Sayyed the trait of a human being who has compassion, mercy, self-esteem and the understanding of his people,” Jawad adds.

In Jawad’s opinion, the commandments of Ahl al-Bayt are imbedded in Sayyed’s actions. He treats people in their absence as if they were in front of him. On numerous occasions, his heart aches for the people and he is saddened by their stories. He is very eager to further their piety. He follows up on people’s attendance in mosques. His concern is people’s piety on the grounds that the world has no value if our relationship with God is not sound. This matter will cost the loss of the dunya and the Hereafter. My relationship with God being good means to preserve the rights of people and not fall into sin. This brings good in dunya and in the Hereafter. In Sayyed’s opinion, what is the benefit of doing Jihad while I deprive the people of their rights, or pray while I attack people?

A mountain of patience

“Among other qualities that Sayyed possesses is his mountain of patience. He is insightful and far-sighted, as if he can see things for years to come,” Jawad explains.

“He is a strong administrator, a meticulous person with exceptional memory and a light touch when it comes to management. He is sincere with his feelings and shows them without excuses.

He is a father figure and merciful. At the same time, his love for the people and the Mujahideen does not prevent him from making any remarks to anyone on any subject. He is firm but does insult anyone and lenient but not a pushover.

He convinces you of what he is dictating with love and satisfaction, by clarifying and explaining things to you. He possesses the art of listening. When you sit down with him, he seems to be listening to you par excellence.

In short, his flesh and blood have been affected by the infallible household [Prophet’s family],” Jawad adds.

He also points out that His Eminence seems to be closely following up on the conditions of his family despite the strategic matters he is handling. “He keeps a close eye on the family without violating the privacy and freedoms of its members. We also see this quality during work, even with things we don’t expect. He considers this organization [Hezbollah] a part of his soul and follows it very carefully.”

The humble Sayyed

Jawad discloses some details that highlight Sayyed’s humility, and the fact that he is not embarrassed by serving the people.

“I remember before the 2006 war His Eminence invited his siblings and their families for Iftar at our house. He sat in the middle and prevented anyone from pouring food. He told them, ‘throughout the holy month, people have been serving me [food]. Now it’s my turn to serve you and pour food for you myself.’”

Jawad says that those gathered at the table refused but Sayyed insisted on doing it himself. Here he points out that His Eminence often does things himself in everyday life. He helps in setting the table. Sometimes he heats his food himself. He repeatedly prepares his papers.

He is not demanding or bossy. Because of their great love for him, everyone around him waits for him to ask them to do something.

Sayyed and Imam Khamenei

Jawad points out that His Eminence has a great deal of adoration for Grand Ayatollah Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei. He follows his recorded lessons, listens to his sermons, and sheds light on anything posted on his behalf. He was so touched when the story of the Leader marrying off one of his sons was circulated. He was affected by the asceticism and humility that accompanied that event. Sayyed always repeats the phrase: look at where we are and where the Leader is!

Sayyed and the Mujahideen

His grave responsibilities did not hinder his ability to closely follow-up on matters concerning the families of the martyrs. With regard to the Mujahideen, Sayyed has a particular sensitivity and passion towards them.

“I remember during the Joroud [battle] and the snow. His Eminence remembered them during ablution and would say, ‘God help them while they perform ablution in this cold.’ Or when he wants to eat, he remembers them and says, ‘I wonder what they are eating now,’” Jawad says.

Jawad pauses and points out that Sayyed is not a show-off. He did not say this to a group of people. Only one person knows these things.

Sayyed puts a great deal of importance on the blood of the martyrs. For him, all the pride that we enjoy comes from those who sacrificed themselves so that the nation can live in dignity.

This is how His Eminence follows social media

His Eminence reads most of the articles and reports. He follows and looks at everything on social media, according to Jawad. Of course, he does not have an account. He, however, receives detailed and lengthy reports on everything every day, including Twitter and Facebook posts. He sees the profiles and pictures of the people on social media. We see them on the screen while he sees them printed on paper. Sayyed even reads most of the letters sent to him. Sometimes, if he does not have time to read everything, his assistants choose funny things of a political nature.

“I ask him what he thinks about some tweets regarding a certain topic. He tells me, ‘I saw the tweets of several people. Aren’t those your friends, Jawad?’”

Sayyed hates foul language and obscenity on social media no matter what party issued it. His Eminence does not permit offending opponents. Of course, the “Israelis” are another topic, says Jawad. There should be manners and decency in political rivalries. He considers that the fraught atmosphere among activists is very bad. People can politely disagree and raise the level of communication, attention and thinking. When Sayyed comes across such types of offensive tweets, he describes them with one word: “wretched”. To him this is the most profound description.

The majalis e-aza are for all Muslims

Sayyed does not only keep a close eye on social media sites while advocating more civilized forms of communication, he also follows a lot of other things. For example, he makes sure that the central majlis e-aza can be attended by all Muslims. Imam al-Husayn is the son of the Prophet (PBUH). In this sense, it is our duty to convey his grievance to everyone. Moreover, when he has time, he looks into the content of the majlis.

Furthermore, His Eminence rejoices greatly with the scientific achievements of the people. He is also delighted with any humanitarian initiative.

Being careful with public rights and money

Jawad stresses that Sayyed is the same person whether he is under the spotlight or alone. To him, the criterion is the satisfaction of Allah.

In this context, he talks about His Eminence’s care for legitimate rights and money in a manner that other people may not notice. “For example, once His Eminence received a present that I liked. He told me, ‘you can take it, but you have to pay for it.’ I wondered and asked him why. He said, ‘I did not receive this present as Hassan the son of Abdul Karim Nasrallah but as the secretary general of Hezbollah. Therefore, you have to pay for it with a certain Hajj. The price of the gifts that are sold are transferred to a [bank] account to help Mujahideen get married.’ He told me confidently, ‘what makes you more special than the other young men?’”

Here, Jawad points out that Sayyed is always concerned with the worries of his people, and he fears for their rights. After 2006, he was ready to take from Hezbollah’s funds to aid people and pay for their health, education, etc.

“Conforming with people” is the permanent commandment at every situation

Sayyed always underscores the need to conform to people in many of the things that we wants to do.

“Following the July 2006 war, I was able to borrow money and buy an ordinary house, and the prices were still acceptable,” says Jawad.

“My father told me at the time, ‘you’re not allowed to. After reconstruction, you return to your home. You have to live the way people are living. You have to rent like them, even if this drives you to move from one house to another. We are not better than people. We have to console them and be equal to them.’ According to His Eminence, it is possible not to share one’s joy. However, consolation during hardship and pain alleviates the heart and spirit. As long as you are my son, you have to accept and live this life with its sweetness and bitterness. If we cannot console them, the least we can do is be equal to them. This is stated in our religion and the morals of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his family (PBUT). It is not our business what others do within what God allows. We are accountable to the people who give and love expecting no return. Those are the people of loyalty. The relationship with them is beyond leadership. And the least we can do is to conform with people, leave behind what we can and live in asceticism to be closer to Allah Almighty. Then he reminds me of the holy verse {Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.} (Surah Ali-Imran – Verse 92).”

What is the secret behind Sayyed’s confidence in victory?

“About two years after the 2006 war, I said, ‘Father, I know you are someone who cares a lot about the speeches you give. Honesty is a red line for you, so you are careful not to shake the trust between you and the public. In the beginning of the July war, tell me how were you able to say your famous sentence ‘as I always promised you victory, I promise you victory again’? What did you base this certainty on at the beginning of the war and the whole world was against us? He told, ‘aren’t you a reader of the Quran?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He gave me two verse: {O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.} (Surah Muhammad – Verse 7) and {Indeed, Allah defends those who have believed. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone treacherous and ungrateful.} (Surah Al-Hajj – Verse 38). ‘This is Allah’s promise,’ he said.”

“This is certainty,” says Jawad. “The whole world is against us and is conspiring against us. A cruel war is launched against us, yet someone comes with all this confidence and certainty to say this famous sentence. In my opinion, this is the foundation of the great popular trust that Sayyed enjoys today. This has turned him into a symbol of truth and everyone began to see him as a person who is certain.”

No favoritism in employment

For Sayyed, there is no place for favoritism when it comes to jobs.

Jawad says, “once, I waited for three months to get a direct job appointment with him. Sayyed had me disapproved. Although I tried more than once to bring the date forward, but I did not succeed. He even put me at the end of the day. Then, I felt something. I contacted his assistant and told him, ‘I will cancel the appointment but on one condition do not schedule any appointment instead of mine. Let my father rest.’ He said, ‘I accept.’ I said, ‘Cancel my appointment.’ When I met my father later, he told me, ‘you know, my son, when X told me that Jawad canceled the appointment on the condition that you rested, I was very happy because I was very tired. Then I said thank God and I was grateful to you from my heart.’”

The speech is in the mind as it is on paper

There is no doubt that His Eminence’s distinguished speeches have always been admired because of the methodology, strength and eloquence. Every speech is unlike the previous one. Every time you listen to him, it feels like it is the first time. Many wonder how His Eminence prepares his speeches.

In this regard, Jawad tells us that when an idea comes to His Eminence’s mind in any particular subject, he thinks about it before putting it down on paper. “You see him put the points he will include in the speech in his mind. He has mental and intellectual abilities and other unnatural gifts. Let us assume, for example, that he went to deliver a speech and forgot the papers somewhere, nothing changes at all. What is written on the papers is imprinted in his mind – the same sequence and order.

He has a strong memory. This is sometimes evident, for example, when we talk to him about something that might not be a needle in the haystack. 15 days later, on the allotted time he replies to us even though the date is not written down.

How does Sayyed approach politics?

Sayyed has a realistic view on how we should approach politics. In his view there must be flexibility. Nobody takes everything in politics. We have to coexist with people. Politics, in the end, is give and take. Nothing can just be because you say so.

Sometimes His eminence regrets when the public opinion does not wait in a particular case to see what is behind Hezbollah’s decision regarding a certain matter. According to his convictions, it is very wrong to make judgments arbitrarily, especially regarding sensitive subjects.

Jawad concludes his heartfelt talk about his father by pointing out that despite all this compassion and affluent passion, Sayyed is a wise manager, a brilliant and intelligent person, resolute, decisive and deadly in war.

Finally, writing about His Eminence’s other side carries us to another world where there is a lot of beauty. There is no doubt

that Sayyed Nasrallah’s personal and human traits constitute some of the many in an exceptional leader that brought pride to the nation. And even so, everything written and said about him remains too little.

Related

 

West’s “Fake News” Begins to Backfire

Source

September 5, 2019 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Western special interests have used the term “fake news” as a pretext for widening censorship, particularly across US-based social media networks like Facebook and Twitter as well as across Google’s various platforms.

In a move of political judo, many nations are citing the threat of “fake news” to in turn deal with media platforms, often funded and supported by the US and Europe, operating within their borders and often targeting sitting governments to either coerce or unseat them in pursuit of Western interests.

A recent example of this is in Thailand where the government has announced plans for measures to combat what is being called “fake news.”

A Bangkok Post article titled, “Digital Economy and Society Ministry outlines fake news crackdown,” would report:

The Digital Economy and Society Ministry (DE) is seeking to counter fake information shared online through the Line app because urgent issues could potentially incite mass public misunderstanding.

The article also makes mention of the Thai government’s plans to approach tech-giants like Facebook, Line and Google, urging each to establish offices in Thailand for the specific purpose of confronting “fake-news.”

Facebook and Google already have a well-oiled process of identifying and removing content both platforms deem “fake news” or “coordinated, disingenuous behaviour,” but this is a process that focuses solely on deleting narratives from their networks that challenge US interests. Both platforms, as well as Twitter, are more than happy to otherwise allow false narratives aimed at governments around the world to flourish with impunity.

The offices the Thai government seeks to establish are described as a shortcut for the Thai government to contact these foreign tech companies and spur them into action. However, similar arrangements have already been tried with mixed results and ultimately, with large foreign tech-giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter enjoying net influence over Thailand’s information space at the Thai government’s and the Thai people’s expense.


Genuine Cooperation and Non-Interference Requires Thai Leverage 

Google’s adherence to Chinese conditions for operating within Chinese territory resulted not from Google’s good will, but from China’s sufficient leverage over the tech-giant. China maintains its own tech corporations which dominate China’s information space. China’s Baidu is an equivalent to Google. Weibo is a Chinese equivalent to Twitter. And RenRen is a Chinese version of Facebook. All three dominate their respective target markets within China.

China doesn’t need Google. Google needs China. And because of this leverage, China is able to bend Google to conform to its conditions while operating within China. At any time China can remove what little of Google’s business remains there because of this fact.

For smaller nations like Thailand, tech-giants like Google face little to no competition. They are able to exert influence over Thailand’s information space with virtual impunity. The Thai government may “ask” for cooperation, but lacking any indigenous alternative, requests for cooperation lack the sufficient leverage necessary to receive it in full.

Thailand’s latest plans will likely backfire if not linked to serious efforts to establish Thai versions of Google, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms operated by foreign tech giants currently dominating Thailand’s information space.

Such efforts have been hinted at.  In 2017 there were talks between the Thai and Russian governments regarding Russian assistance to develop local Thai alternatives to US-based social media platforms.

So far, no tangible progress has been made. But should concrete plans be rolled out alongside requests that foreign tech giants concede control of Thai information space to the Thai government, the threat of local alternatives displacing foreign social media platforms just as they did in China or Russia could give Bangkok the leverage it needs to have its requests met.

The West’s Surreal Hypocrisy 

In the wake of Thailand’s announcement  to fight “fake news,” Western media platforms began decrying the proposed plans.

The Diplomat’s article, “‘Fake News’ and Thailand’s Information Wars,” would attempt to claim:  

Identifying what is considered “fake news” has become a political weapon for authoritarian consolidation after the 2014 military coup. The regime has relentlessly accused its critics of spreading false information while claiming that it is the only official source of true facts.

The author, Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, appears entirely unaware the term “fake news” was first coined in the West specifically for this purpose and the tech-giants Thailand proposes to lean on to enforce its own definition of “fake news” have already scoured their networks of tens of thousands of accounts in a politically-motivated censorship campaign propped up by claims of fighting “fake news.”

Janjira also complains that the Thai government’s proposal puts first and foremost US-backed political parties like Future Forward at risk. She never mentions Future Forward is a political proxy of foreign interests and glosses over its links to political parties guilty of mass murder, street violence and terrorism. She also attempts to imply US designs for primacy over Asia is a threat imagined by Thailand’s current government and its supporters despite a half century of US policy papers, US-led wars and standing armies placed in the region proving just how real this threat is.

If a campaign aimed at confronting “fake news” was ever really needed, it is for parties like Future Forward, the foreign special interests it works for and the networks of violence and terrorism it works with.

As Asia Rises, Western Influence in Physical and Information Space will Wane

Thailand is not alone. Other nations across Southeast Asia have already passed laws regarding what they define as “fake news,” much of which targets US-funded media platforms seeking to influence regional public perception, policy and economic decisions.

Reuters in its article, “Thailand asks tech firms to set up centers against ‘fake news’ in Southeast Asia,” would note:

Other Southeast Asian governments have also recently made efforts to exert more control over online content and taken a tough stance against misinformation. 

Singapore passed an anti-fake news bill in May, forcing online media platforms to correct or remove content the government considers to be false. 

Vietnam said its cybersecurity law, which was passed last year and banned posting anti-government information online, would guard against fake news. 

Whether or not Thailand’s current plans succeed, what is certain is that the balance of power in the region is shifting. Nations once powerless to compete against US economic, political, military and information supremacy are now moving individually and in unison to chip away at US hegemony in the region.

Thailand will eventually develop its own alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, Google and others which will not only be a benefit to Thai national security, but also to the Thai economy. Much of Thailand’s nearly 70 million strong population is online (including 46 million on Facebook alone) and keeping the money generated by their online activity inside Thailand’s borders can only be a positive thing.

It’s not a matter of if but of when US-based tech giants lose their grip on information space abroad. The only question that remains is how much damage they’ll be able to do in each respective country, including Thailand, before that grip loosens.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

‘Israeli’ Account Reporting on Al-Ahed’s Twitter Account

By Staff

A Zionist Twitter account based in the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories reported on al-Ahed News website’s account after, normally, doing our principal job in covering news and breaking news from all over the world.

Captioned with “REPORT THIS SITE FOR GENOCIDAL INCITMENT,” Rachel Yadin retweeted al-Ahed’s tweets covering stances made by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] top Chief Major General Hossein Salami.

The tweets didn’t comply with the mentioned caption. They only read Salami’s stances as the following:

“Our enemies are scattered, Muslims countries are being freed from political and military hegemony of enemies.”

Another tweet read:

“Zionists and their allies show no desire for war fearing its spill into their territories.”

It is worth noting that Facebook has been suspending al-Ahed News Arabic, English, French and Spanish pages for innumerable times.

An Award Winning Documentary Removed by Youtube

I have learned this morning that that the documentary film  Gilad And All That Jazz – by Golriz Kolahi  was removed from Youtube. It apparently ‘violates’ the company’s “guidelines.” Youtube writes that “content glorifying or inciting violence against another person or group of people is not allowed on YouTube.” None of the above can be found in the award winning documentary. “We also don’t allow any content that encourages hatred of another person or group of people based on their membership in a protected group.” Again none of that could be found in the film.

Kolahi’s film was broadcasted on TV around the world. It was screened in film festivals and won prices. The film indeed gave air to my views but it also featured the entire list of my detractors from Tony Greenstein to David Aaronovitch. It aimed at impartiality!

Youtube were kind enough to point out that “this removal has not resulted in a Community Guidelines strike or penalty on your account.” I guess that Youtube’s management knows very well that the film didn’t violate a single company’s guideline.

The film is still on the net and will remain on the net forever. Book burning and censorship is yet to suppress a single idea. It reveals instead what the oppressor is desperate to conceal.

Watch Gilad and All That Jazz:

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

Donate

Our Reality Can Beat Up Your Reality. Spreading False News Stories on Iran

Taxpayer-Funded Propaganda for Trolls, by Trolls

Global Research, June 17, 2019

Twitter has declared victory over disinformation, deplatforming thousands of pro-Iranian Twitter accounts this week to coincide with US Secretary of State “Rapture Mike” Pompeo’s evidence-free declaration that Iran had attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. But the mass deletion is merely an effort to distract from the implosion of two anti-Iran troll campaigns dedicated to smearing pro-peace Americans, both tacitly Twitter-approved. And there’s plenty more where those came from. As US media and politicians continues to hyperventilate about Russian bots, who’s the real troll-master?

Pompeo was out front with the blame hours after the attack, absent a shred of proof beyond unspecified “intelligence” and a few other dubious incidents in the Middle East that the US has previously pinned on Iran (also absent a shred of proof). But even mainstream media has initially been reluctant to take his word for it, mostly because the narrative is so improbable – Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe was in Tehran when it happened, promising to make the “utmost effort” to de-escalate tensions, when, as if on cue, one Japanese ship and another carrying Japanese cargo were hit? What are the odds?

When even CNN acknowledged that the attack “doesn’t appear to benefit any of the protagonists in the region,” and Bloomberg admitted “Iran has little to gain” from blowing up the ships of its esteemed guest, Pompeo clearly understood another route of influence was required. Who better to call in for reinforcements than Twitter, which has demonstrated time and again its willingness to serve the US’ preferred narrative with mass deplatformings? 4,779 accounts believed to be “associated or backed by Iran” were removed – less than an hour after Pompeo’s declaration of Iranian guilt – for nothing more than tweeting “global news content, often with an angle that benefited the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the Iranian state.” This was deemed “platform manipulation,” and therefore unacceptable.

One troll down, thousands more to go

Tweeting with an angle that benefits the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the American state, however, is perfectly acceptable – at least, it wasn’t Twitter that brought the “Iran Disinformation Project” crashing to a halt earlier this month. The State Department officially ended its @IranDisinfo influence operation after the social media initiative, ostensibly created to “counter Iranian propaganda,” went rogue, smearing any and all critics of Trump’s hawkish Iran policy as paid operatives of the Iranian government. Human rights activists, students, journalists, academics, even insufficiently-militant American propagandists at RFE/RL, Voice of America and other US-funded outlets were attacked by @IranDisinfo – all on the US taxpayer’s dime.

Congress only learned of the project in a closed-door hearing on Monday, when the State Department confessed the troll campaign had taken $1.5 million in taxpayers’ money to attack those same taxpayers – all in the name of promoting “freedom of expression and free access to information.” The group contracted to operate Iran Disinfo, E-Collaborative for Civic Education, is run by an Iranian immigrant and claims to focus on strengthening “civil society” and “democracy” back home, though its work is almost exclusively US-focused and its connections with pro-war think tanks like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies have alarmed congressional staffers.

“What rules are in place to prevent state-funded organization from smearing American citizens? If there wasn’t public outcry, would the Administration have suspended funding for Iran Disinfo?” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) tweeted after the mea culpa meeting. While the State Department was long barred from directing government-funded propaganda at its own citizens, that rule was quietly repealed in 2013 with the passage of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, which gave its narrative-spinners free reign to run influence operations at home. And while the Pentagon is technically forbidden from running psychological operations (“psy-ops”) against American citizens, that rule goes out the window in case of “domestic emergencies” – and the domestic emergency declared by then-President George W. Bush days after the September 11 terror attacks remains in effect, 18 years later.

Trump’s favorite anti-Iran troll

Nor was the State Department’s trolling operation the only anti-Iran psy-op to be unmasked in recent weeks. Heshmat Alavi, an anti-Iranian columnist promoted by the Trump administration and published in Forbes, the Hill, and several other outlets, was exposed by the Intercept as a propaganda construct operated by the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a controversial Iranian exile group often called a cult that has only recently lobbied its way off the US’ terror list. The MEK is notorious for buying the endorsement of American political figures, and national security adviser John Bolton, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani are among those who have spoken at its events.

Heshmat Alavi’s stories were used to sell Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal to the Washington Post and other more reputable outlets, as well as to promote the MEK as a “main Iranian opposition group” and viable option for post-regime-change leadership of Iran – even though it is very much fringe and hated by the majority of Iranians for fighting on the side of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Indeed, Alavi’s relentless advocacy for the MEK may have scared off a few of the sites that initially published his work.

None of the editors who’d published Alavi’s work had ever spoken to him and none could provide the Intercept with any evidence that he was not, in fact, “a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK.” Defectors confirmed that Alavi is a small part of a massive US-directed propaganda campaign.

“We were always active in making false news stories to spread to the foreign press and in Iran,” a Canadian MEK defector told the Intercept, describing a comprehensive online propaganda operation run out of the group’s former base in Iraq that sought to control the narrative about Iran on Facebook and Twitter. Alavi may be gone, his account quietly suspended by Twitter in the wake of the Intercept’s unmasking and his stories pulled from Forbes and the Diplomat, but there are more where he came from. The Intercept delivered Twitter all the evidence they needed to take down the MEK’s trolling network, a swamp of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” in which Alavi was a prominent node, but the social network sat on its hands.

Friends funding fiends

Add to this toxic US-approved stew the Israeli astroturf operation Act.IL, which in 2018 took $1.1 million from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs to troll Americans critical of Israeli policies, including its hostility toward Iran. Initially founded to combat the Iran nuclear deal, the Ministry’s mission has pivoted to combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, for which it receives significant US funding (Israeli Lt-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi admitted in 2012 that American taxpayers contribute more to the country’s defense budget than Israeli taxpayers). Act.IL boasts it has gotten Americans fired from their jobs, and the app encourages users to accuse American students and journalists who support BDS of antisemitism, mass-report their posts, and otherwise engage in what would be called “coordinated inauthentic behavior” if any other country did it.

Act.IL is by no means the only Israeli trolling campaign aimed at American eyeballs, either. Psy-Group, the Israeli private intelligence company that infamously pitched a social media influence operation to the Trump campaign, ran a multi-pronged online smear operation to influence a local election in California in 2017 and has pitched dozens more. The Israel on Campus Coalition attacks pro-Palestinian student activists and professors through coordinated social media campaigns, while The Israel Project operates a network of Facebook groups whose admitted purpose is to smuggle pro-Israeli propaganda into users’ newsfeeds by concealing it among bland inspirational messages.

Such clear-cut deception by state-sponsored actors is a blatant violation of Facebook’s policies as they’ve been applied to other users, but the site claims the Israeli groups are kosher. Yet of the pro-Iran accounts deleted by Twitter, one “set” included 248 accounts “engaged with discussions related to Israel specifically” – these were shut down for nothing more than their country of origin, even as inauthentic accounts run by Israel were given carte-blanche to spew propaganda. Twitter and Facebook don’t mind being weaponized in the propaganda wars, as long as they’re working for the “right” side.

As 21st century wars are fought more and more in the informational sphere, the brightly-colored propaganda posters of the previous century have been replaced with relatively sophisticated social media influence operations. What Pompeo can’t accomplish by lying to the American public, the State Department will attempt to achieve through the slow and steady drip of disinformation.

US politicians, meanwhile, remain so fixated on the “Russian trolls stole the election!” narrative they’ve been flogging for the last three years that the Senate last week unanimously passed a bill to restrict entry to any foreign national convicted of “election meddling,” a toothless piece of legislative virtue-signaling that reveals their utter disconnection from reality. It’s more than a little ironic that they’d embrace and even pay for foreign meddling as long as they believe the trolls are working for them.

As Friedrich Nietzsche said,

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” Or a troll.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published in abbreviated form on RT.

Helen Buyniski‘s work has been published at RT, Ghion Journal, Progressive Radio Network, and Veterans Today, among other outlets. A journalist and photographer based in New York City, Helen has a BA in Journalism from New School University and also studied at Columbia University and New York University. Find more of her work at http://www.helenofdestroy.com and http://medium.com/@helen.buyniski, or follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23. She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

All images in this article are from the author

FB Jail for truth tellers

June 01, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Once a day the Palestinian poet Nahida Izzat is being thrown into the FB Jail for 30 days for telling the truth about Palestine and the crime that has been committed against her people for almost a century.  Nahida has never promoted violence or written any type of hate speech. The routine is pretty exhausting.   She receives a FB notification about her suspension, she then appeals and after a few hours FB lifts her suspension.

 The Palestinian poet is subject to a relentless vilification campaign by both Zionists and Anti Zionist Zionists (AZZ). Yesterday, Nahida was suspended again. This time her crime was  posting a clip of a Palestinian man who just lost his home to an Israeli bomb. Nahida provided an English translation of the Gazan victim.

Nahida’s post read:

Do you want to know how people in Gaza feel?

Here it is: “Even if they destroy all our homes,

We are with the Resistance

Even if they kill every single one of us

We are with the Resistance Even if they kill our children

We are with the Resistance”

FB has now rejected Nahida’s appeal on the ridiculous ground that the above ‘goes against our community standards on hate speech”

 Apparently reporting on a war crime committed by Israel and providing a first hand account of  the destruction and the anguish inflicted on Palestinian refugees is considered ‘hate speech’ according to the authoritarian social network.

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Nahida Izzat, The Master of Poetic Resistance

May 30, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Nahida Izzat interviewed by Gilad Atzmon

The outspoken Palestinian poet Nahida Izzat has been an inspiration for a growing number of people. This fact has been a great concern for both Zionists and the so-called ‘anti.’ I have been witnessing the campaign against Nahida for over 10 years.  In recent days the desperate attempts to silence Nahida  have intensified. I spoke with Nahida about her life and her battle for truth. I urge you to listen to the spectacularly lucid voice of an heroic exiled poet.    

Gilad Atzmon: Recently FB has both suspended you at least once a day  and then lifted your suspension a few hours later after reviewing your appeal. It seems that someone is desperate to silence you. What are your feelings about this, and why do you think it’s happening?

Nahida Izzat:  That is true, Gilad. In the past, my account was suspended and my posts/comments deleted. To have my account reinstated, FB asked me to provide documentation (A copy of 2 of these items: Passport, Birth Certificate,  Driver’s License, or Bank Account) to prove my identity and that my account is not a fake.

This time around, I have been subjected to harassment on an almost daily basis, receiving notice that a post of mine “goes against FB Community Standards” of “Hate Speech”. I have protested immediately each time and requested a review, a few hours later I receive an apology from FB for their mistake in suspending my account and they have lifted the ban.

Whoever is reporting me recently has been trying desperately to find an excuse to silence me for being one of the most outspoken Palestinian voices in the West, daring to step outside the red line and break the “boundaries” as defined to us by the self-appointed gatekeepers in the Palestinian support movement.

Some years ago, and like yourself, I experienced some real harassment and attempted censorship  by no other than the Jewish anti-Zionist ‘supporters’ in the movement, those to whom I had given my trust after working closely with them for many years. They did this to me because I dared delve into the ‘forbidden’ topics they deemed taboo, and I stepped out of the boundaries they set as they claimed that anything beyond their boundaries was not ‘permissible’ in the discourse of the Palestinian struggle. They used the same accusation they use now of “antisemitism” to stop me from writing and to stop my writing from being published online.

 Some years ago, I identified some of the subjects they deem impermissible, including:

  • The doctrine of Jewish supremacy, (chosenness)  and its role in Palestine Struggle and the ramifications it has had on Palestinian lives and on their destruction;

  •     The global Jewish Zionist network which functions as the international blood line that has enabled the continuous survival of the Jewish state;

  •     The veneration of the holocaust as an article of faith rather than a chapter in history, and the implications of that for the Palestinian struggle for liberation; and

  •     The concealment of False Flag operations perpetrated by Mossad and the intentions and role of both the concealment and the operations themselves in the destruction of much of the Middle East.

All efforts to silence my roaring Palestinian voice have come to naught.  In fact, such efforts had the opposite effect. Instead of my having a voice that faintly echoes from a small city in the UK, their attempts to silence me have helped me raise the volume, so that my voice is propelled far and wide.

I see what is happening on FB now as deja vu, once again one or more people are out there desperately trying to smother an authentic, free and untamed Palestinian voice and to incarcerate an independent thinking mind by clutching a straw, building a castle on quicksand or throwing a handkerchief in people’s eyes to stop daylight from breaking through.

GA:  While in the early days it seemed as if it was Zionists and Israeli stooges who were interfering with our intellectual work, now it is established that Anti Zionist Jews are way more active on that front. What is your explanation?

NI: Zionist hawks are not interested in playing in a mind field, they prefer to play with bombs, bullets and minefields. Their interest is in totally eliminating their enemy.  By contrast, anti-Zionist ‘doves’ wave the banners of morality and universal values, it isn’t befitting to their moralist role to play with guns, so they focus on the mind field. But their arguments are feeble and cannot stand the heat of truth, the goals of their game evolve into working to spin and conceal truth for as long as possible, hoping that in their end game they can bury truth forever in the dungeon of “hate speech” locking it with the “antisemitism” and “holocaust denial” keys.

What these poor souls fail to see is that truth has an innate irrepressible light that can never be extinguished by their blows.

GA: What should be the role of anti Zionist Jews?

NI: If anti Zionist Jews are to be truthful with Palestinians, with our supporters and with themselves, all their energy, all their sincerity and all their might must turn inside out. They will have to turn over and look within. They should focus on diagnosing the root causes of the problem not, as they have insisted upon, merely describing the symptoms. Looking within is a huge undertaking, it requires a long and agonising journey within the self. I dare to suggest as a first step in this monumental task, that they approach it with honesty and sincerity not the avoidance and concealment we have seen.

The heart of the problem and the root cause of the Palestinian Nakba lies in the demon of ‘chosenness’, i.e ideological Jewish supremacy as manifested in their innumerable texts that separate Jews from ‘gentiles’ and puts them not merely miles apart, over and above the rest of mankind, but places them within a totally different paradigm, with different histories, terminology and perception of the world, themselves, and  the outside world. Without an end to this separation there can never be a true solution in which we achieve a workable, egalitarian, fair and humanistic world with universal values that apply to all.

In order for their self-chosen, self imposed separation to end, they must take a hard and honest look at the core issue, the elephant in the room, that which no one dares to name, ‘chosenness.’

They must examine why they feel the need to conceal this issue.

They need to discover why they ‘freak out’ and behave irrationally at the mention of this word.

They need to ask themselves the difficult questions:

Why do they feel entitled to control the terminology that defines what is good for mankind and why do they believe no one else can?

Why do they feel that their narrative is the one and only possible narrative?

Why do they believe that their own suffering supersedes that of others?

What is it that terrifies them when they feel they have no control in making the rules?

How do they demand that Palestinians be thoughtful of Jewish sensitivities, Jewish security and the Jewish future all while the Palestinians are being maimed, tortured and slaughtered?

Why do they expect Palestinians to consider the welfare, security and future well being of the Jewish ‘Israelis’ who are slaughtering them and bombing their society to smithereens?

What is it that makes them feel entitled to expect Palestinians to give up on their inalienable rights of liberation, land ownership and sovereignty for the sake of the same people  who have been robbing and destroying these rights for seven decades?

If they are able to manage a mile or two of honestly exploring these questions then they can move on to scrutinize and dissect the four boundaries that they have set for themselves and others that are listed above.

GA: Three days ago we were shocked to see an abusive and patronising post by the pro Palestinian Israeli activist Abigail Abarbanel.  She  has accused you of antisemitism and racism for publishing primary sources of Judaic texts. Abarbanel wrote of you that you “can be clumsy”, “bitterness has always been there in Nahida’s poetry, “she posted blatantly racist comments”, ” Nahida does not have good emotional regulation. She can be out of control and expresses incredibly racist views against Jews”,  “she seems unable to differentiate between her anger with the state of Israel/Zionism and what it has been doing to her people, and maligning the entire Jewish people for it”, she “expresses racist views against Jews in general, not just share specific examples of Jewish racism..” etc.  How does it feel when an Israeli who claims to be a supporter of your cause refers to you as ‘clumsy’ and ‘racist’?

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NI: Ok, how it feels!  Even though she has published some nasty stuff about me, I do not feel anger, hostility or hate toward her. I‘ve never met her personally, and on a human level I feel sorry for her, for her inability to empathise with others when her sensitivities are rubbed. I feel sorry for her inability to see beyond the bubble of tribalism she has chosen to dwell within. I feel sorry for her belief that she has mastered all there is to morality and humanity; when she goes out of her way to smear a fellow human being for the ‘sin’ of relying upon and quoting Jewish sources to provide evidence of ideological racism and supremacy and for asking her to challenge her own belief in  supremacy.

I feel sorry for her for thinking she has healed the wounds of childhood  abuse inflicted upon her by her family members and by her tribe even as they indulged in mass scale abuse of an entire people, although she is incapable of touching the infected core of the problem.

I am sorry to witness her fall as she swims out of her depth and lashes out at a concerned ‘outsider’ who has put a finger where it really hurts in the hope that if a correct diagnosis and attention to a cure is given, healing may occur.

On the collective humanist non-personal level, I experience deep pain from the ugliness of her betrayal of a people she claims to support. I grieve as a witness to her failure, watching as she faced a choice between blind loyalty to a tribe and the truth and made the wrong choice.

GA: Years ago both of us were portrayed as lone voices with marginal followings, nowadays things have turned around.  All over Europe people are expressing fatigue with Zionist power over Western politics, culture, media, etc. We are facing a shift in mass consciousness. Does this change translate into hope? 

NI: Absolutely.

As a witness to so many changes in the short time over the past decade, and as an observer of the grave upheaval raging all around, destabilising major political systems, shifting and shoveling global powers, one cannot fail to see the meaning of “everything is in flux!” Change is a law of the universe.

And watching Zionists and anti-Zionists alike, of all shades, colours and persuasions stuck in an ever shrinking narrowing field in the battle of ideas, with no weapons in their hands other than ad hominem attacks and laughable accusations of ‘antisemitism’, I have no doubt that they are slowly but surely losing the battles of the mind and the soul.

As witness to all this, I feel resolve, confidence and resilience from within, filling me with all the hope, energy and fortitude needed to persist.  As a person of faith, a believer in the existence of a Supreme Intelligence with Most High Principles, Ultimate Justice and Sublime Love, I feel this energy invigorating me and giving me even more power and the determination to continue roaring with passion for the sake of truth, justice and humanity.

New Zealand mosque attacks: Politicians and media have blood on their hands

By Siema Iqbal

ICH

March 15, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  We woke to news of at least 49 Muslims murdered in New Zealand by far-right fanatics.

We watched – or consciously avoided watching – in horror the live-streamed footage of Muslims being gunned down while praying. How depraved has society become when social media is used to lionise massacres?

I had to tell my children about the attack. I told them not to watch the videos or to be afraid of being who they are: Muslims.

Spreading hatred

Today, the media and politicians like American president Donald Trump and former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, have condemned the attacks. The same media and the same politicians have helped spread hatred against Muslims and Islam. They have blood on their hands.

This terrible mass murder was committed on the other side of the world supposedly in the name of “Europe”. There are lessons for us here in Britain, just as there are across the world.

This hatred is institutional. We knew Islamophobia was endemic in the Conservative party, but we turned a blind eye. Not anymore.

Siema Iqbal@siemaiqbal

This senator is Australian.

He has blood on his hands .

Call out the bigotry and hold people responsible.

Enough is enough.

Do not dare say that Islamophobia does not exist. The media and politicians must be held to account.

If we allow fanatics to turn up outside mosques with their banners of hate, and give airtime and social media platforms to the likes of Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins, this is what happens.

If we continue to allow “think-tanks” to provide ammunition to parliamentarians and far-right leaders under the guise of “credible reports”, this is what happens.

Worldwide bigotry

This type of hatred is not confined to any country, but is widespread across the world.

Muslims are imprisoned in China; there are attacks on Muslims by Hindu nationalists in India; Rohingya Muslims are being ethnically cleansed in Myanmar. All of this is done in the name of tackling “extremism”, while ignoring the bigotry all around us.

Politicians might speak of their concern for the victims and families, but on a daily basis, many people are targeted by the far-right, as politicians have enabled a destructive discourse.

It’s time to admit that the UK’s Prevent strategy is not working. The “war on terror” has only fuelled hatred of Muslims in the general population, and distrust of the state among Muslim communities.

In 2013, the UK nearly suffered a similar attack against multiple mosques. Mosque security should be a major priority going forward.

Standing strong

Although Facebook was quick to remove a graphic video of the Christchurch attack, why was no action taken in response to previous posts threatening violence against Muslims?

How many more innocent people have to die before governments take a long, hard look at their role in creating this mess?

While many far-right extremists are celebrating the New Zealand attack, as a Muslim, I can promise you this: The more you attack us, the stronger and more united Muslims will become.

Today, the mosques will be packed – more than ever before – as prayers are offered for those killed. Muslims will never be afraid of bowing down to Allah, and nothing will stop us from doing so.

Siema Iqbal is a mother, a doctor and a British Muslim opinion writer based in Manchester. She is currently a partner and trainer at a North Manchester GP practice. She enjoys writing and can often be found public speaking and raising money and awareness for charities both in the UK and abroad.

This article was originally published by MEE” –

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Source of pro-israel (apartheid state) guerrilla warriors on social media exposed

Source of pro-Israel Guerrilla Warriors on Social Media Exposed
By Nasim Ahmed

In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 in this arranged photograph on September 25, 2016 in Paris, France (Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)

A number of prominent Jewish-American leaders are funding covert, anonymous campaigns targeting pro-Palestinian student activists, The Forward has found. The Jewish daily newspaper, which has been publishing valuable information concerning the source of funding for these hyper-aggressive and shadowy groups – which spearhead coordinated hate campaigns against critics of the Zionist state – has uncovered the identities of those behind hidden social media accounts.

Community heads and prominent Jewish organisations with a carefully-crafted, respectable public profile have donated millions to fund secret projects targeting students and lecturers, the report has found. On a number of occasions, their blind support for Israel has seen them bankroll far-right and anti-Muslim hate groups.

The latest pro-Israeli group to be exposed by The Forward is the campaign targeting the pro-Palestinian campus network Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). SJP is said to be the most well-known advocate of the Palestinian cause on US campuses. It has been the target of a pro-Israel group known as SJP Uncovered, which anonymously attacks student activists affiliated with SJP across the country. With more than 100,000 followers on Facebook, SJP Uncovered has gone after pro-Palestinian students by maintaining a veil of anonymity that is said to be all-but impenetrable.

Until now, the source of funding for SJP Uncovered had been a mystery. The Forward has now been able to shed light on the organisation to reveal that the site is a secret project of the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), a Washington DC-based pro-Israel organisation tied to most mainstream funders and organisations in the Jewish community.

On its official website, the ICC says that its vision is to create a campus environment where “dialogue and ideas are freely exchanged about Israel”. Publicly, the ICC presents a respectable face typical of nearly all pro-Israeli groups, but privately it is funding one of the most aggressive and shadowy student groups responsible for hateful campaigns against critics of the Zionist state. The Forward revealed that the ICC paid over $1 million in the 2016/2017 fiscal year to SJP Uncovered, in that time also running vicious campaigns against students with the aid of political consulting firms.

Until around 2014, the ICC is said to have been a standard pro-Israel advocacy group receiving donations from the largest and most mainstream Jewish-American foundations. In 2015, its operations changed to “covert, anonymous campaigns targeting pro-Palestinian student activists, often with the help of top-tier paid professional political consultants,” according to the investigative report.

Describing the change in focus, one former pro-Israeli campus official said: “It was clear that the old way of doing business […] was not making the cut, and was not enough, and there was a totally new offensive approach to things.” He added:

The overall framing was [that] the pro-Israel community is no longer going to sit back and let things happen, they are going to go on the offense […] It was very clear that going on the offensive to them meant going after students and the organizations that were bringing BDS.

With the change in emphasis in 2015 towards more aggressive campaigns, the ICC began hiring paid political consultants – including opposition researchers – to work on campuses. It transformed itself into a cog in what is often described as Israel’s secret global war against pro-Palestinian activists, which is operated by a dedicated ministry in Tel Aviv known as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs. Its main function is to spearhead Israel’s overt and covert efforts to smear the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that is modelled on the global campaign that helped end Apartheid in South Africa. In November, the Electronic Intifada published in full an undercover Al Jazeera documentary that revealed some of the ministry’s tactics. The documentary was censored, allegedly after Israel lobby pressure on Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera.

SJP Uncovered is one of many pro-Israel organisations to emerge from a new consensus within sections of the Jewish-American community. They believed that defeating the global BDS movement was a key priority, which could only be achieved through aggressive means. Such tactics, however, not only risked falling foul of the rules of respectable public institutions, it was bad for their image.  The solution for Zionist and pro-Israel groups, both in the US and Israel, was to adopt secretive and clandestine tactics against their targets in an effort to protect their reputation. One of the best known of these operations is the formerly-anonymous website Canary Mission, which posts political dossiers on college students. The site went live in 2015, and has since grown to include dossiers on thousands of students.

A series of Forward exposés in October revealed that a foundation controlled by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, a major Jewish charity with an annual budget of over $100 million, had donated $100,000 to the website, whose work has drawn comparisons to a McCarthyite blacklist. An Haaretz profile of the Canary Mission found that, for three years, the website had spread fear among undergraduate activists by posting more than a thousand political dossiers on student supporters of Palestinian rights. At the same time, the website had gone to great lengths to hide the digital and financial trail connecting it to its donors and staff. Registered through a secrecy service, the site had been untraceable until recently.

While the federation had assured that it was a “one-time grant” that would never happen again, the uncovering of a publicly respectable pro-Israel organisations giving funds to operate clandestine hate campaigns against pro-Palestinian activists triggered further investigations. The Canary Mission was just the tip of the iceberg, as tax filings seen by the magazine +972 showed that there was a pattern of systemic financing of radical right-wing and anti-Muslim groups.

Why was 2015 pivotal to this shift in strategy? Jewish leaders in the US, says Forward reporter Josh Nathan-Kazis, decided to spend significant communal resources attacking college students in that year because there was a coming-together of Israel’s spy culture and Jewish-American mega donors like Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban. Both felt that the work being carried out by mainstream Jewish organisations was unsatisfactory. Wanting to shift the entire tenor of the Jewish communal approach to fighting anti-Semitism and BDS, major Jewish organisations were called to a secret meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

During this 2015 meeting, there was a consensus for a push towards more aggressive responses to BDS. A new initiative, named after Jewish guerrilla warriors Maccabees, was formed. On its website, the Maccabee taskforce – which claims that the BDS movement is spreading anti-Semitism across the world – says it is “determined to help students combat this hate by bringing them the strategies and resources they need to tell the truth about Israel”.

Strategies developed by Israeli think tanks like the Reut Institute became the playbook for the aggressive tactics that is said to have come into maturity during that period. These tactics, Nathan-Kazis explains, called for pro-Israel advocates to “out, name and shame” harsh critics of Israel, and to “frame them […] as anti-peace, anti-Semitic, or dishonest purveyors of double standards”. They talked about “establishing a ‘price tag’” for attacks on Israel and “isolating” advocacy groups that attack Israel, while “organizing regular meetings of pro-Israel networks”.

This article was originally published by MEMO” –

Beyond Kafka: How Youtube & Facebook Keep Purging Alternative Media

Beyond Kafka: How Youtube & Facebook Keep Purging Alternative Media

January 09, 2019

Hassan Nasrallah is persona non grata on Social Networks, where Anti-Zionism is the ultimate thoughtcrime 

With a comment from Norman Finkelstein

The guillotine’s blade fell again, one year later. On December 2017 already, my 5-years-old Youtube channel Sayed Hasan, mainly translating speeches from Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, was completely removed by Youtube, along with its 10 000 subscribers, +6 millions views and +400 subtitled videos of anti-Zionist & anti-Imperialist content. I then denunced this censorship in detail in my article Kafka 2.0: How Youtube’s Political Censorship is Exercised. And just around New Year’s Eve 2019, the +6000 Subscribed Facebook Page Resistance News Unfiltered, along with all its similar content, got deleted without explanation. The only thing left online is a cache view of the page dating back from this summer.
Cache view of the Facebook Page Resistance News Unfiltered, August 2018
I had created this Page at the beginning of 2018, since no other place can compete with Youtube and its near-monopoly on video content, in order to reach a broader audience. But it was deleted without explanation by Facebook short of its first anniversary. I can’t even know the precise date of termination. Youtube did at least bother to send emails notifying of the removal of a video or of a whole channel, but Facebook has only internal notifications for posts removals. Here is how it happened. 

I got two warnings from Facebook, dated December 24th and December 25th, 2018:

When I logged in on December 28th and saw these messages, I immediately appealed the decisions through the automated procedure, as shown above, though the specific posts alledgedly violating the Communnity Standards weren’t even accessible, since they had been removed. It means that I didn’t –and still don’t– even know which posts got me these “strikes”. At least, Youtube was specific about the videos alledgedly violating their rules –three speeches of Hassan Nasrallah–, though they didn’t say more than that. I don’t know if the whole Page was finally removed because of a third “strike” –Facebook does not even state how much “strikes” you can get before termination– or because of something else, like constant flagging and reports by cyber-IDF soldiers and Hasbara trolls. But I am positive it has to do with my anti-Zionist content. It is a blatant attempt to take down important speech and silence already marginalized voices, astated by Vera Eidelman from the ACLU

Of course, one should always protest and complain using the due procedures. After all, Facebook has been known to restore such Pages after the public outcry following their removal without proper reason (TeleSurVenezuelAnalysis, etc.). I did protest, and I am still expecting an answer from them, without much hope, since earlier appeals as old as September 17th are still awaiting a response almost 4 months later, as shown below (screenshot dated January 4th, 2019).

Appeals are not suspensive. Anyway, without any mention of a motive, corpus delicti and mere notification of removal of my page, not even in Facebook’s internal notifications on my personnal account, we are clearly beyond kafkaesque.

This witch-hunt against the voice of the Resistance Axis online, especially Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah (I am the main translator of his speeches in English and French, voluntary and non-affiliated), is not new. Over and over again most often after Israeli-backed indictment campaigns, in 201220142016 and june 2018, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter closed down all accounts affiliated to the Lebanese and Palestinian Resistance, including Al-Manar TV Channel, banned for good. In 2014 and 2016, Facebook was hunting down Nasrallah’s very picture and temporarily blocking the accounts that featured it, even though they were individuals having no link whatsoever with the organization: not only Hezbollah’s missiles and fighters, but the very voice and picture of its Secretary General are considered as an existential threat for Israel, whose paid trolls keep reporting his videos as terrorist hate-speech to ban mercilesslyThe right to information, neutrality or equity is a chimera in the Internet Giants’ turf, where only alternative views, especially videos hostile to Zionism, are subject to censorship and banishment.

On January 8, 2019, Norman Finkelstein commented on the issue:

It is a scandal that the speeches of Hassan Nasrallah are banned on Youtube. Whatever one thinks of his politics, it cannot be doubted that Nasrallah is among the shrewdest and most serious political observers in the world today. Israeli leaders carefully scrutinize Nasrallah’s every word. Why are the rest of us denied this right? One cannot help but wonder whether Nasrallah’s speeches are censored because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of the degenerate, ignorant, blowhard Arab leader. It appears that Western social media aren’t yet ready for an Arab leader of dignified mind and person.

Thankfully, my first article got the attention of Ron Unz, who offered to safeguard my videos in his own website, and I published them back gradually in a new Dailymotion Channel from where they are automatically saved in The Unz Review’s internal storage system. Thus, even if they end up deleted by Dailymotion, they’ll still be accessible in one and same place without need to re-upload them again. I will keep posting my videos on Dailymotion –though it has its own, more subtle way of censorship: age-restricting videos, burying them in the search results… –, and I call on everyone to subscribe to my channel on the Unz Review (RSS feed) and on all those who can to donate to support this work. Whatever happens, the Electronic Intifada to which Hassan Nasrallah called will carry on.

Sayed Hasan

Donate as little as you can to support this work or become a Patron, and subscribe to get around censorship

Use the online form or send an email to Facebook to denounce the removal of the Page Resistance News Unfilteredinfo@facebook.comdisabled@facebook.comappeals@facebook.cominfo@support.facebook.com

How Google Wipes Palestine Off the Map

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