Israel Shamir

The Fighting Optimist

Banned by Facebook for Telling the Truth

FRENCH TRANSLATION: Banni de Facebook pour avoir dit la vérité

Harvard scientists insisted last year we had been visited by guests from a galaxy far, far away. Well, almost. The suspected spacecraft Oumuamua first drew close to the earth, but then it accelerated, sped by our planet and disappeared somewhere into Deep Space. What went wrong? Why did the little green men of Vega, the brightest star in the Lyra constellation, gave up what was presumably their original plan to visit us Earthlings? Could it be they read our internet communications, watched our TV shows, checked our newspapers and chose to postpone the actual encounter until a better times?

One can understand them. We have really made a mess of our communications. We humans need to discuss things in order to make correct decisions, and the field for discussion shrinks rapidly. At first, we lost the media.

Once, the newspapers competed, leaders had differing views, the pundits argued, the parties called for various actions. They vied for our pennies and votes and tried to convince us. Not any more. Now they know better what’s good for us. They do not care about circulation, they do not have to sell newspapers, for the advertisements are paid for by the rich, anyway. Once, minorities had been excluded from discussion; now, it is majority that is banned.

There is not a single newspaper in the US that supports the views of the US President. Nobody defended him when he was accused, brazenly, in-your-face, of being a Russian agent. Nobody supported him when he called to bring the troops home from Syria. Nobody came to his aid when he mulled parting with NATO. There are tens of millions of men and women who voted for him, but he has only his Twitter account at his disposal.

The media accuses Trump of paying too little attention to Israel’s needs. Israel needs US troops in Syria and in Germany, US jets in Spain and Qatar, US ships in Italy and the Gulf. Israel needs the US to lead NATO to contain Russia. If Israel needs it, the US should provide, says Daniel Shapiro, the ex-ambassador. Not a single American newspaper, not a single US statesman cared to reply that President Trump had been elected by the American people to do what is needed for them, not for Israel.

The US is not an exception. Millions of French people support the GJ, but not a single newspaper, not a single TV channel gives them a platform. They are called anti-Semites for they are revolted by Danny Cohn-Bendit and Bernard-Henri Levi, who are Jewish. They are also called homophobes because they want to ban same-sex “marriage”. They are being attacked by the bankers’ storm-troopers, the Antifa, and no media defends them.

Millions of Brits support Jeremy Corbyn, but all the mainstream media is against him, even the state-supported BBC, even the Labour Guardian. Corbyn is accused of anti-Semitism, for Corbyn speaks for the workers and against the bankers. Nobody defends him and there is no mainstream media to speak for him.

Only the minor Russian RT channel provides, up-to-a-point, some alternative views, defending the American, British and French people’s sovereignty, but they can’t do much. Paradoxically, RT does not broadcast in Russian and its English-language broadcasts can’t be seen in Russia. The rest of the Russian media doesn’t differ much from the Western variety.

The mainstream media from Tokyo to Paris to Los Angeles speaks in one voice. All other opinions had been pushed out of mainstream discussion. It is good that we have the internet and sites like Unz Review that allow us to express our views. The problem is with delivery. How can we deliver to the public? The real mainstream media has so many more views and viewers! For them, hundreds of thousands or even millions of views are not unusual.

We need our social networks to deliver the ideas and exchange opinions, to inform readers of our publications, to convince and rally. In over-populated, nuclearized world, with family and neighbourhood ties torn, there is no substitute for these networks. And Facebook and Twitter could help us. Google could help us.

Alas, they betrayed us, too. The social networks, by their bans and de-platforming took away from us the last possibility to communicate. An aging baby-boomer who dwelt in many countries under many rulers, I am taken aback by the new totalitarianism that crept in under the guise of new technology. Even in the grim days of Stalin and McCarthy the authorities exercised less mind control than does Mr Zuckerberg and his ilk.

And not only for politics. They want to draw and implement their agenda on all topics disregarding our views.

Facebook hates when men and women have wholesome sexual relations. This is taboo for them. Men are supposed to abuse women. Women are supposed to complain #MeToo style. Alternatively, men may lust after men, and women after women. They actually ban normal relations between the sexes.

I have been banned and my post removed by Facebook moderators for saying that French women are among the best. This is sexism and it goes against the community standards, they said. Can’t you, Mr Zuckerberg, keep your hands off other people’s communications? Allow me to have my own (highly favourable) opinion about French women! Oh no, he can’t.

I have been banned and my post removed for mentioning a Durham University editorwho was fired for saying ‘women don’t have penises’. This is offensive to transgenders and goes against Facebook norms.

Facebook and Twitter censorship is insistent, annoying and discourse-distorting everywhere, but the Russian-language Facebook has been subject to particularly severe censorship. FB moderators for the Russians are mainly Ukrainians with a grudge against Russians. Apparently this is the condition by white they are chosen. They remove and ban practically every Russian reference to the Ukraine and its affairs, and never remove or ban Ukrainian insults. Russian poets, classic and modern, are being banned; what appears to these bumpkins as ‘PC rules’ are being enforced ruthlessly.

They ban people for allegedly non-PC posts and comments made years ago. Two years ago a man had quoted in his own FB blog a poem by Joseph Brodsky, the Nobel laureate, and two years later this quote was found and the man banned for a month.

Or an even better example. In 2006, a Russian philologist gave a lecture about origins of Russian language in a Moscow Bilingua café. In 2015, the lecture was posted by a user in Facebook. This week in 2019, it was removed and the user was banned.

Russians have no tradition of PC, for good or for bad. They do not hesitate to mention negroes or mulattos, Gypsies or Jews. They are not aware these words are considered insulting by the new lawgivers. They call the Ukrainians khokhol, or “forelock”, after traditional Ukrainian haircut. Khokhol had been used in Russian language for years, usually with positive or neutral connotation. A modern nicknames for Ukrainians are ukr or ukrop. Until now, nobody considered these nicknames insulting, like chicookieand tex are not slurs. But for Zuckerberg, all such words call for ban.

I do not know of a Russian FB user who hasn’t been banned for at least a month. Thus, it is not just censorship, but a whole re-education program of the kind usually associated with Chairman Mao and his times.

Zuckerberg and his trained beasts actually decided to mould public discourse of Russian civilisation in their own shape and image. Poor Russians who survived such re-education by the Bolsheviks in 1920s and by anti-Soviets in 1990, are now being processed through the fine mesh of SJW talk. When the Soviets were disbanded, the Russians were promised freedom of speech. Where is this freedom of speech?

FB bans for posting links to the sites they do not like. I have been banned for posting a link to Links to RT and Sputnik are removed, too. Last week, FB removed and banned 500 accounts with 850,000 followers for publishing links to RT and Sputnik. A friend of mine, Mr Oleg Tsarev, a former member of Ukrainian parliament, a contender for Ukrainian presidency and the chairman of the Donbas parliament, had his account with two hundred thousand followers, and Mr Zuckerberg scrapped it without an explanation.

I asked my FB friends to report whether they ever were banned, and if yes, for what reason. Here is a shortlist of their responses: for speaking against Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian Quisling; for discussing Shevchenko, the Ukrainian 19th century poet; for mentioning forelocks; for posting picture of Putin; for speaking about victims of Ukrainian shelling of Donbas; for using such words as ‘pederast’ or ‘lesbian’; for saying women are more emotional than men; for posting a still from an Almadovar film; for arguing against a Ukrainian historian who claimed Jesus and Buddha were Ukrainians; for defending the Russian Church; for criticizing the leading pro-Western liberal Mr Gozman; for arguing against NATO manoeuvres in the Baltic states; for speaking against discrimination of ethnic Russians in the Baltic states.

And now for Israel and Jews. This is a major cause of FB bans. It is next to impossible to refer to Israel on Facebook – without being banned. I have been banned and my post removed for posting links to my own articles on . A link to an article telling of Palestinian church land sales to Jewish settlers had been removed, too. The Haaretz newspaper links were almost always removed and banned.

For instance, Haaretz informed its readers that a Palestinian mother of a teenager killed by Israeli soldiers had been imprisoned for 11 months for an angry post in Facebook. I was banned for reporting that to Facebook readers as for ‘hate speech’. Killing the woman’s son and imprisoning the mother is surely ‘love deed’, but telling of that is sheer hate.

Russian mainstream media steers away of Israel. The Russian editors are not necessarily Jews, but there are enough Jews in every newspaper to stop a critical item. If there are no Jews, every editor feels it would be safer for him to avoid the topic. Facebook is the only possible conduit for free information regarding Israel. Alas, it is equally partial. My friends anti-Zionist Jews have been frequently banned for their “anti-Semitism”. My FB blog with its few thousand followers and viewers allows the Russian readers to learn of Israeli developments. My audience is many times smaller than that of the mainstream hasbara. Can’t you tolerate even such a small window of free speech and real news, Mr Zuckerberg? Apparently he can’t.

In a really shameful episode, Facebook accepted the orders of Israeli military censors. In November 2018, a band of Israeli spies in Arab dress was stopped in Gaza Strip. The Israelis succeeded in escaping while their commanding officer, a high-ranking Druze, was shot dead. It transpired that the Israeli team had spent a few days or more in Gaza, pretending to be members of an international humanitarian relief organisation while actually spying and preparing the ground for shelling Gaza.

They were criminals since the laws of war expressly forbid combatants from using the Red Cross (and other relief organisations) as their cover. Israelis disregard this rule and do use Red Cross ambulances as their troop carriers. (Marwan Barghouti, a potential Palestinian Mandela, was kidnapped by such a fake ambulance.) Gaza security people managed to collect all the photos of the criminals and posted them online offering a million dollars for information leading to their full identification and apprehension. Israeli military censors forbade Israeli media and foreign journalists based in Israel from publishing the photos. However, a Jewish American dissident Richard Silverstein broke the ban and published the photo.

I tried to repost it, but shamefully, Facebook removed and banned the photo. It blocked the photo even in Messenger. I could not believe my eyes: I have placed the photo in Messenger, and it immediately disappeared! What is Facebook, then? Is it an international body – or an outpost of Israeli hasbara?

It is our luck that the Western Union does not (yet) belong to Mr Zuckerberg, otherwise we’d get even letters from our family censored by his sidekicks.

It is paramount to save social networks from Zuckerberg diktat. It should be a public facility, protected by law; it should be possible to appeal every block and ban in the court; no arbitrary decisions should be made. Censorship in peacetime is unacceptable; it is against the US Constitution, too. If we want to save mankind from destruction, we must open communication channels, and keep them open. And then, perhaps, the next scout from Vega will visit us.

P.S. In real time. While this article was being written, another post of mine has been blocked: “This post goes against our Community Standards, so no one else can see it.” This was repost of a link to Haaretz interview of Benny Morris, an Israeli New Historian, who predicts that soon “the [Israeli] Jews will remain a small minority within a large Arab sea of Palestinians, a persecuted or slaughtered minority, as they were when they lived in Arab countries. Those among the Jews who can, will flee to America and the West.”

Apparently life goes against their Community Standards! Shouldn’t people be allowed to read what one of the most important Israeli historians has to say? It is a pretty grim text. Morris expresses regret that Jews didn’t ethnically cleansed the whole of Palestine in 1948, and remove all non-Jews; and he says there is no chance for peace settlement at all. He also says that Trump won’t last a year in the office, and with his departure, Netanyahu will also go under.

In the comments to the article, an (apparently American) reader comments: “do America a favor and go elsewhere, we have enough racist bigots here already.”

P.P.S. Richard Silverstein has been banned for his publication in Facebook, and put up a vigorous fight against the ban.

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