By Daphne Anson
|Raped. Tortured. Murdered. For being a Jew.|
Jean Vercors made aliya from France some years ago. He will be familiar to regular readers of this blog, since he has had guest posts here before. This latest post of his is entitled
“An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook”.
It’s prompted me to add this link to a brand-new article by a non-Jewish Sorbonne scholar, the courageous and prescient Guy Millière, regarding the plight of French Jewry at the hands of hate-filled antisemites.
Writes Jean Vercors:
I have used Facebook for years as a platform to share my thoughts, comments and articles. I value that platform because of its global reach. It connected me to some of my friends in France, the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and many other countries. It is a window to the world to differing opinions by allowing me to see what my friends think and share on their walls.It gives me an outlet to speak my mind and to share my thoughts on topics ranging from domestic politics to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
However, I have observed that your social media has reached a point of violent antisemitism, at least for me, and I guess many other people too. I am appalled by Facebook’s insistence to allow this on social media. I cannot believe that a group that calls for the death of the Jews, your own people for that matter, does not violate Facebook’s “Community Standards.” Do you realize how dangerous your media has become allowing the antisemites of the world to vomit their hate on Israel with lies?
I am disgusted that Facebook not only calls this group socially acceptable, but it endangers the lives of our brothers, our families, our children, and more importantly, our people as a whole.
Free Speech should not be Hate Speech.
We all know too well that allowing such a negative behavior only encourages the killing of Jews as we have seen it lately when Facebook users that were anti-Zionists and posting anti-Jewish posts assassinated innocent people in France, Israel or elsewhere.
As a Jew, I was taught to stand up for Justice and truth against anyone not matter his faith or ethnicity. We Jews have been standing in front line for thousands of years, defending, protecting and teaching human rights.
As we celebrate Pesach, we all retell the story of our journey from bondage to freedom when we were slaves in Egypt reading the Haggada. Not only to ourselves but to our children and the future generations. It has been this way for 3000 years.
You were quoted coming to the defence of Muslims after the November 2015 Paris attacks “As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Even if an attack isn’t against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone. So I wonder Mr.Zuckerberg have you forgotten or ignored your statement that all of us should “stand up against attacks on all communities?” Maybe you do not even know about the double standards applied to Jews and Palestinians on Facebook?
The latest violence in Gaza sponsored by Hamas has launched a virulent anti-Israel campaign on Facebook against Israel and therefore the Jews in general. I remember you said last year on your Facebook page:
”For me, the most important tradition is to remember that we will not be truly free until every person is free”.
I am asking you a simple question, are you really free? If you do not support your people. I believe you are still in Egypt and you have not yet escaped it morally.
You also said that you believe in free speech but at the same this free speech turns out to be a highway for free hate.
Why I am saying this is because my account has been suspended 3 times (30 days each time). Every comment I posted in favor of Israel, your automated response said i was violating Facebook community standards.
In fact, I believe my account was reported to Facebook by anti-Israel trolls and your moderators in Morocco or Pakistan did not hesitate a second to suspend my account.
In France, rumors abound that Facebook’s moderators are located in French-speaking Muslim countries such as Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco which explains why most critics of hamas, Islam and political Islam are censored by Muslim moderators who support Hamas.
Notably, Muslim hate-speakers continue to proliferate on Facebook, while anti-Islamists face harassment and the loss of their accounts.
My comments were not offensive but true but based on facts. Some examples:
· Hamas is using children as Human shields,
· 14 of the 16 killed in Gaza were Hamas terrorists,
· Israel has the right to defend itself…and so on
And every time, I get the same answer” your behavior is not allowed on Facebook by violating Facebook Community Standards”
Facebook is dealing with some serious contradictions of promoting free speech while running the world’s biggest social network, after being called out on the gap between his words and Facebook policy.
Since the violent Palestinian protest in Gaza last week, antisemitism has reached peaks that it was not touching since World War II.
I reported hundreds of times the violent and antisemitic hate speech posted on Facebook that should be considered against your Community Standards.
Every time I get the same answer: It does not violate our standards.
It does violate a standard. My moral standard.
It is my duty to write a comment that expose facts about Israel.
For this reason, I am writing this letter to you in hope that you read it well and understand why I cannot accept the existence of Facebook pages that incites hatred against the Jews or any other religious/ethnic minority.
The antisemites who abound on Facebook post the same hatred that led the Jewish people to the gas chambers.
This group spews the same hateful propaganda that targeted a minority population to carry out a systematic genocide against the Jews in Europe. Are you conscious of that?
No Hate Speech on Facebook, unless it’s against the Jews, of course!
This is not the first time that Facebook chooses to take sides. I have reported several pages over the last five years only to get the same answer from Facebook staff.
This group produces the same vile hatred that has persecuted your people for millennia under the false premises that the Jewish people are the cause of all of the world’s problems.
I think Facebook has a moral obligation to stop giving antisemites a voice and an outlet to call for murdering Jews and comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. It is unacceptable for a social media as important as yours to allow such blatant Jew-hatred, or any hatred for that matter.
I reported pages inciting against Jews and received a message from Facebook staff saying that “ it was not in violation of Facebook rules.” Wait a minute! I thought that violence and hatred against anybody was to be reprimanded.
I speak for the millions of Jews who are scared to death to stand up for their people, to stand up for Israel, and to stand up for their right to self-determination on Facebook, in part because of antisemitic Facebook users like these that fester such undeniably antisemitic opinions and claim that the man responsible for killing six million Jews was “right” all along.
As a Jew, you can’t ignore the hateful rhetoric against Jews that has always been rampant on Facebook for decades. Or perhaps it just doesn’t matter to you?
The majority of what I see is dishonest criticism of Israel
• Critics who habitually single out Israel for condemnation while ignoring far worse actions by other countries (especially other Middle Eastern countries) are antisemitic.• Likening Israel to Nazi Germany or to traditional anti-Jewish stereotypical behavior is another sure sign of Jew-baiting.• Attacks on the merits of Israel’s existence rather than individual government policies are antisemitic.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr put it this way when he was approached by a student who attacked Zionism, When people criticize Zionists, King said, they mean Jews. You’re talking antisemitism.
If you read this letter, I hope that you take my words to heart and do the courageous thing. Do the humane thing. Do the right thing.
· Remove all Facebook pages that call for the death of Jews, Israelis(or Zionists).
· Remove all articles from media like Al-Jazeera, TeleSUR, RT, MintPress News, Middle East Eye, Sydney Morning Herald, BBC, The Guardian, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Courrier international, Le Nouvelobs, Le Parisien and others that promotes hatred against Israel and the Jews.
· Remove this comment posted (april 2016) on your page with 475 likes
We all know too well that Antizionism is Antisemitism.
The time has come where our people need to be united as one. Our people need to come together and support one another.
I urge you, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook to respond the call and stand as a proud Jew against the blatant Jew-hatred that has plagued us for millennia and has only gotten stronger in the last few weeks.
You can file complaints on Facebook’s Help Center and you don’t have to be Jewish, Muslim, Christian or anything else for that matter. You just have to be a proponent of truth, justice, fairness and accountability for all mankind. If we don’t say anything, we have no right to complain when Israelis are getting stabbed to death on the streets of Israel or French Jews machine gunned in a Kosher supermarket or Mireille Knoll, the 85-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor who was murdered in her apartment.
Mark Zuckerberg, Give yourself a chance to leave Egypt and be closer to your people, if you claim to be Jewish.
Shalom from Jerusalem