At Wednesday’s meeting a TwItter representative flatly stated that some of President Donald Trump’s Tweets needed to be flagged because it served the public interest but Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has called for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jewish people is acceptable because it reflects “commentary on political issues of the day.”
Insane doesn’t begin to explain how a Twitter representative could say what they said, with a straight face. In fact, she said it as if there was nothing wrong with the idea that the leader of the free world is bad, while the Iranian so-called Supreme leader’s consistent antisemitic and dangerous statements are just commentary.
For crying out loud, the Iranian government promotes genocide. It’s just that simple.
Arsen Ostrovsky, a human rights lawyer and political analyst, asked Twitter’s head of policy for the Nordics and Israel Ylwa Pettersson: “I have a simple question here, you’ve recently started flagging the Tweets of President Trump, why have you not flagged the Tweets of Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, who has literally called for the genocide of Israel and the Jewish people?”
Pettersson said, “so we have an approach to world leaders that presently say that direct interactions with fellow public figures on political issues of the day or foreign policy, saber rattling on military, economic policy issues are generally not in violation of our (Twitter) policy.” She came before the Knesset to answer questions related to the companies digital policy on political speech.
Member of the Knesset Michal Cotler-Wunsh, “so calling for genocide on Twitter is okay, but commenting on political situations in certain countries is not okay?”
“I think that what’s come up again and again through different examples is actually a sense of double standards,” said Cotler-Wunsh. She later noted that Twitter has double-standards and has failed to hold Iran accountable, like it has for other countries.
For example, in one instance Twitter suppressed a Tweet by President Trump in May. In that tweet – during a time where people were rioting in the cities – he Tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter immediately posted a warning on the Tweet that said it “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.”
Twitter has not taken similar actions against Khamenei, who by the way has called for Israel’s annihilation and has called the Jewish people a “cancerous growth.”
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Biden Administration Sacrificing Saudi-Israel Deal on Altar of Palestinian Statehood
Iran kicked out one-third of its nuclear inspectors. The Biden administration is on the verge of getting Iran to release five hostages in exchange for unfreezing $6 billion of Iranian cash, and potentially five Iranian prisoners held in US custody. As Iran is on the march, a breakthrough in Middle East peace can’t come fast enough.
The best way to check Iranian ambitions in the region would be the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. While such a deal would be “tectonic,” the Biden administration is destroying the prospects for normalization because it continues to be obsessed with linking the deal to Palestinian nationalism.
More than any of the known Palestinian demands to date, the Biden administration is fixated on Palestinian statehood. And the administration continues to browbeat Israel on that point. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has recently claimed that both Saudi Arabia and the Biden administration view a two-state solution an important piece to any deal. Previously, Blinken told Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, Ron Dermer, that Israel would be “misreading the situation” if it doesn’t think that significant concessions to the Palestinians would be required to broker a Saudi-Israel deal. White House National Security Council spokesman Jake Sullivan also told Dermer that that Israel will need to give significant concessions to the Palestinians so that the Biden administration can sell the deal to Democrats in Congress.
One unconfirmed Saudi press report stated that the Saudis have walked away from talks, due to concerns that Israel wouldn’t agree to placate the Palestinians. However, both an American and an Israeli official have asserted that that report is false.
What is more likely is that the Saudis are taking a pragmatic, not absolutist, approach to a Palestinian track. According to an unnamed Arab official who is familiar with recent talks between Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority (PA) earlier this month, Saudi Arabia is now communicating to the PA that it is willing to abandon the two-state solution as a pre-condition for normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and that the PA needs to acclimate its demands to that fact. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has proposed to re-start aid to the PA, halted since 2016, in efforts to get the PA to at least tacitly support normalization.
The Israeli response to Palestinian nationalism is much more publicly opposed. Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi has rejected the idea of Palestinian statehood as part of the deal. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said the concept of Israeli concessions to the Palestinians as a part of normalization is “a fiction” as such a deal “has nothing to do with Judea and Samaria [commonly referred to in the West as the ‘West Bank’].”
Israel’s hostility to Palestinian nationalism is well founded. As the Oslo Accords turn 30 years old, the so called “peace process” has failed to bring peace to Israel, as Israel has had to defend itself against at least five warsand countless smaller violent conflicts against the Palestinians since 1993. PA President Mahmoud Abbas continued to show his true bigoted face with a recent anti-Semitic diatribe, part and parcel of the systemic anti-Semitism and incitement to violence of the PA.
The Biden administration continues to stand in the way of Saudi Arabia’s normalization of relations with Israel, as it continues to pursue maximalist demands on Palestinian statehood. This is a non-starter for Israel, and not a top concern for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, like Israel, is primarily focused on using the deal to leverage its strength against Iran – as Saudi Arabia is looking to secure US support for advanced weapons, a NATO-like alliance, and civilian nuclear energy. In order to make a sustainable counterweight against Iranian aggression, the Biden administration must jettison its demands for Palestinian statehood, and at the very least answer Saudi concerns with a serious counter-offer. Failure to buttress Israel, Saudi Arabia and our Gulf allies will likely result in a resurgent Iran.
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