The site allows antisemitic posts and accounts to often go unchecked. What’s more, it appears Twitter has spent more time cracking down on accounts exposing antisemitism online than it has countering actual antisemites.
A Statesville, North Carolina man, Uriah Brandon, threatened the life of a rabbi on an Instagram Live conversation with Miko Grimes, the wife former NFL Miami Dolphins football player Brent Grimes. The post was exposed by StopAntisemitism.org and shared on Twitter.
The Statesville Police Department didn’t immediately respond to requests to comment on the threat.
In the video, which is still on StopAntisemitism.org’s Facebook page, Brandon says “If I see a rabbi… I might take his life on the spot… F—- a rabbi.” Click here to see the full clip.
Here is a portion of the conversation:
The platform acted swiftly, putting the antisemitism watchdog in “Twitter jail,” meaning the post had to be deleted before a seven-day appeal process could start. The group deleted the post and waited.
On Sunday, the group cancelled the appeal because it didn’t seem like anything would come of it and it had already been six days. But, by canceling the appeal, Facebook added an additional seven days to the “jail sentence,” making it a total of 14 days before the group can get their account back. Until then, they’ve been posting from @StopAntisemitsm, a partnered account.
“We were literally punished for exposing an antisemitic physical threat where someone could have been hurt,” StopAntisemitism.org said in a statement to this reporter Tuesday.
If you’re the leader of the largest state sponsor of terrorism, however, it appears your tweets are free to post and linger.
“The nation of Palestine is under various, severe pressures,” said Iran’s Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei on Twitter Tuesday. “Then, the UAE acts in agreement with the Israelis & filthy Zionist agents of the U.S. —such as the Jewish member of Trump’s family— with utmost cruelty against the interests of the World of Islam. #UAEStabsMuslims“
Khamenei’s account has over 800,000 followers and the tweet received thousands of impressions. The tweet has been posted for hours and is still up.
Antisemitism online can inspire antisemites and/or validate their opinions. Unfortunately, it’s taken the loss of precious Jewish lives for many to realize that.
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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