Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Palestinian "Treason"

In this mailing:
  • Bassam Tawil: Palestinian "Treason"
  • Ruthie Blum: Is Facebook Violating U.S. Counterterrorism Laws?

Palestinian "Treason"

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 30, 2018 at 5:00 am
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  • Ahmed Majdalani is now being accused by his own people of promoting "normalization" between Palestinians and Israel.
  • It is worth noting that those who took the decision to ban the PLO official Majdalani from entering Palestinian universities are living under the "moderate" Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, not under Hamas rule.
  • This is the same Palestinian Authority that receives funds from the US and EU. In other words, Americans and Europeans are funding Palestinians who are opposed to any form of "normalization" with Israel. If a PLO official's visit to a conference in Israel is labelled treason, what would happen to a Palestinian who signed a peace agreement with Israel?
  • The Palestinians' problem is not with a settlement or a checkpoint or a fence. They have a problem with the existence of Israel in any borders. Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel's right to exist, period; this is the essence of the Israeli-Arab conflict. They see Israel as one big settlement that needs to be ripped out.
Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, who stands accused by his own people of promoting "normalization" with Israel. (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)
Palestinian leaders have spent the past few months calling for boycotts of Israel and the US. The most recent call came just a few weeks ago, when Palestinian Authority leaders and officials called on all countries to boycott the inauguration ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
One of the officials who called for boycotting the ceremony was Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, and a top advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas. Majdalani is also famous for his repeated calls in the past few years for boycotting Israel in all fields.

Is Facebook Violating U.S. Counterterrorism Laws?

by Ruthie Blum  •  May 30, 2018 at 4:30 am
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  • Nearly a year has passed since the establishment of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, announced by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube, but groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas -- among the 64 organizations currently designated by the State Department as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) -- still have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and YouTube videos.
  • The more important question, then, is whether Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are providing "material support or resources" -- in the form of a "tangible or intangible" property or service -- to FTOs and Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The Counter Extremism Project appears to think that the answer is yes.
  • "[G]iven the volume of content uploaded to Facebook by the platform's estimated 2.2. billion active users on a daily basis, the one percent of terrorist content that is not removed is a significant amount that needs to be addressed." — Counter Extremism Project Executive Director David Ibsen.
During his Congressional hearings in April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was interrogated by members of the House and Senate. Because it was evident from their questions that many of the lawmakers were actually clueless about how Facebook works, much time was wasted on Zuckerberg's having to explain the basics of its tools and business model. A select few – among them Senator Ted Cruz -- challenged Zuckerberg about the political slant of his platform, which has led to discrimination against conservative groups and individuals.
Zuckerberg acknowledged that:
"...Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place. And this is actually a concern that I have and that I try to root out in the company is making sure that we don't have any bias in the work that we do, and I think it is a fair concern that people would at least wonder about."


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