Twitter censors pro-Palestinian Jewish activist while allowing antisemitic abuse against him

Twitter logo and Tony Greenstein
Afroze Fatima Zaidi

Twitter has permanently suspended the account of Jewish pro-Palestine activist Tony Greenstein over allegations of ‘hateful conduct’. Meanwhile, Twitter has apparently found antisemitic abuse by other users against Greenstein not to fall foul of its hateful conduct policy.

Greenstein has now shared his experience with The Canary.

Criticising Israel

Greenstein shared images of the tweets for which Twitter allegedly suspended his account with The Canary. The most contentious among them is one where he compared Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip to a WWII Jewish ghetto under Nazi occupation:

Tony Greenstein's tweet to Jewish News journalist Jack Mendel

Marek Edelman, the leader Greenstein mentioned, wrote a letter in 2002. As Haaretz explained, “the letter is filled with hints of comparisons between the Palestinians’ fight and that of the ghetto residents”.

Not the first time

And this isn’t the first time Twitter has penalised Greenstein for posting content that is critical of Israel.

In February, his account was locked because his profile featured an image of Ahed Tamimi, the 17-year-old Palestinian girl imprisoned for slapping an Israeli soldier (who was outside her home in the occupied West Bank) after another Israeli soldier had shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face.

Twitter apparently made Greenstein’s removal of the photo a condition for unblocking his account:

Tony Greenstein's Twitter account was locked until he removed a photo of Ahed Tamimi being held by an Israeli soldier

And again in August, Twitter locked Greenstein’s account, he alleges, for offending a Zionist user. He went on to say:

For the past two years a link to my blog has been blocked as ‘spam’ by Twitter.

Double standards

Yet when it came to antisemitic abuse that Greenstein faced, including another user wishing his family had died in concentration camps, Twitter took no action:

Anti-semitic tweet to Tony Greenstein

Twitter response to Tony Greenstein's complaint

Speaking to The Canary about the suspension of his account, Greenstein said:

Despite the publicity about alleged abuse of Zionists, it’s Jewish anti-Zionists who get the most abuse. We are called traitors, self-haters etc. Twitter has taken this to a new level. Someone wishing my family and I had perished in the Holocaust is not against their rules, but comparing the siege of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto is ‘hateful conduct’. Not surprisingly, Twitter has refused to defend their conduct.

When contacted for comment, a Twitter spokesperson told The Canary:

We don’t comment on individual accounts

 for privacy and security reasons. Our Hateful Conduct Policy can be read here.

Greenstein maintains that Twitter’s double standards on hateful conduct amount to censorship of pro-Palestinian voices. He has also documented his experience with Twitter, and his concerns about the controversial examples in the IHRA definition of antisemitism, on his blog.

And Twitter certainly has questions to answer.

Featured image via Pixabay/Tony Greenstein

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  • Show Comments
    1. Facebook and Twitter up to the same tricks then — both punish anyone for speaking against Israel or their stooges but allow all other forms of racism — its despicable ; The hypocrisy from both is appalling — we need other platforms with a less warped ‘code of conduct’.

    2. Is Tony still suspended or expelled from the Labour Party and slanderd as an anti-Semite for his criticism towards Israel (even though he is Jewish). Disgusting that Corbyn and Momentum would throw people like him, Glyn Secker and Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth under the bus. No hope for the Labour Party. May justice be served and people should join Labour Against the Witchhunt.

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