Palestine – Internet Intifada Denies Free Speech

March 27, 2016 by David Singer
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Many Palestinian websites are stifling free speech by refusing to publish comments answering anti-Israel articles published on their sites…writes David Singer.The latest example is an article written by Rania Khalek on Electronic Intifada

IMG_4935Responding to the decision by McGraw Hill Education to destroy all copies of its text-book Global Politics: engaging a complex world – containing the accompanying maps – Khalek claimed:

“The maps, which appear in chronological succession on page 123, show Palestinian land loss from 1946, one year before Zionist militias initiated the displacement of more than 750,000 indigenous Palestinians from historic Palestine, to the year 2000, by which point Palestinian land had been reduced to a handful of tiny non-contiguous enclaves in the occupied West Bank and a sliver of Gaza.”

I endeavoured to post the following comment in response on 21 March pointing out the misleading nature of these maps:

“Map 1:

The heading – “Palestinian and Jewish Land 1946“ – is misleading for the following reasons:

(i) The map excludes Transjordan which in 1946 still comprised 78% of the territory of the Mandate for Palestine until granted independence by Great Britain in May 1946.

(ii) The land described as “Palestinian land” misleadingly implies legal ownership by the Palestinian Arabs of that land when in fact about 90% of it was State land under British Mandatory control and legal power of disposition.

Map 2:

The legend “Palestinian land” is misleading.

The legend should have said “proposed Jewish State” and “proposed Arab State” – the terms used in the UN Partition Plan.

Map 3:

The heading “1949-1967” is misleading.

The map should have shown the unification of the West Bank with Transjordan between 1949 and 1967 and the change of name of Transjordan to Jordan in 1950.

It should also have designated the Gaza Strip as being under Egyptian military administration between 1948-1967.

Map 4:

One can only wonder why the year 2000 was chosen. Why not 2015 after Israel had already withdrawn from Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank in 2005 and dismantled many illegal outposts?

In any event the legend “Palestinian land” and “Israeli land” is again wrong and misleading in so far as it relates to the West Bank. The land there should have been shown as Areas “A”, “B” and “C”

As maps designed to be taught to students they are totally lacking in accuracy and ignore basic facts in their compilation.

Designating land as “Palestinian land” in any event implies that such land belongs to the “Palestinians”. Since there were no persons designated as “Palestinians” until the 1964 PLO Charter defined that term – the use of the term in maps before then smacks of an attempt to re-write history.

Mc Graw Hill had no option but to discard these maps”

My comments have not yet been published – and comes at a particularly sensitive time as Electronic Intifada Editor Ali Abunimah – a US citizen – has recently received a visa from the Australian Government – after waiting two months – to speak at a four-day Marxism Conference and at other venues in Australia.

Abunimah posted the following tweet thanking the thousands who had petitioned the Australian Government supporting the grant of his visa:

“I’m so grateful to every person who stood up for free speech. Delighted that I just received my visa for Australia. See you Down Under!”

4:44 AM – 16 Mar 2016

Perhaps my comment inadvertently slipped through the cracks as Mr Abunimah was busy packing his bags for his visit to Australia.

Free speech means free speech for all Mr Abunimah. Stand up, be counted, publish my comment.

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International. 



3 Responses to “Palestine – Internet Intifada Denies Free Speech”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    In normal, traditional circumstances, in free and democratic states, the principle of freedom of expression is basic.
    But we are dealing here with a state of ongoing war: a “leftist”-jihadist axis, fortified by a “liberal-democratic”, apathetic at best, and complicit at worst, portion of “the international community”, is fighting a savage war against Jewish national self-determination.
    That axis does not accept the principle of freedom of expression, and democratic governments have been intimidated into tacit acquiescence in that rejection.
    Thus Abunimah gets permission to enter Australia, but Moshe Feiglin was denied permission to enter Britain.
    Thus Colonel Kemp and his audience were harassed and denied a basic freedom at the Sydney institution that has the temerity to call itself “a university,” but an enemy of the Jewish People is given free rein there. Nice democracy,eh?

    We must never forget, too, that the socialist, democratically-elected Whitlam government admitted into Australia a delegation of PLO functionaries long before the PLO committed the fraud of “recognition of Israel.” That Whitlam government knew full well of the PLO’s politicidal and genocidal agenda.

    It is up to Israel, the Diaspora and all decent people to mobilise, and devise means of fighting against this axis of evil. Many non-Jews around the world are our allies in the war, recognising that the axis poses great threats to their own societies, too.
    I expect that I will be asked, “How”, and would reply that first it is necessary to recognise the actual existence of this war, then to apply the best minds to devise strategies and tactics to fight it.

    • David singer says:


      Your comments are as usual constructive and very relevant.

      Yes. – there is a war of lies and deceit on the internet generating unbelievable hate by denigrating and delegitimising the legal rights conferred on the Jewish people by the League of Nations in 1922 and the United Nations in 1945.

      How does one fight it?

      Some organisations such as CAMERA and Honest Reporting do sterling work in exposing many of the lies appearing in the media and there are individual bloggers who try to answer the incessant torrent of abuse aimed at the Jewish people on a daily basis on the internet.

      But basically Jewish communities around the world have what can be called “writers paralysis” and the individual members of those communities are not prepared to weigh in with their own personal opinions on the lies and distortions that are published.

      This current decision by McGraw Hill to trash the textbooks carrying these false and misleading maps should have been supported by every Jew and non-Jew who is interested in seeing an end to the Jewish-Arab conflict.

      The article on Abunimah’s web site should be flooded with hundreds of comments supporting McGraw Hill – but regrettably the few who have done so are swamped by the vicious hatred written by many more. Mine has not been published. Have others received the same treatment as I have on this or other sites?

      Interestingly the article in question is headlined “McGraw-Hill destroys textbook to placate pro-Israel bloggers”

      This indicates we are all indeed potential bloggers and can have great influence in stopping this racial vilification and slander – but for some reason we choose to remain silent and then wring our hands when maps such as these continue to appear without challenge all over the internet,

      I was instrumental in WorldBook Encyclopaedia correcting its maps of “Palestine” in 1977. It is a constant struggle that obviously needs great vigilance when new maps that seek to mislead appear once again in other places.

      The idea that there are two narratives on the Arab-Jewish conflict is rubbish. There is only one – the factual truth that details the return of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in its ancient biblical, ancestral and historic homeland after 3500 years of dispersion with the unanimous endorsement of the nation states then comprising the League of Nations.

      These misleading maps were deliberately prepared to date from 1946 – intentionally papering over the momentous events that had occurred between 1917 and 1945.

      Attempts to unravel binding precepts of international law established between 1917 and 1945 – and failing to insist on their being upheld and enforced – has a lot to do with the sorry situation the world finds itself in today.

      Generals can’t fight a war without soldiers. Jews around the world need to join the fight or vacate the internet to the Jew-haters and their lies that repeated often enough eventually become accepted as truth.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        I agree, David.
        I applaud your sterling work.

        Honest Reporting and others do great work, and I think that if more friends of Israel were made aware of sources of lies and distortions, there would be more action.
        As you say, constant vigilance is necessary, but many people do not know where to look. Accordingly, one idea would be for a research team to be established to monitor publications such as text books and web sites, and to mobilise people of good will and respecters of truth to counter the evil.
        The volume of poison is immense, so the antidote requires the efforts of many people.

        I would be prepared to do my bit. Ideally a co-ordinator, a person with organisational skills, well versed in the history of the conflict, could lead the planning and allocation of duties etc. to the rest of the team.

        I suggest that a good starting point would be to examine textbooks and other educational material that is used in Australian schools.

        I recall that some years ago, when a new draft Modern History syllabus for NSW schools was being circulated, I noticed that it referred to Israel as an example of a “settler state.” I drew this to the attention of a member of the Board of Studies, representations were made and a correction ensued.

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