Twitter Suspended My Account to Appease the Zionist Lobby; Help Me Get It Back!

Twitter supports the rights of Zionists to harass Palestinians on its platform and threaten their livelihood and their income.

  • Twitter Suspended My Account to Appease the Zionist Lobby; Help Me Get It Back!

My 11-year-old Twitter account has been permanently banned by the USA-based social media platform. In its email to me announcing the decision, Twitter quotes 4 of my tweets as evidence of the accusations that I am in violation of their rules against “hateful conduct”, and that I “promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.” Twitter further states: “Additionally, if we determine that the primary purpose of an account is to incite harm towards others on the basis of these categories, that account may be suspended without prior warning.”

There are many things that could be said about the legality of Twitter granting itself the power to judge speech or to levy accusations of crimes actionable under the Criminal Code of Canada and Title 18 of the US Code of Laws. By appointing itself judge, jury and executioner, and claiming the power to permanently sully the reputation of individuals, it usurps their rights under the basics of Natural Justice and Common Law, denying their right to the presumption of innocence, to knowing their accuser and the accusations against them, to cross-examine their accusers and present a defense, and finally to be judged by their peers.    

But in my opinion, the most flagrant violation of rights in the decision to ban me lies in equating the political ideology of Zionism with a race, ethnicity, or a national origin; and, more importantly, to imply that opposing the Settler Colonial ideology of Zionism, and the violence, genocide, and infanticide that are results of its quest to create an exclusively “Jewish” State; is in itself an act that “promotes violence against” or “directly attack or threaten” other people. 

Zionism: a political ideology, not a race, ethnicity, national origin or religion 

Let us unpack this for a minute. Zionism is a political ideology, like Capitalism or Communism, etc. Those who adhere to Zionism come from all walks of life. Therefore, criticizing Zionism is not targeting anyone based on their “Race”, as there is no such thing as a Zionist race; all kinds of abhorrable people pronounce that they are Zionist, from Irish-American President Biden to Brazilian President Bolsanario. Criticizing Zionism is not targeting anyone based on their “ethnicity”; there are Zionist Germans, Zionist Anglos, Zionist French, etc. Criticizing Zionism is not a hateful conduct based on someone’s national origin, as there are many “Israeli” Palestinian citizens and a plurality of other Israelis who are not Zionist. And finally, criticizing Zionism is not targeting anyone based on its religious affiliation, for the largest numbers of those who call themselves Zionists are Christian North Americans and Europeans, and there are many followers of the Jewish faith that reject Zionism.

So, if there is no “other” as defined by Twitter, how can its accusations of “hateful conduct” that “promote[s] violence” or “direct attacks” or “threaten” be accepted? Although there are no valid “victims” in the accusations by Twitter, let us nevertheless take a look at the language it finds threatening and hateful. 

Twitter objects to my use of the following terms: 

- Zionism is Jewish White Supremacy, Genocide and Infanticide. 

- Apartheid Canada and Apartheid “Israel”.

Zionism is a Settler project to Colonize Palestine with European citizens some of which professed Judaism and to create an Imperialist beachhead colony that perpetually causes war in Western Asia and North Africa, and physically fractures the geographic continuity of the Arab world. To create and maintain the Colony, Zionism and its followers committed and continue to perpetrate Genocide against the Indigenous population of Palestine and  Infanticide against the Palestinian children. Zionism works to maintain the White Supremacist Imperialist structures that oppress the Arabic-speaking people; i.e. Zionism is Jewish White Supremacy. Since the Balfour Declaration by the British Empire, and the official launching of the Zionist Colony, more than a million Palestinians were murdered, and since only the beginning of 2021, Apartheid Israel killed at least 200 Palestinian children.

As for Apartheid “Israel” and Apartheid Canada, not much needs to be said when every major human rights organization on the planet - and in historic Palestine - have labeled the Colony as Apartheid, and when thousands of Indigenous children are being excavated from mass graves in Apartheid Canada, and the whole world knows about the Infanticide Camps nefariously named Residential Schools.

In any case, whether you agree with my opinion or not, they all fall under fair and free speech and do not target, harass or advocate violence against a group of people based on their religion, ethnicity or national origin. Looking at the tweets in question, it is clear the complaint against me came from a man named Mark Goldberg. I’ll explain a few things below.

Media Law and Policy, from CRTC to Twitter

I work as a Consultant for Broadcasting Law and Policy, specifically the rights of Indigenous Nations, Racialized communities and/or those who are living with disabilities; communities granted Protections with laws and policies, i.e. Protected Groups. My work can be viewed here.

Part of my work is testifying at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in Canada on files like the license renewal of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, and its compliance with its license conditions and Broadcasting Act provisions, in regards to the rights of Protected Groups to Access, Reflection and Employment at the network.

My work naturally attracts the attention of individuals who support the Zionist ideology. To them, it is very angering to see a Palestinian citizen of Apartheid Canada appearing at the Commission speaking about these important issues.

In that light, Mr. @Marc_Goldberg, who himself is very involved in the Broadcasting sector and hosts an annual conference for the industry, began harassing me online; first in a general manner, and then specifically in regards to my comments at the CRTC during the CBC hearing. 

On the 22nd of January, 2021, Goldberg tweeted attacking CMAC’s presentation at the hearing, targeting our suggestion that CBC reporters have a duty to point out when the Canadian state violates its treaty obligations with Indigenous Nations. 

Later in the day, Goldberg tweeted a second attack on CMAC, in regards to the CBC administration banning the use of the word ‘Palestine’ on its platforms, and attached a link stating “Palestine doesn’t exist”. 

Because we are both involved in Journalism and Media Production and Policy, and are Public persons and have no private life as such, I did not make a Twitter complaint against him. 

Unfortunately, my policy of respecting his right to free speech led Goldberg to increase his harassment. As the most recent war in Palestine raged two months ago, Goldberg posted a link to a funding grant I received from the CRTC. The file was related to a CRTC call for comments on how the Commission can deliver on its duties as laid out in the Accessible Canada Act (ACA). CMAC, where I work as a Senior Policy Consultant, helped Indigenous and Racialized Communities living with disabilities to participate and produce interventions on the record that would address their rights as prescribed by the ACA. 

Mr. Goldberg was asking how someone like me (a Palestinian) would get funding for this work at the CRTC. He was putting my livelihood and income at risk, and, therefore, bullying me in my workspace that he is also present in. Hence, he was crossing the threshold between Verbal Harassment to Physical Harassment that causes financial harm. Even then, I believed that I could just respond through the exercise of free speech, pointing out how his opinions, which I disagree with and find racist, don't seem to be stopping the CRTC from participating in his annual industry conference. 

Mr. Goldberg harassed me for months publicly on Twitter, on Hearings I participated in at the CRTC, all relating to the rights of Indigenous and Racialized peoples and/or living with disabilities. Mr. Goldberg attempted to harm my livelihood because he disagreed with my opinions that are protected under the law at the Commission; a Tribunal with powers superseding a Federal Superior Court, where I am held legally responsible under the law for what I say. Because Mr. Goldberg knew he could not challenge my work at the CRTC because it was legally sound, he chose to harass me on Twitter. And when he lost the public debate online after I engaged him, he had the audacity to complain to Twitter about my replies to his harassing posts regarding my work and income.

I hope this lays out the Legal Obligations of Twitter in regards to these specific tweets. The posts Mr. Goldberg complained about, are related to work and speech I presented at a Tribunal of the Canadian Government, where I was/am legally liable for my work. My interventions were accepted on the record of the CRTC. Therefore, in deeming my tweets violent and discriminatory, Twitter is assuming powers by superseding those of the CRTC and usurping the legitimate appeal process that requires complaints to be presented to a Federal Court of Appeal in Canada or to the Governor in Council (the Cabinet of Ministers). (You can watch/listen to CMAC's oral presentation at the hearing, where we open with "Apartheid Canada" and speak of Palestine, at this link

My assessment of why Mr. Goldberg targeted my account is confirmed by his latest tweet on the subject, where he gloats about having my account suspended and seems to suggest he is also targeting Carleton University professor, Dwayne Winseck. 

Finally, Twitter quotes a fourth tweet I made in its email, outlining its decision to suspend my account. In that tweet, I stated: “if you come to my home and try to steal it or harm my children, it will lead to a bullet in your head.” 

Obviously, there is no promotion of violence against any “Protected Groups” in this statement, except if you consider House Thieves or Children Killers are protected groups. What is ironic about this tweet is the fact that I wrote it, while visiting my wife’s family in Louisiana, a “Stand your grounds” state, where by law a person has the right to shoot and kill anyone who invades their home and harms their children. Of course, we know that “Stand your grounds” doesn’t apply to Black/Brown/Arab peoples, and is a privilege reserved for White Colonists in the USA or Apartheid “Israel”. By dictating that my post was promoting violence, Twitter is asserting that  Colonists have the full right of looting, pillaging and murdering children; considering that the settler’s behavior supersedes the rights of the Colonized populations to defend themselves. 

Twitter usurped the powers of Courts and accused innocents of legally actionable crimes under the criminal laws of Canada and the USA. It denies the basic rights guaranteed under Natural and Common Law, including the presumption of innocence, the right to cross-examines the accuser, and the right to be judged by equal peers. It appoints itself as judge, jury and executioner; and shields Supremacy, Genocide, Infanticide and Apartheid from criticism. It supports the rights of Zionists to harass Palestinians on its platform and threaten their livelihood and their income. Furthermore, it asserts that any fight back against this behavior is threatening, violent and itself a form of harassment.

Private Corporations and the rights to free speech

In my 20 years of activism for the liberation of Palestine, I have faced many injustices similar to this Twitter Ban, and almost all stem from the same speech. In 2001, I was the first Arab candidate to be elected to a student union executive in Canada; at Concordia University in Montreal. Within months I was expelled summarily through a Dictate from the President of the University for writing that "Zionism is Jewish Supremacy". During our 6-month court battle, Concordia argued that it is not a public institution but, rather, a private corporation that can refuse service to any "customer" (not student?!?). This is the same argument that Twitter makes. Although the judge erroneously agreed that Concordia is a private corporation, he nevertheless ruled that it cannot expel a customer without affording them the basics of Natural Justice and Common Law when it accuses them of crimes prescribed in the Criminal Code and that if it did not do so, it then would be violating the Canadian Charter of Right and Freedoms (Constitution). Concordia had no choice but to reinstate me as a student and then afford me an internal hearing that abides by the minimums of Common Law. Naturally, I won in the tribunal under these conditions. 

A year later, the Chair of the Department of History at Concordia, who was also the Chair of the Zionist lobby group, the Human Rights League of B’nai B’rith, decided to accuse me of promoting hate because I said Zionism is Jewish Supremacy and that “Israel” is an Apartheid state. The internal Concordia tribunal that was convened to rule over these accusations, after months of deliberations, also found that my statements are covered under fair speech and cannot be considered hate speech no matter how appalled and angered my critics were. 

Given that none of the Tweets quoted in the decision to suspend my account can be construed as promoting hate or violence against a Protected Group; given that it is clear my accuser is actually harassing me online; given that the grave accusations leveled against me are actual crimes in the Criminal Code of Canada; given that my basic rights under Natural Justice and Common Law dictate that I must have a fair trial before being found guilty of such crimes; the only legal and ethical thing Twitter can do is to remove the suspension on my account and restore my tweets.

I urge all readers to tweet this article at @Twitter @TwitterSuppport and @Jack and ask for my account to be reinstated. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.
Laith Marouf

Analyst; Producer; Media Consultant