It's a question we've asked before here at the Goldwater and I guess we now have our answer. Is being critical of Zionist war crimes considered anti-Semitic? Evidently, in at least 28 nations, including Israel and the UK, the answer would be yes. The most recent evidence is an episode of Abby Martin's Empire Files with journalist Max Blumenthal being interviewed regarding the increased militarism and racist imperialism of the Zionist state in Israel.
Thursday, the program's official Twitter account noted the issue:
<blockquote>“Just notified by YouTube that Abby Martin’s interview with Max Blumenthal has been blocked from being viewed in 28 countries (including Israel) to ‘comply with local laws.’ Actions disabled & warnings for viewers elsewhere.”</blockquote>
The show was entitled “Jewish-American on Israel's Fascism: ‘No Hope For Change From Within',” in the episode Abby Martin speaks with Blumenthal about the rise of violence and how the Israeli Apartheid is heating up and ho that affects Palestinians.
<blockquote>“YouTube has claimed that it removed my interview on Israel-Palestine with Abby Martin to comply with laws in 28 countries. However, nothing I did or said in the discussion was even remotely illegal, even in countries with the strictest hate crime laws,” Blumenthal told RT in an email.“My comments were based entirely on my extensive journalistic experience in the region and my analysis was clinical in nature. At no point did I denigrate anyone based on their faith or ethnicity.”</blockquote>
According to Blumenthal, all his comments were “motivated by a strong opposition to Israel's systemic discrimination against Palestinians,” and his “dedication to equal rights for all.” YouTube's decision, he claimed, was “a political one and likely made under pressure from powerful pro-Israel interests.”
The Tweet included a screenshot from YouTube which showed the 28 countries and territories where the video had been blocked. The list included most European countries. The video was "identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences." As a result, in the countries it was allowed it was kept in a limited state with the view counter, comment ssection and like and dislike buttons being disabled.
Blumenthal says this wouldn't be the first time his commentary on the Israel-Palestine conflict had been censored by YouTube. Once again, this just goes to show that being Jewish doesn't protect you from being called out as an anti-Semite for pointing out the obvious about the one-sided situation in Gaza. A video he did in 2010 about the "racist extremism" in Israel went viral before it was removed from the site without any explanation.
Blumenthal spoke with RT about the situation, “The trend of censoring material that presents Israel in a less than favorable light has only intensified as establishment attacks on critical voices expands. This latest episode confirms my view that the pro-Israel lobby and its willing accomplices in Silicon Valley present one of the greatest threats to free speech in the West.”
Likely a large part of this has to do with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) joining the ranks of YouTube's "Trusted Flagger" system. According to the ADL any opposition to Israeli apartheid constitutes an act of anti-Semitism. Which is ironic considering that, by definition, Palestinians are Semites as well. Evidently, there's only one group of "protected" Semites under the law.