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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Watch’

Watch: Jerusalem Mayor Calling on Israelis to Sign Letter Congratulating Incoming President Trump [video]

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has launched a website calling on Israelis to sign his letter congratulating President Trump on his inauguration Friday and thanking him for his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. In the video that accompanies the invitation to sign, Mayor Barkat recalls some of the foreign policy shortcomings of President Obama, expressing his hope for better decision making on the part of the new leader of the free world.


The short letter goes:

“Welcome President Trump,

“Israel thanks you for your enduring, unequivocal support for the state of Israel and welcomes your ambassador to Jerusalem.

“Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem”

David Israel

Watch: Bedouin Terrorist Ramming Police [video]

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Aerial video of the car driven by a Bedouin terrorist in Umm al-Hiran Wednesday morning leaves no doubt as to the driver’s intent. Watch as he pick up speed, aiming at the group of policemen before him.


David Israel

Watch: IDF Soldier Brutally Attacked by Illegal Migrants [video]

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

May Golan, a community activist from South Tel Aviv who has dedicated herself to the effort to rid the city’s poorest neighborhoods from the oppression of illegal migrants, on Monday night Tweeted a video showing three Eritrean illegal migrants attacking an IDF soldier on the street.

 

 


Golan, 30, who was born out-of-wedlock to a Haredi mother, described her life in South Tel Aviv next door to the “infiltrators” in her blog, and ran to the Knesset on Dr. Aryeh Eldad’s party list Otzma L’Israel. She heads the NGO Hebrew City, and ran for the Tel Aviv city council.

Golan and her mother have been attacked three times, between 2013 and 2015, by illegal Eritrean migrants.

David Israel

Top 20 UN Watch Moments in 2016

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

{Originally posted to the UN Watch website}

1. U.S. Congress Adopts Law Targeting U.N. Anti-Israel Bias: When the U.S. Congress wanted to evaluate the UN Human Right Council’s dismal record, the first group they called was UN Watch. Executive Director Hillel Neuer testified at the hearing, along with senior officials of the State Department. Subsequently, the Congress adopted new legislation requiring the administration to report on steps taken to remove the UNHRC’s permanent agenda item targeting Israel.

2. Global truth-telling impact: In the past year, UN Watch delivered 65 speeches to the UN on 26 different country situations; gave 33 lectures before campus and other audiences; brought 34 guest speakers to testify at the UN and before other influential assemblies; achieved 579 media hits in leading newspapers with op-eds, quotes, and TV interviews; surpassed 5.5 million YouTube views; produced 200 videos; and reached 86,000 Facebook fans, 38,000 Twitter followers, and 45,000 email subscribers, including lawmakers, diplomats, and journalists.

3. Dictatorships Fail
 to Silence UN Watch: Executive Director Hillel Neuer, in the March 2016 session of the UN Human Rights Council, openly challenged the qualifications of dictatorships who sit as members. In reaction, delegates from Cuba, China, Russia, Pakistan, and Venezuela urged the president to stop Mr. Neuer. However, UN Watch’s right to speak was defended by the U.S., Britain, the Netherlands, and Canada. With only three seconds left on the clock, Neuer’s reply—“You can censor at home, but not at the United Nations”—drew applause from human rights activists in the chamber. Watch video

4. Combating North Korean Atrocities: UN Watch was a leading voice for victims of atrocities committed by the regime in North Korea—one of the worst human right abusers on the planet. In March, we brought defectors to speak at the UN. In September, UN Watch launched a global campaign urging members of the UN Security Council to send the North Korean Dictator, Kim Jong-un, to the International Criminal Court. UN Watch rallied over 10,000 individuals to sign a petition demanding UN action, creating headlines in top Korean newspapers.

5. Training Interns From Around the World: UN Watch prepared the next generation by hosting and training 20 dynamic university student interns from diverse countries. Each intern was given the opportunity to research, write and deliver their own UN speech—the opportunity of a lifetime.

6. Turned Spotlight on Worst Abusers: UN Watch led a coalition of 25 NGOs in organizing the 8th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights, featuring prominent activists and victims who turned a rare spotlight on the world’s most urgent human rights situations: Iran, North Korea, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Venezuela, and ISIS. The conference drew an audience of 700 human rights activists, diplomats, journalists and students. Worldwide media coverage exceeded 85 separate stories in TV, radio, and newspapers.

7. PLO Outraged After UN Watch Blocks Biased Candidate: Despite her unanimous top ranking by a UN vetting committee, and backing from the PLO, extremist London professor Penny Green was rejected for the post of UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine—as a result of UN Watch’s protest campaign, supported by thousands of followers. Outraged, Palestinian representative Ibrahim Khraishi took the floor in the Human Rights Council to lash out at UN Watch, accusing the group of “allegiance to Israeli secret service.” In a 15-page report entitled “Mandate to Discriminate,” UN Watch showed how—despite the job’s required criteria of objectivity and impartiality—Ms. Green had previously compared Israel to ISIS, and referred to the Jewish state as “Apartheid Israel” and a “criminal government.”

8. Canada Slams UN’s Biased Palestine Investigator: When the UN Human Rights Council appointed biased Canadian law professor Michael Lynk to be the UN investigator of “Israel’s violations,” UN Watch exposed his true colors. As a result, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion called on the UN to review Lynk’s appointment, saying that UN Special Rapporteurs needed to have “a track record that can advance peace in the region,” and to be “credible, impartial and objective.” Dion’s office expressed concerns about Lynk’s “suitability and impartiality.” This was a result of material uncovered by UN Watch.

9. Exposing W.H.O.’s Anti-Israel Vote: When the UK, France, Germany, along with other EU states, voted in favor of a UN resolution singling out Israel as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health” at the 2016 World Health Assembly, UN Watch was the one who exposed the absurdity, sparking outrage worldwide, including editorials in the Wall Street Journal and Canada’s National Post.

10. Hate Israel Day: Turning the Tables on the Bigots: At the UN Human Rights Council, Arab and Islamic states attacked the Jewish state in a special anti-Israel agenda item. UN Watch was the first to take the floor, exposing the fact that Western countries had boycotted the biased debate.

11. UN Renews Iran Monitoring After UN Watch Victims Testify: As the Human Rights Council was deciding on whether to renew its monitoring of the human rights situation in Iran, UN Watch helped tip the scales by organizing a UN side event featuring testimony by Iranian human rights activists Darya Safai and Maryam Faghihimani. This was covered by major media including the L.A. Times, and contributed to the successful vote for renewal.

12. Exposing UN Election of Syrian Regime: When the UN elected the mass murdering Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to a leadership posts on its Special Committee on Decolonization, UN Watch sounded the alarm, sparking a New York Post editorial, “The United Nations’ sick honoring of Syria’s butchers.”

13. UN Watch Protests UNESCO Bid to Deny Jewish Ties to Western Wall:   When an inflammatory Jordanian-Palestinian draft resolution on the Old City of Jerusalem was submitted to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in July, UN Watch sounded the alarm, publishing influential reports and updates on Twitter and Facebook followed by a global audience. Thanks to UN Watch, UNESCO’s absurdity was reported by Newsweek, the Miami Herald, and in i24 News TV interviews with UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, as well in many other media outlets.

14. Exposing UN General Assembly’s Anti-Israel Bias: As the UN General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions against Israel in November and December — while adopting only 4 against the entire rest of the world combined — UN Watch sprang into action, publishing reports, releasing videos on social media, and circulating petitions to urge world leaders to end the bias. Thanks to UN Watch, the hypocrisy was exposed by a major New York Post editorial among numerous other media.

15. British House of Lords Hosts UN Watch Testimony on UN’s Anti-Israel Bias:  In July, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer spoke at event in the House of Lords of the British Parliament. On the following day, Baroness Ruth Deech, host of the event, submitted a parliamentary question challenging the UK government on their apparent support for Saudi Arabia’s re-election to the UN Human Rights Council.

16. Turkish Journalist Freed from Prison Thanks UN Watch for Campaign: When Turkish human rights advocate Orhan Kemal Cengiz was arrested at Istanbul airport as part of President Erdogan’s purge, UN Watch launched an intensive four-day campaign demanding his immediate release. “By arresting a prominent journalist, lawyer and human rights defender, the Turkish government has seriously compromised its claim to be defending democracy and the rule of law,” said Neuer. UN Watch’s social media appeals went viral. Upon his release a week later, Cengiz publicly expressed his gratitude: “Dear @UNWatch I am very moved by your passionate struggle to get me free,” he tweeted.

17. CNN Covers UN Watch Campaign to Fight UN Election of Dictators: When dictatorships including Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Russia ran for re-election to the UN’s highest human rights body in October, UN Watch led the global opposition. A series of high profile events featuring dissidents, victims and experts were held, including a Canadian Parliament press conference with MPs representing all of Canada’s leading political parties; a United Nations press conference in New York; and a panel at New York University. UN Watch and its partners urged democracies to oppose the re-election of abusers to the UN Human Rights Council, and released a report evaluating the candidate countries. UN Watch was quoted by CNN, Reuters, Wall Street Journal TV, USA Today, CTV, and the Globe and Mail. Although China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia won seats, Russia — for the first time in the body’s 70-year history — did not.

18. UN Watch Launches Viral Saudi VideoAfter Saudi Arabia was re-elected to the UNHRC, UN Watch launched a video as part of its campaign to expel the medieval monarchy from the world’s highest human rights body. The video went viral: to date, it has been viewed more than 800,000 times, reaching more than 2 million, making it the most widely-viewed and shared UN Watch video of the year. UN Watch’s campaign on Saudi Arabia was reported by the Wall Street Journal and Euronews.

19. Venezuela’s Cheating of Human Rights Review Exposed by UN WatchIn November, UN Watch exposed how Venezuela cheated the UN system for reviewing its human rights record by getting 500 fake groups to make non-governmental submissions praising Venezuela. UN Watch’s report revealed that the so-called expert groups included the “Bolivian Baseball Association,” the “Cuban Federation of Canine Sports,” and the “Association for Obvious Things,” a group in Slovenia that hailed Venezuela’s record on combating hunger. UN Watch’s report was picked up on social media, and reported by Spanish-speaking news outlets including La Vanguardia, Miami Diario, and El Nacional.

20. City of Chicago Recognizes UN Watch, Declares “Hillel Neuer Day”: In honor of the visit by the executive director of UN Watch, the Chicago City Council adopted a resolution declaring September 15, 2016, to be Hillel Neuer Day, in recognition of Neuer’s “contributions to promote peace, justice and human rights around the world.” Before an audience of 1,300 delegates, including diplomats and elected officials, Neuer delivered the keynote address for the Chicago Jewish Federation’s annual meeting.

Hillel Neuer

Watch: Weapons Workshop Captured in Judea [video]

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

A weapons workshop was captured overnight Thursday in a combined operation of IDF and GSS forces at the Jabal Johar neighborhood of Hebron.

Additional IDF weapons searches in the area captured a handgun, a rifle sight and homemade bullets in the town of Idhna. In Wadi Siman village security forces found an M-16 rifle.

Captured M-16 rifle

Captured M-16 rifle

A Border Guard operation in Hebron captured homemade weapons, bomb making materials, and homemade bullets.

Since the beginning of 2016, security forces have captured 424 weapons and 39 weapons workshops in Judea and Samaria.

David Israel

UN Watch: Today: 6 UN Resolutions on Israel; Texts Ignore Jewish Ties to Temple Mount, Urge Transfer of Golan to Syria

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

UNWatch.org Press Release

GENEVA, Nov. 29, 2016 – Today the UN General Assembly is marking “Palestine Day” with the scheduled adoption of six resolutions against Israel, part of its annual ritual of enacting 20 Arab-sponsored resolutions singling out the Jewish state.

See chart below of today’s resolutions.

[Nov. 30 Update: resolutions were rescheduled for adoption today, Wednesday, Nov. 30]
One resolution calls on Israel to transfer control of the Golan Heights to Syria, oblivious to the mass killings now being perpetrated by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Another resolution condemns Israel for actions in Jerusalem, and uses only the Islamic term for the Temple Mount, ignoring the site’s biblical role in Judaism and Christianity.

“The UN’s assault on Israel today with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental watchdog organization.

“On a day when forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are attacking Syrian civilians in Aleppo, causing thousands to flee, it is obscene for the UN to adopt a resolution mentioning Syrian territory and invoking the Geneva Convention and the ‘protection of civilians’ — yet only to condemn Israel,” said Neuer.

“It’s astonishing,” said Neuer. “At a time when the Syrian regime is killing its own people by the hundreds of thousands, how can the UN call for more human beings to be placed under Assad’s rule? The timing of today’s text is morally galling, and logically absurd.”

“And while there will be a total of 20 inflammatory, unbalanced or redundant resolutions against Israel this session, it is telling that not a single UN General Assembly resolution is planned for victims of gross human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Turkey, Venezuela, China, or Cuba.”

“At a time when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his state-controlled media continue to incite their people to stab and shoot Israeli Jews, the UN’s inexplicable response today is to reflexively condemn Israel in six separate resolutions, each of them one-sided and mute on Palestinian abuses.”

“Today’s resolutions claim to care about Palestinians, yet the UN refuses to say a word for the dozens of Palestinians who in the past months have been slaughtered, maimed and expelled by Assad’s forces, with more than 3,000 killed since 2011.”

“Today’s farce at the General Assembly underscores a simple fact: the UN’s automatic majority has no interest in truly helping Palestinians, nor in protecting anyone’s human rights; the goal of these ritual, one-sided condemnations remains the scapegoating of Israel,” said Neuer.

“The U.N.’s disproportionate assault against the Jewish state undermines the institutional credibility of what is supposed to be an impartial international body. Politicization and selectivity harm its founding mission, eroding the U.N. Charter promise of equal treatment to all nations large and small,” Neuer added.

______
UNGA RESOLUTIONS SCHEDULED FOR ADOPTION TODAY


RESOLUTION

SPONSORS

EXTRACTS

ANALYSIS




“Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
Palestinian People” – A/71/L.18

Plenary Vote:

[TBA]

 


 


22 OIC countries including Saudi Arabia & Sudan, and others
“Noting with deep regret the onset of the fiftieth year of the
Israeli occupation, and stressing the urgent need for efforts to
reverse the negative trends on the ground…

“[R]equests the Committee to continue [its work] to mobilize
international solidarity and support for the Palestinian people…”

Biased committee is one of the veteran pillars of the UN’s
anti-Israel infrastructure. It is the only GA human rights committee
devoted to a single cause. Its reports systematically turn a blind
eye to Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians. Committee’s
mandate concerns Israeli actions only and is inherently prejudiced
and one-sided.




“Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat” – A/71/L.19

Plenary Vote:

[TBA]

 


 


22 OIC countries including Saudi Arabia & Sudan, and others

“Requests the Division to continue to monitor developments relevant
to the question of Palestine, to organize international meetings and
activities in support of the Committee’s mandate … to liaise and
cooperate with civil society and parliamentarians, including through
the Working Group of the Committee and its associated ‘UN Platform
for Palestine’, to develop and expand the ‘Question of Palestine’
website and the documents collection of the United Nations
Information System on the Question of Palestine…”

The DPR serves the biased special committee and is dedicated to
spreading anti-Israel propaganda the world over. Its 16-member staff
is grossly disproportionate to the UN’s other four divisions which
cover enormous geographical regions. The DPR’s work is
counter-productive to the peace process and seeks to coordinate
international boycotts against Israel instead of seeking bridges for
peace. Excludes from its events any NGO that declines to swear
fealty to its hardline politics.




“Special information program on the question of Palestine of the
Department of Public Information of the Secretariat” – A/71/L.20

Plenary Vote:

[TBA]

 


 


22 OIC countries including Saudi Arabia & Sudan, and others
“Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the
International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the
construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory…”

“Requests the Department to continue… its special information
programme for 2017-2018, in particular, to organize and promote
fact-finding news missions for journalists to the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel…”

The program is one more example of how the neutral UN secretariat is
forcibly co-opted by the anti-Israeli forces at the UN. The program
eschews a balanced approach by overtly choosing the Palestinian over
Israeli narrative, ignoring terrorism against Israeli men, women and
children, and other daily realities of Israeli life. Resources
devoted to anti-Israel propaganda are taken away from other worthy
causes.




“Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” -A/71/L.21

Plenary Vote:

[TBA]

 


 


22 OIC countries including Saudi Arabia & Sudan, and others
“Expressing its grave concern about tensions, provocations and
incitement regarding the holy places of Jerusalem, including the
Haram al-Sharif, and urging restraint and respect for the sanctity
of the holy sites by all sides…”

Blames Israel only for lack of peace. Expresses “concern” that 69
years have passed since the 1947 partition plan, suggesting Israel
is at fault when it was the Arab states and Palestinian Arab leaders
who uniformly rejected that resolution and initiated hostilities the
day after its adoption. Text is redundant to several other
resolutions and serves no effect other than demonization. References
to terror fail to name its perpetrators, whereas Israel is named and
blamed throughout. Uses only the Islamic term “Haram al-Sharif” when
referring to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, ignoring Jewish and Christian
religion and history.


“Jerusalem” 

A/71/L.22

Plenary Vote:

[TBA]

 


 


23 OIC countries including Saudi Arabia & Sudan, and others
“Expressing its grave concern, in particular, about tensions,
provocations and incitement regarding the holy places of Jerusalem,
including the Haram al Sharif, and urging restraint and respect for
the sanctity of the holy sites by all sides…”
Implies that Israeli administration of Jerusalem hinders freedom of
religion when in fact the opposite is true—before 1967, Jordan
destroyed Jewish holy sites and denied access to Jews, while under
Israel all faiths have access to the city and enjoy full freedoms.
Uses of uniformly harsh language against Israel that is not used
even against regimes like Iran. Repeated passage of annual
resolution to address acts from 1980, or matters already covered in
other similar resolutions, serve no purpose other than demonization.
Uses only the Islamic term “Haram al-Sharif” to describe Jerusalem’s
Temple Mount, ignoring Jewish and Christian religion and history.




“The Syrian Golan” – A/71/L.8

Plenary Vote:

[TBA]

 



 


27 OIC countries including Saudi Arabia & Sudan, and others
“Deeply concerned that Israel has not withdrawn from the Syrian
Golan, which has been under occupation since 1967, contrary to the
relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions…”
Redunant to A/C.4/71/L.15 on “the Occupied Syrian Golan.” Oblivious
to genocidal massacres taking place now in Syria and its security
implications for Israel and the civilians of the Golan Heights.
Ignores Syria’s history of shelling Israeli communities, its
leader’s calls for a “war of annihilation” against Israel, and
Syria’s 1967 aggression that led to its loss of the territory.
Hillel Neuer

Shhh! Watch Out For Those ‘Ordinary People’

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

The day after the election of America’s 45th president, I flew to the UK to speak at one of the thousands of Shabbat events that took place on November 12.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews all over the world united in the celebration of a special Shabbat. The atmosphere in the shul where I spoke was typical of the rest. To use the Hebrew phrase, there was ahavah, shalom, v’reius – love, peace, and friendship.

Unfortunately, there was a shortage of precisely those qualities back in post-election America. Demonstrations erupted all over the country. The losers were not happy. But it was not just that they were not happy; they were literally in shock and experiencing all manner of psychological crises.

Before I flew out I’d heard WNYC’s Brian Lehrer tell his station’s left-wing New York listeners that in the wake of the Trump victory, the entire morning would be devoted to taking phone calls from people who were distressed about “what to tell their kids” and how to explain “fascism” [sic] to them.

A surreal and frankly silly pronouncement to be sure – but not in the least bit surreal and silly to Lehrer and his fan base. To them it was very real.

And about those “largely peaceful” demonstrations:

The same news media that failed to understand the mistake they made in running openly partisan and sometimes truth-stretching campaigns against Trump now continued manipulating the news just as they had before. This was despite the damning verdict on their bias delivered by tens of millions of Americans.

The anti-Trump demonstrators said they were protesting because they feared waves of racism, misogyny, and fascism were about to overtake the United States – although they saw not even the slightest irony in the fact they were on the streets challenging the American democratic system of government, which, if you ask me, seems like a rather fascist-like thing to do, as was the violence many of them perpetrated.

Mrs. Clinton’s media chums portrayed the demonstrators sympathetically. I heard one report claiming that the chants being heard across America were “Trump Has To Go” and “He’s Not My President,” when in fact the chants often employed different words – words I would not write and The Jewish Press would not publish.

“How did this happen?” wondered an anguished liberal establishment. “How could it be?” asked bewildered Democratic Party officials and voters.

I was almost certain I knew the answer they would come up with and I was not too far off the mark.

After the Brexit vote in the UK, similar bafflement erupted throughout the UK’s political establishment. The media had been mostly against leaving the EU. Dire consequences were predicted if it would come to pass, including financial collapse and a country more susceptible to terrorism.

The people simply didn’t believe the media hype and voted to leave. Naturally, those afflicted with political narcissism were baffled. Someone actually wrote on my Facebook page:

 

I know I’ll be criticized for arrogance, but I have to be honest.

If these early results are borne out, and the Leave Campaign wins, it will be held up as a prime example of two things:

1) “Ordinary people” are [expletive] idiots and should never be trusted with important decisions.

2) Britain is so preoccupied with blaming “the other” it can’t see what is in its clear self-interest. Scapegoating is alive and well and lives here in the UK.

 

To which I responded:

 

I am the author of ten books. I voted Leave. My son is about to start his Ph.D. in Oxford. He voted Leave. Another of my sons is an architectural technologist. He voted Leave. Yet another founded a company which designs software for market “Futures” prediction. He voted leave. I have friends who are professors and bankers who want Britain to Leave the EU.

This unacceptable word, democracy (unless ordinary folk vote your way), is roughly predicated on one person, one vote. The “Person” is by definition usually “ordinary” including of course most of the people on the other side who voted Remain.

Personally I have found ordinary people quite reliable, from juries to elections.

 

The losers in the U.S. presidential election have come up with an intriguing variation of this condemnation of the downright dangerousness of “Ordinary People.”

It is based on a very real challenge to the First Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

Increasingly, the losing side has identified the real culprits responsible for Hillary’s defeat. It was not, of course, anything she did wrong. It was the FBI (previously adored for dismissing her e-mail scandal) and…Facebook! Let me repeat that in case your eyebrows traveled so far up your forehead they have embedded themselves in your hairline: Facebook.

Political experts were apparently not aware that Facebook allowed people to create…pro-Donald Trump pages!

The BBC (not a Trump fan) ran a piece titled “Donald Trump’s Hidden Army.” It said:

 

Donald Trump’s spectacular victory in the U.S. presidential election on 8 November took many by surprise.

Polls seemed to significantly underestimate his support and few pundits gave him a chance.

But many Trump voters, it turned out, were hiding in plain sight – on Facebook.

Thousands of home-grown Trump support pages populate the social networking site. They are a mix of closed and open groups. Most have a few hundred members. But many have thousands. And a few, like American Patriots for Donald J. Trump, have hundreds of thousands of followers.

 

Do you hear that, America? Forget about alleged Russian interference in the presidential election and James Comey (the louse) turning on poor Hillary –the real culprits were ordinary people who actually talked to each other on Facebook and other such venues.

These ordinary people are no longer listening to what we in the media tell them to do. Our highly paid TV anchors, with Hollywood looks and fabulous dental work, no longer persuade them. They are actually speaking directly to each other without us! (Gasp, shriek, choke.)

And now there are serious intellectuals arguing that Mark Zuckerberg and his company have to be brought to heel. Such demands hide themselves under concern about the “fake news stories” that are claimed to abound on Facebook. Anyone making this argument must assume that ordinary people are so naive as not to notice that the mainstream media, both left and right, sometimes also circulate highly dubious and even false news stories.

Mark Twain, perhaps America’s greatest man of letters, is alleged to have once quipped, “If voting made any difference…they wouldn’t let us do it.”

In the wake of the most bitter and fractious American election in living memory, and despite the rights enshrined in the First Amendment, it may be worth tweaking that phrase to read: “If speaking to each other on social media made any difference…they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Keep an eye on those who in the wake of the election of America’s surprise 45th president are arguing for precisely that – and who will now try their best to make sure that ordinary people speaking to each other on social media won’t be tolerated.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/shhh-watch-out-for-those-ordinary-people/2016/11/24/

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