Despite the new ownership and policy changes, Rabbi Yishai Fleisher, the spokesperson for the city of Hebron as well as an advisor to Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, was banned from Twitter over the weekend, without warning, and permanently according to the message he received.
Fleisher, a dues-paying Twitter user and also a legacy blue-check holder, tweeted:
“Consider: If Israeli security kills a terrorist and retrieves the body they probably shouldn’t give the bad guy a second life by allowing the Jihad to run a big funeral to honor that terrorist.
Maybe instead, finish the job, take the terrorist’s body and throw it into the sea. Let the Jihadists and their supporters know that if they raise a hand against Israel their death will be final.”
The question of what to do with the bodies of dead terrorists, especially in light of the bodies of dead Israelis that are being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza is a much-discussed question in Israeli public policy circles, in an attempt to find additional means of deterrence.
Barry Tigay pointed out on Twitter that former President Barack Obama threw Bin Laden’s body into the sea, so it’s not even an original or radical idea that Fleisher put forward.
Attention @ElonMusk, Twitter Bans Rabbi Yishai Fleisher. Banned for suggesting “maybe” don’t make martyrs of terrorists by returning bodies for elaborate public funeral, but “throw them in the sea.” Exactly what Obama administration did with bin Laden. https://t.co/0jZR4BtkoZ
— Barry Tigay (@TigayBarry) May 6, 2023
Over the weekend, Minister Ben Gvir criticized Defense Minister Gallant for his recent decision to return the bodies of dead terrorists stating [translated]:
“Defense Minister Galant’s decision to return the bodies of the terrorist members of the terrorist organization Gov Arayot (Lion’s Den), which carried out a large part of the attacks in the West Bank in recent times, is a serious mistake that will cost us dearly. This government is a right-wing government and the public did not give us a mandate to return the bodies of terrorists or to avoid bombing Gaza. It is still not too late to lead a powerful and offensive security policy. Otzma Yehudit will continue to be absent from the votes until the Israeli government changes direction and begins to uphold the policy for which it was elected.”
Fleisher received an automated message from Twitter:
Your account was suspended due to violations of our Terms of Service. After reviewing for reinstatement your account will not be restored.
To which Fleisher wrote back to the bot:
“In my role as an advisor to the Israeli government I wrote a tweet recommending a policy to deal with terrorism.
If I crossed a line, I apologize. However, I did not even receive a warning and would have been quick to fix my tweet had I been given the chance.
I am generally quite careful not to write offensive speech and will be doubly more careful in the future.
As of this writing, Fleisher has still not been reinstated. Though some of the truly antisemitic remarks that responded to Fleisher’s tweet are still up.
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— JewishPress.com (@JewishPress) May 6, 2023
UPDATE (May 7, 2023): Apparently due to the outpouring of support, Yishai Fleisher’s Twitter account has been restored.