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Monday, 14 July 2014

Censorship at the Independent, Guardian and Huffington Post

Censorship at the Independent, Guardian and Huffington Post (to name but three) is working overtime at the moment predominately it seems on the subject of the Israeli air strikes and naval bombardment of Gaza and the killing of civilians. Any article, comment or observation even remotely critical of the Israeli government in Tel Aviv, is removed swiftly and without any reason or explanation to the author. The posts just disappear, rather like Palestinians in Hebron or Nablus or Ramalah or a hundred other towns in the occupied territories.
This morning I have had personal experience of the Independent, Guardian and Huffington Post censors. I posted the text of, “The "collective guilty conscience" of the governments in the western world.” ( ), in the comments section of an item published on their pages. In the case of the Independent, the item was in response to an article by their Yasmin Alibhai Brown. The paper accepted the comment and then, within a few minutes it had been removed. A few more tries and then blocked from even commenting. I did however manage to place a link to the Blog, but on checking now, the whole commenting facility has been removed from the article.
The Guardian was a bit slow in removing my post from their article. A number of readers had already managed to “recommend” my post (8 in fact and with 5 replies) over a period of some 10 minutes, but by then the censors had been alerted and the comment, together with the recommendations and replies simply vanished.
Huffington Post took the text, held it for some 5 minutes before deciding that it was too critical of Israel and the western leaders to be allowed onto their pages.
This experience demonstrate a point raised in the text. Israel can do no wrong and any criticism of its government or its actions will not be acceptable. As I state in the text, “Any criticism of Israeli expansion, the collective punishment of populations, the continuing occupation of Arab lands, the flagrant disregard of United Nations resolutions, even those that manage to get past the American veto, is essentially ignored by the west and treated as more anti Semitic outpourings by the "Jew haters".
If I had used obscene language, or misrepresented fact, or had libelled some individual, or had committed some other cardinal sin, I could understand a post being deleted. However, to have a post removed without explanation or reason by some Israeli, or Israeli sympathising censor on these online papers is really unacceptable.
I will continue to criticise Israeli aggression in Gaza and the ongoing occupation of Palestine, in spite of the Israeli sympathisers in the offices of online newspaper or anywhere else.
However, it is a great shame that this account of censorship will only be seen by a relatively small readership.