Fighting the Fight for Free Speech

Last week, I left this comment at an article published at the web site of The Economist:

Since the PLO came into existence in 1964, when there was no “occupation” nor “settlements,” either there must be some other reason for Arab savagery and terror or those who are pro-Palestine simply don’t want Jews to reside anywhere in the Middle East in their own country.

I then received this letter:

Dear Yisrael Medad,

The attached comment, posted under the pen name Rightworder, has been deleted from The Economist online.  The comment was removed because it breaks our comments policy:

We remind you that repeated violation of our comments policy may result in your being blocked from posting comments on The Economist online.

Yours sincerely,

Comments Moderator The Economist online

I replied:

Since you do not specify exactly how I violated or infracted your rules, I am left with the choice of guessing. Was it the phrase “Arab savagery“?

 

I could assume that using “Arab” would fall under this prohibition:

 

Post, link to or otherwise publish any Messages containing material that is obscene, racist, homophobic or sexist or that contains any form of hate speech;

 

I was, of course, referring to suicide bombers, car-rammers, the persons who butchered Jews in a synagogue with actual meat cleavers, firebombing civilian vehicles and other acts which any normative person would define as savagery. And since they were committed by Arabs, I don’t see how I could have otherwise described the point I was making.

 

If I am wrong in my assumption, please so inform me so that I may be able to comment at your publications’ website without fear of restrictions on my right to free speech and expression even within your rules.

Searching around, I found that The Economist is very strict vis a vis pro-Israel comment-makers.

The article I had commented on, Israel’s villa in the jungle, still has another of my comments. Someone called “YoungWeber” left this there:

The State of Israel was envisioned as a European Jewish state, not simply a Jewish state; history proved the concerns of the Jews of Europe correct, but they made no attempt to integrate themselves into the Middle East and thought they could “displace” the Arabs as if they were Native American or Aboriginals.

Despite the attempts of the Israelis, they will never succeed in turning the Arabs into minorities…The Arabs are tied to the land; it does not matter how long it takes; they will take it back. The question for Israelis, of non-European origin, is do they wish to stay on a sinking ship?

That is far worse than my language.

I will try to remain within the rules but still protect my freedom of expression.

About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.
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