The Israeli war on the Gaza Strip has ended, but its repercussions and surprises continue, and it does not seem that it will stop as new details and scandals unfold day after day. New to these scandals was the pressure exerted by the political authorities in Israel on global social media platforms, with the first military spark, in order to silence the mouths of objectors around the world, and to silence the voices supporting the Palestinians.
And in details that are revealed for the first time about what Israel did, with the launch of its operation called “Guardian of the Fences,” diplomatic information
Western reported that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz demanded on May 11, that is, after the first day of the war, to hold a meeting using Zoom technology with the managers of leading social networks, such as “Facebook” and “Tik Tok” and others, and he already had what he wanted.
Western diplomatic sources reveal that the meeting included – from Facebook – Nick Clegg (Vice President of Communications), Joel Kaplan, Vice President for Global Policy, and Director of Public Relations Jordana Cutler, the same who was appointed in 2016 as head of politics and communications in the Facebook office inside Israel, and she was at the time holding a position in the embassy. In Washington, she worked as an advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for several years.
As for the “Tik Tok” application, the President of Trust and Security Cormac Keenan, the Director of Government Relations for Normalization with the European Union Theo Bertram, and the Director of Political Affairs Liz Kanter, in addition to other personalities attended.
According to the information, Gantz demanded that those responsible for these applications “remove all content that tarnishes Israel’s reputation”, especially those related to the conflict between it and the Arab countries. Gantz also called on the attendees to “the necessity of banning the accounts of users who are active in publishing pictures and materials about the unjustified use of means of force against the Palestinians, and writings calling for an end to the aggression on Gaza.”
The information also indicates that the companies “Facebook” and “Tik Tok” agreed to this after pressure and threats to block the two applications in Israel and Palestine alike, and promised to commit to implementing this requirement by the end of May, by “blocking and removing any material published, indicating to the crimes” committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip during 11 days.
And Monica Bickert, vice president of content policy at Facebook, had previously revealed in a conference call, with the end of the war in Gaza, that “Facebook established an operations center that allows for close monitoring of the situation” so that the company can “more quickly remove content that violates our community standards.” and address potential errors during implementation.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told Reuters at the time that Clegg and other executives “spoke to Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh,” and a report by “Reuters” also stated that the American newspaper Politico revealed a virtual meeting between executives. On “Facebook” and Gantz via the Zoom platform, without adding more details.
Since the beginning of the war, Israel has tried to search for the “image of the victor” after it suffered, from the first days of the war and the steadfastness of the Gazans, a setback in its image and that of its “indomitable” army. The assessments of Israeli politicians and military personnel, before and during the war, showed the extent of the intelligence failure and military miscalculation that cost Tel Aviv a lot in its reputation, and ultimately led to the isolation of Netanyahu internationally and internally, and he ended up outside the government.