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Pro-Israel Instagram page provokes ridicule over questions to 'anti-Zionists'

Jewish Perspective account asks people if they are projecting 'Western standards' onto Israel or 'speaking over Zionists'
Comments on the post uploaded on Monday have been limited with only those agreeing with the page’s sentiments remaining in the comment section (Screengrab/Instagram)
By
Yasmina Allouche

A post by a pro-Israel group on Instagram posing questions to “anti-Zionists” has gone viral and provoked criticism and ridicule.

Jewish Perspective, a page on Instagram which breaks down “conversations around the Jewish people, antisemitism and Zionism”, posted a series of questions to its almost 15,000 followers to check if they were "speaking over Zionists" or were projecting “Western standards” onto Israel. 

Anti-Zionists were called to check whether they are “speaking from a place of privilege”, if Palestinians and Israelis are both being held “accountable”, why the “only Jewish state” should be dissolved when there are “60+ Muslim and Chrisitian” states, and whether the conflict is being treated in the same way as other “conflicts, wars and human rights issues”. 

Comments on the post uploaded on Monday have been limited, with only those agreeing with the page’s sentiments remaining in the comment section.

However, the post was uploaded onto Twitter on Tuesday, leading to a deluge of criticism and parody.

"Ask yourself if you're anti-ethnic cleansing: Am I speaking over ethnic cleansers on what ethnic cleansing means?", one user tweeted in reaction to the page's question, “Am I speaking over Zionists on what Zionism means?” 

Some Twitter accounts called into question what exactly Palestinians should be held accountable for. 

Others condemned the page for not being representative of Jewish people. 

“The fact that this account is called 'Jewishperspective' makes me nauseous. I’m Jewish and this is NOT my perspective AT ALL,” one user said

Zionism is a political ideology and movement that emerged in the 19th century and which led to the founding of the state of Israel. The ideology has been contested since its conception, including by many Jews.

Facebook policy towards usage of 'Zionist' 

The social media furore comes in the same week as a global campaign saw 31 organisations, hundreds of activists, intellectuals and artists call on Facebook to ensure that any amendments to its hate speech policy should keep “all people safe and connected”.

'Anti-Zionism is not the same as antisemitism.' Here’s why conflating the two could be problematic
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The campaign called “Facebook we need to talk”, which garnered over 14,500 signatures in the first 24 hours of launching its petition, was created in response to an inquiry by Facebook to assess if critical conversations that use the term “Zionist” fall within the confines of hate speech.

There are concerns that if Facebook restricts the usage of the word “Zionist” it would prevent Palestinians from talking about their daily grievances and allow the Israeli government to act with impunity while failing to make Jewish people safer from antisemitism.

"Facebook scrutinising specific words won't keep any of us safe, but it will prevent us from connecting on the political issues important to all of us and block us from holding people and governments accountable for their policies and actions," the petition said