June 29, 2007
America was developed with a constitution which protects freedom of speech. It is probably the most powerful and important right the people in America and a few other countries have left. With freedom of speech injustice is exposed and eventually and hopefully eliminated. Without freedom of speech truth is relegated to the shadows and the people are purposely misinformed and mislead. No one would want to live in society that treats people this way, so why do we allow it to happen on the internet?
It has always been our position to point out injustice wherever we see it. We don't play favorites with any government or group of people, so naturally we criticize Israel for their actions as we would any country or people who are carrying out death squad terrorism, mass violations of human rights, and mass imprisonment. Today's corporate media misinforms and misleads people on most of the issues, the Israeli occupation of Palestine is one. To thepeoplesvoice.org it's yet another terrible injustice, another piece of news the media isn't telling people about, so we want to talk about it.
An interesting thing happens when we post articles about the killing and the brutality carried out by Israelis and their supporters, something that doesn't occur when criticizing any other country. When we pointed out that Israel dropped 500-pound bombs on Lebanese neighborhoods and they dropped small American made guided bombs on ambulances, and occasionally Israeli soldiers shoot school children in the head, we made some new enemies who wanted to hurt our site.
In November of 2006, a person behind a blog called Elder of Ziyon launched an attack against the site. They couldn't silence us for telling the truth within the confines of our constitutional rights, so they started digging through the over 800 articles on our site searching for any piece of dirt they could use against us. If one were to search through the archive of any newspaper or magazine, one could reasonably expect to find something that offends somebody, particularly when taken out of context.
They found an article entitled Judaism is Nobody’s Friend by Mark Glenn written on November 7, 2006. The article is a factual critical examination of the negative aspects of Judaism, the belief system, not the people. At no point does Mark Glenn use insult or racial slur. It is not an attack against the Jewish people (as such), and can't be called racist or prejudice. The Elder of Ziyon web site wrote a very slanted piece about thepeoplesvoice.org branding us with the anti-Semitism label. They added a link back to Google News for people to complain and hopefully get us removed. After a few weeks of hate mail bombardment from the Ziyon site, Google relented, giving in to a lone provocateur with an e-mail link.
It was our first encounter with labeling. Labeling and slander are used to subvert criticism and freedom of speech, to smear the critic. The most common slander is to be accused of 'anti-Semitism'. This term is used on anyone who criticizes Israel and the cultural and ideological system behind Israel's brutality towards the Palestinian people. It's a special word that carries negative connotations like the words: 'bigot', or 'racist', but it doesn't mean the same thing. More and more anti-Semitism applies to those who criticize the actions of the Israeli people. Example: When The United Methodist Church decided to divest from companies linked to Israel, Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman told Ynetnews the church's action, "is bordering on anti-Semitism," http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3418316,00.html
A second term which is much newer and far more dangerous to freedom of speech is: 'hate speech'. Mark Glenn's article, which criticizes Judaism- the belief system, has been labeled as hate speech in order to silence the criticism.
Here is the letter that Google News sent us after the Ziyon site started attacking us for posting Mark Glenn's article:
We received numerous reports about hate content on your site, and after reviewing these reports, decided to remove one of your stories from Google News. We do not allow articles and sources expressly promoting hate speech viewpoints in Google News (although referencing hate speech for commentary and analysis is acceptable). While we have not removed your site from Google News at the present time, should your site continue to publish hate content, we may remove your site from our index in the future.
Here is an example of an article our users were complaining about: http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2006/11/07/p11987
We hope this helps you understand our position.
The Google Team
At that time Google News simply removed one article from the news listing and wrote us this threatening letter. It was a compromise designed to make both parties happy. The Elder of Ziyon people were probably disappointed that they weren't able destroy access through Google News to all of the great articles on our site about depleted uranium, the environment, the Patriot act, Guántanamo Bay, 9-11, and of course the Bush administration. After that we thought the matter had been settled, but we soon discovered that the nebulous and unconstitutional 'hate speech’ – 'anti-Semitism’ labels would be used to attack our site again, and for the same Judaism is Nobody’s Friend article by Mark Glenn which is like double jeopardy, trying us twice for the same non-crime.
On January 12 2007, Uruknet was also removed from Google News. Uruknet is the best non-corporate source of news and original articles concerning the Iraq war on the Internet. They are also sympathetic to the Palestinians’ plight and often post articles revealing the true nature of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Uruknet waged a long letter writing campaign (http://www.uruknet.info/?p=29907) lasting weeks and eventually they were reinstated on Google News, but only after thousands of members of the public wrote to Google asking them to reinstate Uruknet. With the corporate mentality it's fairly simple, when the number of people writing letters becomes larger than the number of complainers the decision is reversed. Freedom of speech doesn't seem to be a consideration.
In March and April of this year, the attacks against site began again. A regular poster to thepeoplesvoice.org, Eileen Fleming, became a member of the Daily Kos, and started posting the same articles at thepeoplesvoice.org and the Daily Kos. Eileen, unlike most Americans and journalists, has actually been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, three times, and has met with Mordechai Vanunu. We like to post Eileen's articles because she writes in a 'matter of fact’ way about the issues and the injustice being done to the Palestinian people by Israel and the American political system, which supports the injustice.
After Mrs. Fleming began to post articles about the Occupied Palestinian Territory, on the Daily kos, the attacks started. Strangely, the attackers used her association with thepeoplesvoice.org as an excuse to persecute her. They falsely accused thepeoplesvoice.org of anti-Semitism, when we are fiercely opposed to bigotry and racism in all it's forms. They falsely labeled us as holocaust deniers, but there is not one denial of the Jewish holocaust on our site. They falsely accused us of being a hate site because we have posted a few constructive articles by writers that they want to silence. The Daily Kos members never let up with their false accusations and attacks and eventually they used Eileen's manufactured crime of guilt by association with thepeoplesvoice.org as an excuse to remove her from posting on the Daily Kos.
While all of this was taking place, we noticed in our site statistics that we were getting some hits from the Daily Kos. As one of the site editors, I decided to pay them a visit to find out what was being discussed. That is when I discovered the relentless attack being carried out against Eileen Fleming and thepeoplesvoice.org. The accusations were baseless and contrived and the attack had gone on unrelentingly for a number of days. I created a screen name and entered the chat with the intention of asking some tough questions. At this point I naively believed that an open debate was possible. With my first post I attempted to ask them where on thepeoplesvoice.org had they found a denial of the holocaust?
At first my question went unanswered and then to my amazement it disappeared from the screen. I asked my question again and it disappeared as second time. They, the people who were attacking Eileen were also deleting my posts. There could be no open debate, no discussion. In such an environment only mob rule and the crushing of the individual is possible. I was not allowed to challenging the baseless attacks against Eileen and thepeoplesvoice.org. I soon realized that the Daily Kos was a nightmare of a place for those who tried to speak out on behalf of the Palestinian people and I said:
Well my friends you have shown your true colors here today for many visitors to see. I have witnessed many baseless slanders and groundless attacks. Thepeoplesvoice.org is neither a hate site nor an anti-Semitic site. There is not one denial of the holocaust present on thepeoplesvoice.org web site however there are many pages reaffirming the holocaust. It seems to me that the people here attack others for speaking about things that supporters of Israel don’t like. I would say Mrs. Fleming is not being attacked for any wrong she has done, but because of her views, and some people here have launched into a little smear job against her. None of the accusations about Eileen Fleming or thepeoplesvoice.org have merit. You are only able to pull a single word taken out of context from a quote and this you say is grounds for your slander and hatred. I have openly challenged you to back up your accusations that thepeoplesvoice.org or Eileen Fleming are anti-Semitic and that thepeoplesvoice.org posts holocaust denials, but you only delete my posts. Please show me where thepeoplesvoice.org has denied the holocaust as you have alleged over the past week, I want to see the proof and I am sure the public wants to see the proof also.
Of course, it was deleted. After verbally attacking Eileen for days, the judge, jury, prosecutor and self-appointed spokesperson for the smear champagne made this snide little statement:
Let me hopefully close off (7+ / 0-) Recommended by: Nightprowlkitty, Pumpkinlove, jhecht, zemblan, Shane Hensinger, jhritz, dmnyct this comment thread with the simple observation that Ms. Fleming, as now widely known, posts on a hate site, has now been featured twice - here and here - on LGF, and is attracting obviously anti-Semitic sock puppets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_sock_puppet) to Daily Kos. Would somebody be so kind as to ban her clueless ass already?
After which Eileen's account with the daily Kos was removed. A poster on thehollytree.blogspot.com by the name of Robin commented: "Just a side note. Eileen Fleming (and Haitham Sabbah, Desert Peace, Umkahlil, Ben Heine and Anna Balzer) were all banned from the Daily Kos. Eileen was the last to be banned and the sole, monotonous charge against her -ad nauseam - was for posting on the People's Voice. There were SO many shenanigans going on at the Daily Kos with people speaking out of both sides of their mouths, but the campaign was DEFINITELY on to get rid of all the pro-Palestinian posters who carried any weight. One poster there, Eternal Hope, was DEFINITELY playing games. To make a long story short, after Eileen was banned an extremely slanderous post appeared about her on Little Green Footballs." - http://thehollytree.blogspot.com/2007/06/google-censors-peoples-voice-fight-back.html
The slander and repression that we had seen at the Daily Kos caused us to reassess our beliefs about the free and open internet. At first, because of the extremist character of the individuals that were attacking Eileen and thepeoplesvoice.org, it seemed as though a group with a Zionist agenda had infiltrated the Daily Kos. But after considering the content of a "My Left Wing" posting, we realized that there might be another twist to this story. The posting alleges that Marcos Moulitsas, the founder of Daily Kos, is the closest thing to a CIA agent that you'll ever find, short of a real one: one vetted and found worthy but unwilling (?) to seal the lifelong pact with this nefarious organization. For all intents and purposes, we probably would be erring on the safe side if we were to consider him a "real" agent for this crime syndicate. The fact that the spooks are onboard at Google is old news. It would appear that a possible connection between Kos and Google is likely, and with CIA associations it's not difficult to see why and how Daily Kos and Google are aligned with New World Order philosophy. The two were certainly in agreement when it came to simultaneously censoring thepeoplesvoice.org and Eileen Fleming.
Hiding behind the Daily Kos, the faceless little gang had gotten away with egregiously trampling Eileen's Fleming's rights and they had succeeded in silenced yet another advocate for the Palestinian people, but it wasn't over, their thirst for mayhem and need to hurt others wasn't yet satisfied.
A few days ago on June 25, we discovered that none of our articles were being listed on Google News. After checking we determined that we had been removed from the news listing sometime around June 18. This time Google didn't bother with the courtesy of a warning letter.
The next day we received an e-mail from Eileen Fleming informing us that she to had also been removed from Google News. The removal of Eileen was an outrageous and blatant violation of freedom of speech. Eileen was removed simply because they wanted to silence her truth telling about the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It had nothing to do with hate speech or anti-Semitism and had everything to do with censorship. The Supreme Court has extended broad protection in the area of hate speech. The justices have consistently held that statutes punishing speech or conduct solely on the grounds that they are unseemly or offensive are unconstitutionally overly broad. Only by protecting all forms of speech can the public be assured of uninhibited, vigorous, and wide-open debate. The entire concept of hate speech and its enforcement on people by Internet entities is completely unconstitutional and violates American and international freedom of speech laws.
Unfortunately Google News isn't using terms like 'prejudice' or 'racism' to describe what is unacceptable to them. Those terms have clear definitions and cannot be used by special interest groups to skirt the U.S. Constitution and deny people their freedom of speech. Taking their cue from the tiny mob making all the noise, Google subscribes to the nebulous and ever-changing rules of "hate speech". Once used to label white supremacist web sites, the term "hate speech", has now been expanded to include sites like thepeoplesvoice.org. and even Eileen's innocuous site http://www.wearewideawake.org/ If this kind of labeling and silencing of legitimate activist news sites continues, the term 'hate speech' could be expanded further to include sites that criticize the actions of the government.
This systematic attacking and silencing of people on the Internet should not be tolerated in our so-called free society. What has happened to http://www.uruknet.de, in the recent past, and now to http://www.wearewideawake.org/ and our site, http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org is the embodiment of what the American Supreme Court feared most about 'hate speech' legislation, that it would be used to silence debate, that it would be used by special interest groups to attack those who disagree.
It is our sincere belief that a handful of people who seek to inhibit freedom of speech on the Internet cannot equal the will of the majority. We as a people need to band together and draw the line here. They have already taken too much of our freedom and they shouldn’t be allowed to take any more. Our freedom of speech is our last and most important remaining right. We don’t want to let Google violate this basic human right by removing legitimate web sites simply because special interest groups want to silence them. Please write a few words or a letter to Google News. Tell them that you don't agree with the loud little mob that wants to silence http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org and Eileen Fleming’s http://www.wearewideawake.org, and please put http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org and http://www.wearewideawake.org back on Google News. Contact Google News
Below are links to blogs/web sites belonging to people who graciously, in support of the Palestinians and the principles of free speech have posted our first letter- (right column). Thank you very much for your support in this situation. We are encouraged that there are such people in the world as you. To a degree your kindness and solidarity has reinstilled our faith in humanity.
Thank you friends,
Sky and Ragnar
editors @ thepeoplesvoice.org
Past forays with the censors:
Our Dear Readers http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2006/12/16/p12983
A little smear job http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/06/04/by_any_means_necessary
It Sure Smells Like a Right Wing Zionist Cabal at The Daily Kos http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/06/07/p17371
June 29, 2007 by Schuyler and Ragnar, editors @ http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org Permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org