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‘DailyKos’ bans Simone Daud, who sought to inject Palestinian view into US political discourse

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DailyKos, the popular political site whose goal is to elect “more and better Democrats”, has silenced yet another wonderful strong Palestinian voice, Palestinian Israeli blogger Simone Daud (formerly known as palestinian professor).

The move comes on the same day that the Palestinian Authority officially applied to the UN for the recognition of Palestinian statehood and seems to possibly reflect pressure on DailyKos’s moderators to tamp down divisive argument over the US alliance with Israel.

Simone is not just any blogger. His strong voice for Palestinian rights coupled with the sheer breadth of his knowledge of Palestinian, Arab and Israeli culture, history and current events including keen analyses makes him unique. On DailyKos, he ran a blog called Arab Sources which focused on translating the Arab press making available Palestinian and Arab viewpoints, something that became essential to the community during the Arab Spring this year. As a Palestinian Israeli fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, and English, he is able to provide broad, vital insight and analyses of issues encompassing the whole region and as an academic he has written numerous articles for the Arab press. 

Recently he has been involved in initiating and organizing advocacy for the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN. He was on the verge of publishing several original analyses of the Syrian and Libyan revolutions with translations from the Arab press through Arab Sources at DailyKos.

No reason has been given for Daud’s banning, but he was banned from the site right after Markos Moulitsas announced a new policy of stomping down divisive argument that hurt the Democratic Party:

“If you accuse someone of being racist just because they criticize Obama? Zap! If you actually say something that is even borderline racist? Zap! If you advocate for third party? Zap! This is a Democratic site. Advocating primaries is okay. Advocating third party is not. If I see ratings pack behavior or messed up uprates or hides, I won’t zap, but I’ll pull ratings abilities. Hell, depending on my mood at that moment, I may zap anyway. My dev team is putting together cool reports that identify patterns, so my job will get easier, and I won’t be shy in exercising them.I can’t begin to care who started what.”

Daud had little patience with the Democratic Party’s love affair with Israel. This is how Daud described his mission on DailyKos.

The Palestinians and Israelis are yet to engage in peace discussions.

On the Israeli side all negotiations have effectively been about finding a compromise between the Israeli right and the Israeli left over the extent of the sovereignty to be conceded to the various Palestinian refugee camps, villages, and cities controlled by the Israeli Army.

The US has traditionally accepted that the peace process is exclusively an Israeli issue, something to be negotiated between the right and left of Israel. In this view, Palestinians are peripheral in these negotiations and should at the very least accept in advance the Israeli left’s proposals uncompromised by the views of the Israeli right.

Daud is a Palestinian who strives to bring the Palestinian cause into American political discourse. He isn’t satisfied or ‘happy’ to be represented by the Zionist left. And they in turn sought to smear him as an anti-Semite. For Daud, the Palestinian cause is owned by the Palestinian People. Apparently that was too much for many self defined ‘liberal’ Zionists who see no place for Palestinians in any advocacy having to do with Israel.

This banning is another example of the sustained campaign against the Palestinian and Arab posters at DailyKos, by self defined ‘liberal Zionists’  whose primary interest is promoting Zionism and supporting the U.S. alliance with Israel. DailyKos has shown once again it is averse to Palestinian and Arab posters giving voice to their own aspirations or representing themselves, another example of Palestinians once again on the peripheral.

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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